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Showing posts with the label hunting and gathering

The Process

Hunting.  The natives call it making meat. For me it's a process.  The kill has always been secondary.  For some that's all it is.  Pity.
Years ago, I'd take weeks of vacation to pursue elk.  I often hoped that I wouldn't be successful, just so I could continue the hunt. Hiking, climbing, sitting, waiting.  Alternating between sweating and freezing.  All, part of the process.  Most days I returned to the car with clean fingernails and a light pack.  But I was happy.  I could go out again.
Then I burned out.  I quit hunting.  My rifle was replaced with a fly rod and camera.
I uncased my rifle a couple of weeks ago.  Just out of curiosity.  Was a flame rekindled?  I wondered how I'd react when I saw game?  Better, how would my back respond if I completed the task?  I saw a few elk, some deer.  A buck.  Interesting.  When I got home, I left my gear in the car. A sign.
Two days later I went again.  I saw no game. Got soaked.  Again, the gear stayed in the car.  Well …

A Bag Full of Memories

Hunger motivated a trip to the garage this afternoon. While rummaging around in the freezer I found a bag.   I unzipped it, and out wafted the aroma of early autumn.  Damp and earthy.  A heavenly paradox, considering that we're barely one hundred eighty degrees seasonally from that other equinox.
Flashback to last autumn.  It was late afternoon, we were bumping our way out of the mountains on a dirt and gravel road.  I despise road hunting.  That day I made an exception.  Jo drove slowly, we scanned the road edge for our quarry.
A ha!  There!  And then, a couple more. White.  Egg shaped.   Shaggy mane mushrooms. Finding them is almost like finding presents under the tree at Christmas.
In our neck of the woods they usually appear in early fall, usually after the first rainy or snowy cold snap in September.  Years ago I found some along the Cassiar Highway in Northern British Columbia in late July.  But then, that's cooler, wetter country.
These mushrooms don't last long, e…