Thursday, May 17, 2012


It doesn't take too long.  Castoreum comes to my nose just as I begin the walk up the road from the barn.  Three years of tracking and observing the habits of beaver has left my nose unusually keen to the musk that they spray to mark territory.  In the still air, in the shelter of the cottonwoods, odors linger.  It's possible that I am catching the scent from the trees themselves because what they eat does affect the scent.  It's hard to say.

At the double log bridge, I pick up the scent again.  Here, I expect it and a newly felled cottonwood overhanging the bank of the creek confirms.  This has been a regularly used feed zone all winter.  As I move towards the bridge, I flush a few baby ducks.  They swim upstream into the protection of the brush.

The river is higher today.  The unseasonably warm and sunny weather of last week has increased snow melt somewhere.  It might be a foot or so higher than on my last visit.  Today, I have to wade shin deep out to the gravel bar to collect rocks.  I didn't expect that and left my rubber boots at home.  But, I find something pleasant about hiking boots full of water.

the grass is higher too

"He was a newcomer to the land...  The trouble with him was that he was without imagination.  He was quick and alert at the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances."  
Jack London - To Build a Fire

Just something I read over dinner.

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