Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hunters pass, ten things & sailing Italy

No, it is not Paris. It is Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I did not take this photograph, and have no idea who did or when it was taken, but it is an excellent illustration for another true story in column form. This is the way the woodlands were on a September day, once upon a time, in a place not too distant from there, when ....

Two hunters exchange thoughts ....
Part one of two

It is a warm day for September,
and the maples still hold their leaves,
while I wait, sitting, leaning against a fallen tree.
My vigil has lasted three hours,
and another hour of light remains
until the woodland belongs to itself.

My rifle rests across its own fallen tree
while I wait, eyes closed, listening
for any sound unnatural or new.
I sense movement at my crotch,
and my eyes open, glancing down
to discover what has found me there.

Two mice, babies, roll and wrestle
just as two kittens or two puppies often do
while waiting for time to pass.
I watch them for a moment, then slow
my breath and close my eyes again as I wait
for any sound unnatural or new.

Soft footfalls come on the trail out of sight;
my eyes open; my mice are gone,
no doubt fleeing the trail walker.
Through a tunnel, through the leaves,
I see him now, big, gray, eyes darting,
he listens, then bows his head to drink.

Seconds pass as the wolf drinks, looks,
eyes glancing, head shifting, drinks,
then steps into the midst of the stream.
He lies down, rolls around, stands,
shakes, drinks again, looks behind,
then slips off through the water.

Only my eyes move while I glimpse him,
as he goes his way, continuing his own hunt,
and the sounds return to dusky natural.
Seventeen yards, the distance had been,
so close we were, yet he stopped to drink;
did he not feel my eyes upon him there?

My intrusion to the woodland is not new,
my presence left many places upon the trails;
he must have known of me that autumn day.
He must have smelled the rifle by my hands,
but did not fear, for my mind was open to him,
and clearly he knew my prey was bear that day.

Thank you, writers of the blog ....

Several people I "follow" posted yesterday. As I keep noting, I entered the "sea of blogs" for the purpose of being a reader, not a writer, although now my presence involves both. I began writing as a diversion to winter and for fun. But, the most interesting element about being here, for me, continues being able to read about the thoughts and activities of others. Thank you, to everyone who wrote on Saturday.

The Talented Mr. Ripley ....

When I am home, I generally have three or four televisions running in various rooms. If I happen to pass by one and see something that interests me, I sit down and watch. The question usually is, for how long? Last evening, I happened to walk by "The Talented Mr. Ripley." I watched for maybe 10 minutes. Whether or not I watch the entire movie sometime is not my point, rather, it is this: While I watched, the characters were cruising the coast of Italy in a 30-foot(?) sailboat. Need I say more?

Ten things on my list ....

Here are ten activities I want to do along the way, not in any particular order. There are other things I've listed previously, here are some more: Anyone care to mention their list?

Go to a Rolling Stones concert and throw my girlfriend's bra up onto the stage and start blowing kisses at the band (what the heck, any band will do).

Go to Norway and see Fridtjof Nansen's ship, the Fram (but not for long; I generally do not eat fish).

Go to Germany and swim in the Rhine River (and drink some Rhine wine).

Go to the land of the Rus (Russia; Swedish Vikings) and swim in the Volga River (ok, I'll admit it, drink some real vodka, too).

Go to the island of Tarawa in the Gilbert Atoll of the Pacific Ocean and swim in the lagoon, sleep on the beach and maybe have a dream. (see Marine Corps; World War II.)

Live by the Mediterranean for a year or two (probably southern France; guns, books and vehicles can be stored).

Ride a horse enough so that I actually became comfortable doing it (might take a lot of riding).

Get drunk in Harry's Bar (again) to relive a teenage expectation (again).

Spend a few nights in Missolonghi (or however they spell it these days), Greece.

Canoe "the river of no return" (Salmon River, Idaho; we will put this one toward the last).

Music Note: Listening to Luciano Pavarotti ....
Specifically, "The Ultimate Collection" ....

("Torna a Surriento" .... mellow mood)


Natalie said...

Do not forget to delete Diva's comment!!

I like your story about the wolf encounter. I immediately put myself in your “shoes”, I know I would be terrified, yet I would look for his eyes…
P.S. Sorry to spoil your fantasies, Fram, I am sure that the Rhine River is as muddy as the Danube… Wondered many times, looking at the Danube from the airplane windows, if it was ever blue… Before the WWI??

Fram said...

Yes, I did delete it as she requested, Natalie. I thought it sort of mean spirited. Another decade, and we'll see how old she considers herself to be.

As for wolves, the second encounter, which I'll write about sooner or later, was the one that gave me a start.

As for rivers, what do you suppose most of them look like around here? Some mountain rivers are clear, but even the names of many rivers imply their appearance. Translation of Native American names includes words like yellow medicine, muddy, milky. It is the experience of canoeing them and swimming in them that counts for me, not the clarity of the water.

Katy said...

I love your description of your encounter with the wolf Fram. How lucky you are to have been so close to one. I've only ever seen wolves in the wild once. They were constant (although not close up) companions throughout my 5 days or so in Yellowstone Park. It was magical to go to sleep hearing them.

I like your list of 10 things. I shall have to ponder one of my own. One entry that'd be on it would be to play poker wearing a beautiful ball dress in a proper smoky casino.

Fram said...

The second encounter was much closer, Katy. He came up behind me, and was standing there watching me. Sort of the reverse of this meeting.

I assume James, with his vodka martini, also is seated somewhere at the table, raising the ante.

TheChicGeek said...

I was riveted by your hunting story. That was really great! Do tell us more. The picture is beautiful too. I love to see the colorful leaves.
I think your 10 things to do sound fabulous. I hope you get to experience them all :)
"I discovered romance might yet exist, but it depends upon whether a man and a woman can tread the maze individually, and reach its center at the same moment in time."
Perfect! You are a wise man, Fram :)

Fram said...

I do seem to get along well with wolves and mice, don't I?

I think sometimes I am wise when I should be daring and daring when I should be wise. Another conundrum, if not an actual maze.

Thanks for being here, Kelly.

TheChicGeek said...

Yes, I guess it's the predator in
I believe your conundrum is one we all share.

Fram said...

Or, just maybe, the guardian angel.

Yes, we all do ....

Piper .. said...

I loveee your '10 things to do' list, though the very first one has me a little shaken up! Ahem! I should take this up sometime.. one thing in my list is to get a tattoo and to dance on a bar top! :):)

Fram said...

Be sure to let me know when, and the name of the bar, Piper.

Something special ....