Pondering, Photographing, and Writing about Wild Places

Twas the Morn Before Christmas

Twas the morn before Christmas and all through the trees
two creatures were stirring—a gray squirrel and me
He stared from his hole way up in the trunk

and I stared right back at him, wondering what he thunk

The forest was quiet aside from us two

all the animals were hiding or still in a snooze
Then squirrel pulled inside, then he poked out his head

I moved not a muscle pointing camera’s long lens

Then out with a flurry he scampered on down

to a leaf-littered floor where he ran with great sound

And life burst through the forest, his permission now given

kinglets and titmice each offered good morning 

As the sun burst through branches, we were all now awake

time to forage and hunt, time to drink from the lake

A kingfisher cackled as he flew overhead

“Time to catch the fishes” I imagine he said

A red-tailed hawk screamed at a mouse on the ground
Thinking maybe her breakfast had just now been found
I watched white-tailed deer – a doe and a buck
walk by on a trail, and I wished them good luck
My rifle sat cool, propped up in my stand
This morning my camera was grasped by my hand

As the day came a-creeping, two more deer came near
One stomped and then snorted, but showed little fear
Meanwhile the squirrel was busy collecting
Oak leaves for his hole – warm bedding for nesting
Each time he came out, he gave me a glance
and a glance came right back from the animal in pants
But in spite of my wardrobe, I felt right at home
perched in my tree like an oddly placed gnome
And we all got along, we all did our thing
whether eating, or hiding, or photographing
‘Twas Christmas eve morning, but the forest missed this

for we animals were pagans, observing the solstice


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