Deer are out in the fields leaving the balsam and browse of their wintering grounds. Toms are out strutting to grab the attention of a hen while Jakes are running in groups trying to muck things up. The geese are flying north and the crows jaunt from here to there. All of the migrating ducks still showing off their breeding colors. Slowly working their way up the thawing rivers and lakes.
Cabin fever has driven you outside a couple times but those low lying caches are quite difficult to find. Some are frozen in a stump, tree hole, or tree crotch. But, now it is time to get out. The poison ivy, stinging nettles and wild hog weed are at bay and the wet rotting leaves have a nice square clump to display.
Down the ditch and into the tree line. Birds are chirping here and there. A familiar Chick-a dee-dee is heard as chick-a-dee’s whirl from tree to tree. Out jumps a mallard and so do you. A fall grouse can be planned for. A spring mallard launching off a puddle in the middle of the woods. That will get you every time.
You roughed out a route but wondered off course. Deterred by a stream, flush yellow with marsh marigolds. A bounty of morel mushrooms along the hill side. Moving along as you’re wishing for some gum. Boy that last wild onion sure was strong! A shed antler left behind for you to find.
It is amazing how far one can see in the spring. Peripherals pick up a dark brown square, just right over there. An old cabin, long deserted. No hint of a trail. That is what plastic containers are for. Coords are taken. Checked them thrice and then twice more. Who will be first to find? It doesn’t matter. As long as the race is close prodding the banter along.
Dusk guides you out. A sense of accomplishment on a time well spent sneaks a smile upon your face. Then you feel it. Pulling over with the dome light on. A ravenous little beast crawling up your leg. You hope there aren’t any more but now you can feel them everywhere. The ride back home could not be to near. How you wish for only a mirror.
The deer and turkeys are vacant from the field today. A large black shape appears near woods line. I am not the only thing out of hibernation this day. Crocuses are up along the road. Every tapped maple, a hanging blue bag or white bucket. I wonder if I will make it to that cache today.