Ticking Time

a forest of aspen trees with their white bark rising up from a field of tan colored dried out tall grass

You don’t need a time keeper in Nature. The sky, the trees, the bugs, the animals, they keep the time. All you need to do is look to them.

Have the bucks dropped down below 10,000 feet? Must be nearly October.

Have the grasses and plants gone brittle? It’s September.

Does the moose have a calf with her? If temperatures have been warming, it’s spring.

Are the deer out feeding right now? It’s within an hour of sunrise or sunset.

If you tune into the clock of Nature, you’ll invariably see how it far outweighs any time keeping you do in your day-to-day life.

If you want to see the autumn colors, hunt the animal, gather the nettle, you have to do it on Nature’s clock. Should you not, you will have missed your opportunity and it will be a year – a whole year – before you get another crack at it.

Time is ticking on the autumnal adventures in Nature. Mornings already come complete with frost on the ground. Very soon, the snow will arrive. That means it’s nearly the end of my season with the deer and elk.

I’ve enjoyed a settling in with Nature this year. Being present to watch young deer play with each other. Squatting down beside an aspen and smelling the unmistakable musk of elk. Crawling through tall grass to close in on a deer…sadly that one was thwarted by a surprise guest to the party – a hiker passing through who was completely unaware of both the deer and myself. He nonetheless spoiled our rendezvous.

Three aspen trees in the foreground with a space just big enough between two of them to let the sunlight come through
Light streams through the aspens
Image of a person outlined on the horizon of a hill covered in yellow tall grass that the camera is angled to look up at. The person is carrying a bow.
Making the hike back to camp after the sun has set.
My phone doesn’t do it justice. The moon was big and hung heavy and low in the sky, waxing out of its New Moon darkness just a few nights earlier
The aspens had a rough go water and wind-wise this year and dropped their leaves early. The week prior, these already brittle leaves clung to their branches for one last moment, and by this week, they’d let go.
I really like the country we’re hunting lately.
The terrain is lovely, the sign is abundant, and the musk of elk clings to some of these aspens.
It’s amazing what walks by when you’re out there long enough. This moose took a meander through the meadow while we stood 50 yards away.

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