Scoutmaster Musings - Early Morning

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Scoutmaster Musings

Early Morning
morning hiking The sun's just peeking over the horizon for the start of a gorgeous new day. All is quiet in camp except for muffled snoring from some adult tent nearby. No scouts have stirred, no coffee or bacon aroma on the breeze, and no reason to emerge from the warmth and comfort of my sleeping bag. I resist the temptation to roll over and collect another dozen winks before the chaos begins.

Throwing on my fleece and slipping into my camp shoes, I unzip the tent as quietly as possible, which still sounds like an irritated rattlesnake and is sure to wake someone. As I emerge from my safe nylon shelter, the world is fresh and wild before me, unspoiled and unaware of the day ahead. This is the time of day reserved just for me, for me and the wildlife.

Exploring with scouts is one of the most enjoyable ways I can imagine to spend a day, but the style of exploration is different. A dozen or twenty feet clomping through the woods, with or without a handful of voices being exercised, makes for less than ideal wildlife viewing expectations. By the time we would notice them, most animals have long ago fled our invasion. We occasionally encounter a deaf deer or lame rabbit, but that is the rare exception.

Any hope of experiencing the local fauna requires an early rise and solitude. That's why I venture out alone before the camp wakes. I head into the breeze, slow and watchful, with high hopes. My reward may be nothing more than a lost feather on the trail or a set of fresh racoon prints. But, on the other hand, I may catch a trio of turkeys unaware or twin fawns cavorting in a meadow. It's the anticipation and possibility that make the early morning hike such an adventure.

wildlife viewing This morning, I'm not with scouts. I'm on vacation Up North with my wife. But, I still got out early and enjoyed the sunrise before others at Pehrson Lodge were out and about. A short walk through the woods rewarded me with plenty of spider webs across my face, some dew-soaked shins and shoes, and loons, ducks, and heron on the lake.

Now, on with the day ahead to share with everyone. I've had my selfish refreshing time with nature and am ready for the motorboats, fishermen, swimmers, bikers, and the rest of humanity out here, like me, getting away from it all.

Scout On
Posted: 6:58 06-28-2012 867
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