Wednesday, October 12, 2011

singing the blaze orange blues

a workman's tarp left on the lawn to dry.  october 2010.

fall again, and across the misty pastures and orchard rows and into the woodland's dark cathedral of trees, jays and crows scream but the wild turkeys, grouse and pheasant keep a more reverent tone as they contemplate what they might graze upon next. pheasant are everywhere. i've seen some beautiful males lately, with their red eye patches, brilliant green heads, and long pointed tails, eating seeds, berries and leaves right on the edge where the road ends and the forest begins.

yes, it's turkey time again. they're a-callin' and the hunters are a-callin' back. it's also moose season and soon deer season, too. blaze orange is autumn's deep woods fashion color—my neighbor even covers himself in blaze when he walks his dogs along the side of the road. the dogs are also decked out in orange—an L. L. BEAN blaze orange hat and jacket for the man, and blaze orange canine couture vests for the dogs. hardly anyone else dresses that way unless they're going to venture into the densely wooded areas (and he's not venturing anywhere off the road).

i don't think there's any need to be worried about guns going off near our backyards. after all, this isn't the boonies; we live in a well-traveled suburban area with plenty of houses. three minutes away on foot there is even a densely populated neighborhood. hunting isn't allowed close to neighborhoods. the woods surround us, but this is a civilized place. we are civilized, right? yes (i think) and we are comforted by the thought of being in "civilization" and not some scary "deliverance" backwater. yet the woods and the wildlife were here first. civilization is the intruder and hunters are part of civilization.

in the dead of night i'm awakened. i hear shots being fired, sounding off eerily nearby. they're out jacklighting deer. during the day i jump at the shotgun's boom! boom! boom! not too close to home this time, but somewhere, everywhere. the hunters are out there.

i don't think there's any need to be worried. but if the hunters get any closer we'll all have to watch out, we'll all have to beware.

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