10 January, 2009

Sunrise ~ Sunset



Woke up this morning and this sunrise greeted me:

We ate a light breakfast of oats'an'eggs, put Nate-dog in his yard, fed and watered the felines, filled Caleb, the road warrior with petrochemicals and headed South for a birthday celebration.

My step-sister, Teryl turns 29 1/2 tomorrow...one...more...time!

It was a grand time. Swedes and Celts and Brits and Cornish/French all gathered for the first good feast since the death of our sister Carrie.

On the way out of Colorado Springs, I snapped a burned out pic of Pikes Peak, rising quickly to 14,500 feet altitude above the high plains.

We came home, rested, went to the grocery and returned home to this sunset:

In my wooly-pated brain, I came to one realization:


When the cold, grey-brown earth lies dead,

Look to the skies, and lights and a beloved's smile.

There reside life's warmth and light.

The earth rests, waiting for the promised Spring.

The pulse of God reclaims the earth,

His breath and spirit calls us home.

07 January, 2009

Israeli Defense Forces

Women of the I.D.F.

The latest military skirmishes between the Hamas terrorist and the I.D.F. has sparked a renewed interest in the Israeli Military....and the women who serve in the defense of the Jewish homeland.

Irish Elk (http://mcns.blogspot.com/) posted some links featuring some of these young women. In turn, that prompted me to do some research on my own.
The following are images from that search which I post without commentary:

05 January, 2009


St. Hubert's Vision

On the first Friday of December, 2008, my partner and I walked into the upper stretches of Sand Creek, south and west of Cheyenne Wells, CO. We spooked a large group of Plains Mule Deer. They took off west up and over a steep rise. It was our first day hunting the late rifle season for our game unit.

We had walked a couple of other long draws, closer to town and glassed along the fence lines between the cut corn and fallow fields. We had seen a few small groups, bu nothing like this! There had to have been 15/18 healthy deer bedded down in the midday warmth.

Mark and I scrabbled up the steep slope to see if the herd had stopped close in. Sometimes mule deer will do just that, giving the nimrod a second shot or at least a second look before they head out at a full run. Not today, no such luck for us. The whole herd was standing at least 5oo+ yards distant. That's a quarter mile. We hiked back to the truck and made plans to revisit the site right after first light Saturday morning.

The next morning, right at sunrise, we drove down and parked in a low swale about a mile from the fence leading to the dry creek. We crept in, keeping low and staying quiet. About 400 yards from the closest tree in the above picture is a ragged line of cottonwoods that more or less define the creek bed. If we had planned it right, the deer would be in the trees, grazing and resting, out of the direct sun.

It looked good. The wind had shifted and was blowing directly out of the west in our faces....That was a blessing.

Mark and I split about 25 yards apart and began to move forward slowly, stopping every 10 yards or so to glass the tree line. Once we reached the first large trees, I spotted the herd we had seen yesterday. I motioned to Mark and pointed. He moved ahead to a low rise of buckbrush and spotted a good size buck. I was behind a fallen cottonwood and could not find a clear shot.

The herd grew nervous. They were all standing and milling about. Mark had to take his shot. He shouldered his elderly Winchester .308 and touched off a round just before I zeroed in on a big doe. With his shot, the herd took off at a dead run and I missed my chance.

Mark did not miss. He dropped the big buck from a standing position, shooting offhand at close to 175 yards. Damn good shot!

We headed down into the dry wash and found his buck. It was a mature 4X4 that must have weighed 200/225 pounds. Mark had put his one shot low behind the shoulder right through the lungs and close to the heart, traumatizing the whole cardio/pulmonary cavity. That deer dropped like the proverbial sack of bricks.

We gutted the big boy where he lay. The bullet had gone completely through the chest cavity and was nowhere to be found. Then we drug the monster over under a friendly willow with a sturdy side branch about 8 1/2 feet off the ground and hung him on a gamble and winched him up to clean and skin him....About two hours later he was hanging fresh in the cooling breeze, field dressed and washed clean.

Big boy...Yep, Mark deserved him. He had been accumulating preference points for four years to draw this license.

We hunted all day Sunday. I did get another good shot. OH WELL!....That is why they call it hunting.


OH, yes.....Who is the St. Hubert person?

St. Hubert was a 8th century French/Flemish bishop. He loved the hunt, particularly the chase of Stags. The myth reads that when his wife died, he devoted his whole life to the hunt. UNTIL....One Good Friday while he was out hunting alone with his dogs and stallion, he was confronted by a huge stag. A brilliant cross burned bright between the stag's shining antlers. He was thrown to his knees from his warhorse and the voice of Christ called him to give up his worldly life and serve God.

Hubert did just that and became a foundational leader in the structure of the Netherlands Catholic Church.

And that, beloved...is the story of the hunter turned saint. My guess is that Hubert still hunted after his conversion. The question arises:

"What prey did Hubert seek after he gave his life to God."