« Game On: Turkey Season 07 Opens! | Main | First Bird of 2007 »

This page has been moved to http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/strut-zone

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Strut Zone at its new location: www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/strut-zone.

Killing Time

Snowman_with_turkey_callsIt's snowing in New York City as I write this and read over some emails from hunters who have already tagged their first bird in sunny Florida. I have to shake my head as I watch the countless flakes dip and dive in the canyons formed by the office buildings. I suppose we each spend our own special way, killing time and filling the hours until turkey season arrives. For those folks in Florida and—in a matter of days—other southern states, the wait is over. For others farther north, like OL contributor, Steve Hickoff in Maine, hunting season is still a ways off.

Hickoff sent me this picture the other day of how him and his daughter shared some time together on a recent snowy day. "Poor guy," I thought as I read over his email. "He is a man afflicted. Can't even make a snowman without obsessing over turkey season."

His rendition of Frosty sported a Team Realtree hat and a diaphragm call for a mouth. Attached at the end of its spindly tree limb arm was a Woods Wise box call. I had to laugh, but then I was reminded of my own obsessive behavior. I'll confess it here:

In the flowerbed beside the walkway that leads to my front door, there are lined three solar-powered lights. Even in summer, when the days are long and sunlight shines for the better part of a day, the lights only offer a soft glow in the dark, primarily because my house faces north and the small solar panels atop each beacon spend most of their time in perpetual shade.

By mid-winter, when darkness dominates the hours and the lights are most needed—they don't shine a bit.

In fact, I had assumed, the rechargeable batteries inside each one had died and would need to be replaced before spring. But then, coming home a few weeks ago in the evening's new darkness, I had to pause as I began to walk up my driveway—from the light closest to the end of our house, the one that gets the most sun during the day, there came a faint glow.

"Well, look at that," I muttered. The frail glow made me smile. It reminded me that the days were getting longer and that soon, very soon, more sunlight, warmer weather and turkey season, yes, that wonderful season, would be upon us.

Each evening when I came home, I noted the light's efforts and observed how it seemed to shine a little brighter, a little more confidently. Soon, the middle light shared the same glow, faint at first and then gradually growing brighter. Finally, while trodding toward my front door last Thursday, after a particularly long day, I stopped—the third and final light in the small flowerbed was alight. I was so overjoyed at the sight (I know, I lead a simple life), I got down on all fours and peered closely at the straining bulb. I then noted that for as late as it was, even the sky still held a trace of sunlight. Spring was practically upon us, even if the bitter temperature declared otherwise.

About that time, my neighbor's daughter stepped from her house and cast a scowl in my direction.

"Drunk!" I'm sure she thought at the sight of me on my hands and knees at the edge of the flowerbed.

I turned my attention back to the bulb, nodded my head in approval and then made the grand entrance into my home where my daughter and dog both joyously tackle me each evening as I struggle across the threshold and into the better part of my day. I knew the sound of laughter in camp and time spent outdoors would be arriving very, very soon and all of the lights would remain shining late into every night. I can't wait.



Great piece Doug.


Thanks Matthew. I appreciate you checking out the Strut Zone.


Doug, Remember me from last year? I sent an e-mail your way a while back. Just thought I'd say "hey". Hey. Have a good season.

Mollie Schmidt Doll

Do you really drink enough that a neighbor's child recognizes the stance?



I have been much more restrained in recent years, but we still have some fun around what we call our "Jersey cottage" in the summer!!! Plus, the daughter referred to is of college age and I have a hunch she is quite familiar with the stance and an occassional practitioner herself. Just a hunch!

Great comment. Thanks for checking in.