Ode to the Log. by Glen A. Eberly

close-up-of-a-logby Glen A. Eberly, November, 2006

As I sit on the high bank and watch the log,
Yesteryear floods my mind’s eye.
A tall broad shouldered oak guards the run,
Where the amber clear water of a classic trout stream,
Slides over water soaked remnants of the logging era,
Of six score years ago.

The brilliant brook trout found cover and food in its shade.
The mink burrowed a home for its little ones in its massive roots.
The wood duck nested in hollows high in its ancient stately trunk.
The white tail deer fattened for winter on its mast.
Songbirds and squirrels darted amongst its many branches.
And the regal bald eagle surveyed its domain from its topmost branches.

What mighty tempest brought this lofty giant to rest in the stream?
Reaching out into the flow, as if to regain its life,
From the very waters it guarded for well over a century.
We see no other evidence of that ancient storm,
All signs have faded into history and returned to earth.
The log remains as witness to nature’s slow but steady march.

A section of trunk, the length of a birch bark canoe, angles into the river.
Only the bottom is submerged, the top is home to nature’s rebirth.
Small aspen, tag alder, ferns, and streamside grasses dress its topside.
A perfect blind for the duck hunter to become one with the woods.
Many an early fall morning finds the hunters setting their decoys,
And dissolving into the cover of this ancient log.

Sometimes there is shooting, with and without success.
The calling, the flurry of wings, and the shifting descent of decoying ducks,
Are all etched in the duck hunter’s memory, for recall in the down days of winter,
Or, as they later feast upon the succulent trophies of the hunt.
Other mornings offer only the gift to marvel at the beauty of an Up North sunrise,
Watch the world wake up and God’s creatures busy themselves with life’s demands.

How the hunters enjoy these fading years of the log.
How grand to have a wonderful wild place, to be one with nature.
Will future generations have such magic places?
Where grandfathers, fathers, daughters, sons and all kindred spirits, who love and respect the hunt,
Can find their own logs and make memories for a lifetime.
‘Tis this old hunters simple hope for the future.

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