Smoke Signals

Jan/Feb 2012

 

From My Humble Home

http://nafsmokesignals.tripod.com/2012/jan-feb_issue/pictures/dwelling.jpg

http://nafsmokesignals.tripod.com/2012/jan-feb_issue/pictures/howdyo2.jpg

HOWDY DAVIS

Staff Writer

NOTE

Good

Ken "Howdy" Davis                                         

NAF #012 Mountaineer - AMM Hiveranno

 

 

NATURES ENCHANTED FOREST

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN A WITNESS TO THE PRE DAWN, A NIGHT TIME RAINBOW, IMAGINE INSIDE OF A AURORA BOREALIS. THIS IS ONE OF MY ADVENTURE.   IT'S MID SEPTEMBER AND THE ARCHERY SEASON IN PENNSYLVANIA. MY BROTHERS BILLY, TED AND I ARE AT OUR CABIN TUCKED AWAY IN THE BARDCLAY MOUNTAINS OF NORTH WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA. 

ABOUT FOUR IN THE MORNING I VENTURED OUT OF THE CABIN IN THE FREEZING COLD TO FILL THE LARGE COFFEE POT IN A NEAR-BY CREEK. IT HAD RAINED MOST OF THE NIGHT AND THE TEMPERATURE GAUGE READ FIFTEEN BELOW ZERO. EVERYTHING WAS FROZEN. I MADE MY WAY TO THE CREEK AND HAD TO SMASH A HOLE IN THE ICE TO FILL THE POT.   I HAD LEFT THE DOOR TO THE CABIN OPENED WHICH REFLECTED THE LANTERN LIGHT FROM INSIDE WHICH FORMED A GLARE ON THE PATH TO THE CREEK. THE REFLECTION SHOWED EVERY BUSH, ROCK, AND TREE JUST COVERED COMPLETELY WITH A QUARTER INCH OF ICE. ICICLES FORMED ON MOST OF THE BUSHES' AND SMALL TREES, WHICH GAVE NATURE AN ADDED ATTRACTION. I HAD A TORCH WITH ME AND SHINED IT AROUND, EVERY WHERE I HELD IT SHOWED A DIFFERENT BREATH TAKING PICTURE THAT I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE. WALKING WAS NOISY AND WITH MUCH PURPOSE LEST I SLIP AND GO CRASHING TO THE GROUND.

I CALLED TO MY BROTHERS TO COME AND CHECK THIS OUT. AFTER WE MARVELED AT WHAT WE SAW WE HAD A COLD BREAKFAST TOPPED OFF WITH HOT COFFEE. WE EACH HUNTED IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. I STRUNG MY BOW, STRAPPED ON MY QUIVER AND PACK AND HEADED OFF INTO THE FOREST.

  THERE WAS NO MOON, IT'S EXTREMELY DARK, I CAN JUST ABOUT MAKE OUT THE OUTLINE OF TREES IN FRONT OF ME. "BLACK AND BLACKER" ACCOMPANIED BY WEIRD SOUNDS I CAN'T DESCRIBE WHICH GAVE ME AN ERIE UNCLEAR FEELING. MY THOUGHTS ARE ALL AROUND ME AS I TRY MY BEST TO FOLLOW AN OLD FAMILIAR TRAIL. WALKING AS GINGERLY AS I POSSIBLY CAN. THE SOUNDS FROM DEEP IN THE FOREST ARE CREAKING AND MOANING LIKE I NEVER HEARD BEFORE. IM IMAGINING THAT THE FOREST IS TALKING TO ME. I WALK JUST A FEW YARDS AND THEN STOP TO LISTEN. I CAN IMAGINE A UNFRIENDLY WARNING. MY IMAGINATION IS RUNNING WILD, CAUSING A GREAT DEAL OF EXCITEMENT.

  PRE-DAWN IS THE DARKEST TIME OF NIGHT. BLACKER THAN MIDNIGHT, NO MOON, NO VISIBLE STARS AND ALL OF A SUDDEN A MOMENT OF UNBELIEVABLE SILENCE. I DONíT BELIEVE THAT IT'S THE END OF NIGHT OR THE BEGINNING OF DAY. IM STANDING STILL FOR THE MOMENT AND CANT EVEN SEE MY BOW THAT I AM WAVING IN FRONT OF ME. THE HAIR ON THE BACK OF MY NECK IS STANDING UP AND ALL MY ATTENTION IS IMAGINING A BLACK HOLE. ALL OF A SUDDEN MY BODY FEELS A CHILL AS IN THE DISTANCE A LARGE TREE LIMB BREAKS AND CRASHES TO THE GROUND. THE ICE THAT HAD CLUNG TO IT BREAKS FREE AND SHATTERS MAKING A SOUND LIKE BREAKING GLASS. I CAN MAKE OUT THE SOUND OF WHAT I BELIEVE IS RUNNING DEER CRASHING THROUGH THE LOW BRUSH MAKING AN UNNATURAL SOUND. I WONDER ABOUT THESE STRANGE SOUNDS. MY SPIRIT IS SO ALIVE. MY HEART IS RACING IN ANTICIPATION OF WHAT MIGHT BE NEXT. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE LIKE HUNTING IN AN ENCHANTED FOREST.

  I'M BEGINNING TO SEE LIGHT APPEARING AND ANOTHER WORLD COMING INTO VIEW. THE TREES LOOKING LIKE THEY ARE COVERED IN CRYSTAL FROM THE ICE. ONE THAT MOST PEOPLE WILL NEVER HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE. I'M WONDERING WHERE MY BROTHERS ARE AND IF THEY ARE EXPERIENCING ALL THIS. A SIGN OF WINTER AS IT BEGINS TO SNOW. IM NOW MOVING THROUGH A SOMEWHAT SWAMPY AREA THAT I FIND ALL FROZEN OVER AND CONTINUES TO GIVE OFF A CRUNCHING AND DEEP CRACKING SOUND AS I TRY TO STEP AS CAUTIOUSLY AS I CAN. I FIND MYSELF TESTING THE ICE BEFORE I TRY AND CROSS KNOWING THAT SOME OF THESE SMALL STREAMS ARE DEEP.

  I HAVE ALWAYS SEEN THE DEAD OF WINTER AS A SYMBOL OF LIFE AND A TOKEN OF GOOD THINGS TO COME. HOWEVER THIS IS MID SEPTEMBER AND WHAT I NOW BELIEVE IS THE MAKING OF A LONG COLD WINTER. I REALIZE THAT IM ONLY A VISITOR IN THIS PLACE AND NOT REALLY ACCEPTED, BUT FEARED AND SOMETIMES I'M THE MAIN ATTRACTION TO ALL THOSE WHO LIVE HEAR. CURIOSITY. THERE SHOULD BE NO LIMITS TO EXPLORING NATURES WORLD.

  THE FIRST LIGHT IS APPEARING THROUGH THE DENSE HARDWOOD FOREST WHICH IS NOW ABSENT OF ANY WIND. I'M NOW ALLOWED TO TAKE IN AN ALTOGETHER NEW PICTURE OF THE FALLING SNOW WHICH HAS STARTED TO ACCUMULATE AND QUIETING MY FOOT STEPS. IT'S NOW THE LIGHT OF A NEW DAWN. THE SUN CAUSING THE ICE ON THE TREES TO SHINE IN ASTOUNDING COLORS CAUSING LIGHT BEAMS IN ALL DIRECTIONS. AGAIN I HAD TO STOP AND TAKE IT ALL IN.

  I REACHED THE SPOT WHERE I HAD A STAND OF TREES WITH A LARGE ROCK IN THE CENTER. USING A TREE FOR LEVERAGE I MANAGED TO GET MYSELF ELEVATED. I HAD A LARGE TREE THAT I USED TO LEAN AGAINST. WITH THE ICE ALL OVER THE ROCK I USED A PIECE OF ROPE TO SECURE MYSELF. I STOOD MOTIONLESS MY EYES FIXED TOWARDS THE EAST WATCHING THE SUN RISE EVER SO SLOWLY. I WAS MESMERIZED BY THE BEAUTY OF THE CHANGING PICTURE OF THE FALLING SNOW, THE ICE NOW LOOSENING IT'S GRIP ON THE TREES AND CRASHING TO THE GROUND. WITHIN MOMENTS THE SNOW STOPPED AND A BRISK WIND BEGAN OUT OF THE NORTH. THE SUN WAS SLOWLY CLIMBING HIGHER AND THE WIND BECAME STRONGER. THE ICE THAT WAS CLINGING TO THE TREES STARTED TO LOSE IT'S GRIP AND BECOMING AIR BORNE. IT WAS CRASHING ALL AROUND ME. I IMAGINED BEING INSIDE OF A AURORA BOREALIS I WAS BEING PELTED AND WAS FORCED TO CROUCH DOWN AND SHIELD MYSELF WITH THE TREES AS BEST I COULD. I DIDNíT WANT TO MISS A BIT OF THIS AS I STRUGGLED TO PEER OUT BETWEEN THE FINGERS OF MY GLOVES. ALL OF A SUDDEN IT STOPPED. AS QUICK AS IT CAME IT STOPPED. EXCEPT FOR THE ICE CONTINUING TO LET LOOSE FROM THE TREES AND CRASH TO THE GROUND, LIKE HUNDREDS OF WINDOWS BEING SMASHED AT ONCE.

  AFTER A SHORT TIME IT WAS BACK TO SEMI QUIET. I CANT IMAGINE ANY DEER MOVING AROUND AFTER THAT. I COULDNíT BELIEVE WHAT I JUST WITNESSED. WHAT EVER WAS THAT. I FELT SO FORTUNATE TO HAVING EXPERIENCED THIS. I ONLY HOPED MY BROTHERS SAW THIS . I FELT THAT MOTHER NATURE HAD PUT THIS SHOW ON JUST FOR ME. A SHORT TIME LATER I HEARD A SOUND BEHIND ME AND AS I LOOKED AROUND I COULD SEE MY BROTHER TEDDY MAKING HIS WAS TOWARDS ME. HE CLIMBED UP ONTO THE ROCK AND KNELT LOOKING UP AT ME WITH A PUZZLED LOOK ON HIS FACE AND SAID. "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT" HE ASKED IF I HAD SEEN THE BLACK RAINBOW. I HAD TO ADMIT THAT I DIDNíT NOTICE. HE EXPLAINED THAT IT HAD TO BE A RAINBOW AND IT WAS THREE DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLACK AND SOME GREY ALONGSIDE THE BLACK. I COULD IMAGINE IT. IN LATER YEARS I HAD HEARD OF PEOPLE SEEING THESE NIGHT RAINBOWS MOSTLY IN THE NORTHERN STATES.

  LATER WE ALL SAT AROUND TELLING OUR INDIVIDUAL STORIES OF WHAT WE EACH SAW. ONLY IF YOU WERE CRAZY ENOUGH TO VENTURE OUT IN SUCH WEATHER WOULD YOU EVER EXPERIENCE SOMETHING OF THIS MAGNITUDE.

                 

..

Page 10  

This website may not be reproduced in part or in whole without the written permission of the North American Frontiersmen. All Rights Reserved, Copyrighted 2005-2012.