So here I am; it's New Years Eve; I'm decked out in camo and Johnny Cash-black instead of my Sunday best.
My night on the town is really an evening in the woodlot, waiting for the guest of honor to show up. I'll take it any time of the year. Yep, even if that is the date when most other folk are getting all dolled up to exchange the last day of one year for the first day of the next.
At least some of the other guests have arrived, though not the one chosen for the evening's high honor.
A chickadee is worrying the suet block tucked into a wire cage that is hanging from the closest tree not more than a dozen paces from the blind. And when I first arrived I spooked a female downy woodpecker from off the fat-rich suet cake. She'll return shortly as she always does, I tell myself.
As I wait for the guest of honor to arrive I sort out my gear, pulling it from my over-sized L.L. Bean day pack. Exited are binoculars, gloves, a black-colored jacket that will help me blend into the blind's dark interior, face mask, crossbow rail lube, and a few other niblets of deer-hunting necessities.
Oh, yes, one other item. That being, the latest copy of "Guns And Ammo" magazine. Might as well entertain myself until the guest of honor shows up, I think out loud.
Some 20 minutes into the session a buck fox squirrel dives into the main entree: A 50-pound pile of freshly poured shelled field corn. The food pile is laid out a dozen yards from the blind's front door.
About an hour and a few minutes before the end of legal shooting time the woodlot's distinctive features become flat. The decaying daylight is fading what remained of my depth perception. And still the guest of honor is a no-show.
Before 5 p.m. the rain is tap-dancing on the blind which mostly shields me from the impact of the heavy droplets. Off and on the rain would comes, increasing and then tempering to a soft purr befor it roars once more.
It is time to put away the magazine. Light is diminishing to the point where I can't read the publication's type.
This is archery hunting's golden hour; the final moments when a deer can appear from the faded mist of twilight and float effortesly to the bait pile.
I must now reverse the direction of the removed material and restock them back into the day pack. Time is at an end for this evening, this year. The guest of honor once more failed to make an appearance.
So be it, I think, but the invitation remains open. And will be until the party favors are taken down until the next season. Happy New Year everyone; including the guest of honor.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn