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Author Topic: That Special Spot by Bill “Mac” McCawley  (Read 631 times)

Offline Terry_Green

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That Special Spot by Bill “Mac” McCawley
« on: April 05, 2004, 07:54:00 PM »
That Special Spot

by Bill “Mac” McCawley, aka Walkingstick


The winter winds blow hard and the snow glistens from it’s glazed surface as the remaining loose snows swirl in dust devil like cones, darting here and there as they move across the woodland openings. The sunlight makes snow crystals and frost on tree branches glisten and sparkle.

   

I am walking the trails on the ridge far behind my home, bow in hand and stopping from time to time to keep surveying the movement patterns of the deer in this area. I have been studying their winter patterns to see how they relate to their fall patterns and to see if there are any lessons to be learned here. I have been marking runways and bedding areas on my GPS that are in use during the winter season and transposing them to topographic maps of the area. I have always been curious as to the many deer trails etched into the landscape over years of constant use and searching for the answer why the runways are where they are. I have always stood in wonderment as a foot of new snow will covered every available mark in the forest floor, making one area look just like any other, yet the deer soon will be walking on the very same trails. Why is not deer movement a random event in the woodlands? What factor or combination of factors makes them open and use those very same runways? I ponder these questions.

And from time to time I stop to fling and arrow at an imaginary monster buck or bull elk or even an occasional wild boar, making my trudge through the snow more bearable even though it costs me an occasional arrow or two. A few squirrels are out and about. Tracks of browsing and bedding deer and predators such as fox and coyote are evident along the trails. A porcupine has also passed through this area. As I near the highest point on this ridge my mind identifies many of the ever-familiar landmarks and I am now being drawn to the spot.

I have walked this way many times before and always seem drawn to this spot. In spring when the leaves are bursting forth from their buds I have wandered into this area in search of wild turkey with my bow. I have marveled at the variety of spring flora and fauna that can be found while visiting here.

 

Trillium, May apple, blue bells, wood sorrel, hosts of Mayflowers, mosses and ferns carpet the floor. I have harvested turkey in this general area many times before. I have listened to owls saluting the end of night as the choruses of songbirds and mourning doves hail the morning light.  I have heard the grouse drum and the coyote howl from this spot.

In summer it has drawn me in to watch a pair of fawns racing with their newfound legs as mother stands vigil nearby. A turkey hen brings her brood to search for insects or to dust on the few, open, dry areas to be found. I have watched a black bear with her cubs cross this area searching for blueberries and blackberries in season.  

 

I have smelled the odor of blossoming mountain laurel as it fills the forest with its gentle fragrance.  I have been caught here in thunderstorms and watched lightning bolts reach for the treetops.  I have seen summer downpours come as walls of water followed by misty clouds of vapor and fog that lift from the forest floor afterwards, sometimes followed by a rainbow. I have witnessed many wonders while visiting this spot.

Fall has an attraction all its own to this spot, as the white tailed deer season for archery will be in full swing. The amber grasses and multicolored forest trees will signal the coming of another winter. Close by I will hang a few tree stands and spend many hours watching trails through the area but from time to time I will walk to the spot for moment or two.

What is so special about this spot? It is not the best hunting area on this mountaintop, but it is above average. The very fact that this is my spot makes it special. I found it. I claim it. I choose who can and who can’t visit this spot with me. It is a very, very, special spot for from here I see a view that most folks will never witness. I see most of the valley below in its entirety from here. I am on one of the highest peaks in the area and from here I sometimes dream of being a young Indian brave, capping the ridge and looking out over the new territory I will hunt and roam. I see distant mountaintops hidden behind other distant mountaintops and I see for many, many miles. I feel I can reach up and touch the clouds.
 
 

The most important reason this is my spot is the inner peace I find when sitting here and meditating. If I have a bad day at work, a pressing problem or any other of life’s trials that require deep thought I head for this spot. It is the spot I come to talk to God and I somehow know that by what I see he is ever present.  I am like iron to a magnet whenever I am near.

On this winter day I have stopped to look out upon His wonders not even considering the wind chill or the cold. My mind is cleansed and my soul refreshed. I am up and on my way back in the general direction I came. There is a new bounce to my step. My arrows seem to glide to their mark more easily. There will be more days like this and if I am at all close by I will visit this spot again. I am abundantly blessed to have found it.

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