The Rare Days

They are almost here. Moving toward us on a breath of air, warm with summer but every now and then, fringed with a coolness that’s new. The crisp leaves blow across the grass. The truck sits in the driveway, waiting like a mechanical dog, to carry the load, to go wherever I point it. To get muddied up.

Waders hang in the garage. An empty man waiting, to be brought back to life by that first soak of the new season. A box of shells sits on the workbench, a neat platoon of 25 soon to be disbanded; one for the breech, two in reserve. A cart, well past its prime and rusted, gets a shot of grease at the hubs and vows to carry on.

Yes, they are almost here. Those days of outdoor enterprise.

Phone calls and emails tell you they’re on their way. On a stream of scouting reports. Rumors. Plans. All the wishful thinking and conjecture soon to give way to opening day realities. Wind. Weather. Water here but not there. Seasoned with the fickleness of waterfowl. And the luck of the draw.

On those days, strategies will be birthed in the glow of headlamps, on worn torn refuge maps. There will be the smack splashes of plastic ducks tossed out onto dark waters. We’ll wait impatiently for watches to say six thirteen…fourteen…fifteen. Our faces and barrels will poke through the arrow weed as silhouettes turn to plumage in the morning sun. All worries will be purged from our minds by the rising heat, sweated out, reduced to a stain on the rim of our caps. All thoughts of work will be lost to the stillness and then, to the sudden fury of the short, sweet stay of a duck in our line of fire.

Oh man, they are almost here, those rich days. Those few days, out of a hundred days, out of three hundred and sixty five days. Those rare days.

What will they bring us this season? What first-time things? What last-time things? We’ll take notes. And pictures. We’ll take the days home with us and keep them. Because you never know when you’ll get more like them.

We’ll remember those days!

And we’ll take a moment to say to our friends it’s good to be here with you. On these great days. The hunting days. The rare days.

~ by SpeakingZenaphorically on October 15, 2008.

3 Responses to “The Rare Days”

  1. Hey Niel,

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog articles! My name is Kris Anderson and I just started my own online knife business that I am running out of my apartment. I was wondering if you would be so kind to place a link on your blog. In return I will give you a coupon for 50% off 1 knife on my site. I’m just getting this started and I would really appreciate your help. The website is I’m looking forward to your reply, thank you.

    Kris Anderson
    Knives Infinity

  2. Rare indeed are those days. I feel the pain of not being out there.
    So few are those days in there year, and fewer still are the days I can actually escape my work and family responsibilities. But I like to dream of what might be this season.

  3. We have never met, but looking at the pictures, I think I have seen you at wister a few times. My lab and I hunt alone, always have. Although my wife tells me to take pictures, I prefer to leave the memories to myself. I live, eat,sleep waterfowl hunting. I too get frustrated with all the refuge hunting. It is not the place, but the people. Based on some of your stories, you have the type of values this sport really needs. Good luck in the field this year.

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