A day in the woods
by Fred H. Johnston Sr.
It was October 21, 2009 at about 6:55 a.m. and the sun was beginning to rise. I was sitting in my tree stand waiting for a deer to come strolling by and give me a shot with my Mathews Solo Cam Bow. I was very excited. The weather was clear and cool. Then I noticed the woods beginning to wake up. The first was the crows giving their wake-up call. Then squirrels started to rustle around in their nest in a tree next to my stand. They came out and sat on a limb and scratched behind their ears and scampered down the tree. When they hit the ground they started digging for acorns and nuts. One of the squirrels found an acorn and buried it, then patted it with both paws as if to say, “I’ll be back to get you later this winter.” It was a sight to see. The birds started to sing their songs and fly from tree to tree, the cows bellowing off in the distance. Then there was the sound of a lonesome hen turkey’s yelp as she looked for her flock. I noticed a small movement; it was a chipmunk running from end to end of a fallen tree. I heard the crunching of gravel under the tires of a vehicle across the Nottoway River as it moved through Ivey Bluff Fox Pen. Then it hit me, how beautiful all these sounds and fall colors of the tree leaves are—the yellows, gold, oranges, reds and greens all mixed together. It was a beautiful sight! The sun had just risen and was shining over my right shoulder, the colors brighter than ever. Then I heard something running through the woods. I really got excited but it was two squirrels chasing each other, not the deer that I had hoped to see. What a way to spend a great morning. I thanked God for all the beauty that He blessed me with today. I took my phone out and shot a couple of pictures of His work. I didn’t get my shot at a deer, but the beauty of what I did see and hear was worth it.