Montana Outdoors

September 14, 2010

Stalking a tree

Filed under: Autumn — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:44 pm

Not far from where I live is a tract of land of 60 acres or so near the river, that no one ever seems to visit other than the wildlife and, well, me. The grass on it is tall, the brush is very thick and thorny, it’s necessary to cross a small stream to get to it and the terrain is more than a bit difficult to travel upon, all of which make it a very pleasant place indeed to explore.

A half mile or so from the edge of this piece of land is a tree that is rapidly changing into its fall wardrobe. I’m sure it didn’t chose to begin its life in that particular location, but it has clearly chosen to thrive there. It was this tree that I chose to stalk this afternoon.

When the stalk began, there were small drops of rain in the air and the general light conditions looked as though they would be quite good for a photo or two of the tree and its new colors. I decided on a direct approach. Until I found that the local beavers had constructed a small dam in the little stream and flooded much of the terrain associated with that approach. After circling around toward the downstream side, I found a place of about fifty feet between their interesting little dam and the river and a small place within it where the stream was fordable for my short hiking boots, and I crossed it and resumed the “direct approach” until nearly in range for a clear shot of the tree.

That was when the sun broke out through the clouds and appeared right behind the tree, causing the stalk to take off on a brand new tack, made hardly any easier by the tall grass and chin-high thistles which hid all of the channels that the beavers dug and so thoughtfully left for other critters to stumble into. The best part of surrounding the tree with my presence as I tried to get into the optimum light conditions was jumping six deer out of their beds at close range and also at least one bear (and he was probably a growly bear too because I’m sure I woke him out of his afternoon sleep).

All of this for a trace of fall colors, some pure white clouds and a bit of blue sky.

Fall color

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