August falls away now, slowly, browned to crunch, fading, dying. A long hot summer clings but this morning, cool and smelling of hay put up and chlorophyll draining from leaf. Too cool for coffee on the front deck before sunrise. Even in a sweatshirt. Too chilly, but you sit out there for a bit anyway, forcing yourself to toughen up, newspaper at hand, coffee steaming and warming your mitts and all four bird dogs squirming, panting. One probably is too old for this season, now only three weeks away. He lies on the deck now licking balls that are no longer there. He barks at nothing and dreams pheasant dreams.
August fades and slips. The next-to-best-month next to the best month. The month you want to go and stay. The month of 31 days too long and too short. Hoppers and hot afternoons, fish with lock-jaw and deep in the last holes that have been left to them. Cool mornings and PMDs scattered. Baby everything coming on, growing. Whitetail bucks with velveted antlers so large you think they are trophies . . . until you think of the mass of velvet. Frantic bow shooting, tuning. Pinching fat at your flanks, wondering if you are in shape to heft a hindquarter onto your back or at least onto a horse’s. And the dogs, barking, bored, ready. The old boy will stay home but there’ are three others. The youngest is lame, a sprain of some sort. Fine time. Wood lies in long blocks at the mouth of the wood shed, ready for saw and axe. Ten tons of hay in the barn. A list of chores too long and a vow to have them done before September One. Won’t happen.
Cool this morning and your thoughts . . . . A week ago, a young herd of pheasants on the road to Willow Creek Cafe. Reports of baby Huns barely able to fly up on the bench road. Yesterday’s grouse on the trail up Specimen. Cool this morning. Cool.
Get here already.