Sunday, November 07, 2010

Bolt Hole Report, November 7, 2010
No Encounters

After cutting off one end of the blanket and sewing it to the other end to make the blanket longer (a Native American explanation of Daylight Savings Time), I went to bed last night with a crystal clear sky. It was still crystal clear at 2 AM EST...and at 3 AM EST. As can surmise, I did not have a good nights rest.

The alarm was set for 6 AM and that's when I got out of bed, stoked the fire, and brewed a pot of coffee. It was just 26 degrees outside and everything was covered in frost. The small frog pond off the front porch had a skim coating of ice on its surface. I was slow to get my hunting clothes on and even slower to get my a$$ out the door, but get out there I did--at 7 AM; well after the "new" sunrise hour of 6:45.

Walking on the frosted leaves was like walking on cornflakes and with almost no breeze blowing, seemed twice as noisy. I noted white rime frost bursting forth from dead, sodden branches elevated above ground. Only those less than six inches in diameter seemed to have lost enough heat during the night to have their water content freeze. And only those branches elevated so as to allow air to circulate freely and completely around them had frozen ribbons of white eminating from them. The ground and branches/tree trunks lying on the ground had not frozen.

I slowly made my way back to the first shelf behind my property on state land to the same place I sat yesterday morning. Again I hung out my three scent bombs and waited.

Only one of the Downy Woodpeckers was working the trees this morning, but even it disappeared around 9 AM. Obviously it was operating on an inner clock keyed to circadian rhythms and paid no heed to the time pieces of man's invention.

As I sat, I could see single strands of spider silk stretching between trees and branches. Obviously not a web-like structure, these were probably used as a mode of transportation. Either the spider would "kite" through the air by emitting a strand of silk until it was long enough to capture a breeze and carry the spider, or the spider would anchor one end to a branch and then swing from the other until a breeze brought it into contact with another branch or tree. Either way, the woods seemed to be filled with them. Much like yesterday's frozen water droplets, the silk strands between me and the sun glittered in sunlight and flickered as the slightest breeze would pluck them like a guitar string.

By 10 AM the sun (the sky was still crystal clear) had stirred the air and a steady breeze was blowing. Since the air had not warmed much (it only got up to 34 degrees at the cabin) that breeze felt mighty chilly. I hunkered down and scanned the surrounding forest. Not seeing a deer, I waited some more.

As things warmed up (slightly) I noticed numerous moths flitting just above ground level. The small (about 3/4 to 1 inch across) off white insects were trying to fly against the ever increasing breeze. They would make a little headway against the still air close to the ground only to be blown backwards if they lofted themselves too high. Occasionally, I would see one darting behind a tree or a fallen log and make some good distance that way only to be blown back to its starting point when it ventured around or above its protective obstacle.

I took out my lunch, ate, and waited some more.

To make a long story a little briefer: as Sergeant Schults of Hogan's Heroes was fond of saying, "I saw nothing."

And so my time hunting in NY ends with a whimper and not a bang.

I'll be packing up tomorrow morning and heading back to PA sometime after lunch.

Oh, rain is in the forecast for Monday afternoon and night and Tuesday morning.

It's bow season down in PA. Has been for a couple of weeks now.

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