The sun rises higher over the hedgerows, bathing the frosty cornfield in golden rays. Softened by the morning mists, it yet creates sparkling wonder wherever an ice-rimmed leaf turns toward its light.
I abandon the 50cal. muzzle-loader, resisting the impulse to turn it upwards and obliterate the ruin-er of my hunting. Instead I reach for my side arm, with a 55mm barrel, aim, and fire several shots in rapid succession. I hit every time but he did not die. He is still very much alive and well, and waiting to warn the deer away tomorrow morning. But all the same I have captured him and put him where he can never escape, for all the world to see, and for all the world to call him on his deeds or rejoice with him in his impunity.
You may have guessed by now.
A gray squirrel.
Don't let his innocent look fool you.
Acknowledging the little critter king of the hedgerow, I step out into the sunshine an start on a new hunt: for the abnormal, the little- seen, the seldom-pondered. The air is invigorating, the birds singing, the Nikon DX 18-55mm Nikkor auto-focus lens is a joy to use.
I come into the house, slide the memory card into the reader connected to my laptop, and promptly delete all but 17 images of the 50 or so I took.
And now as I sit here in front of the wood stove, a steaming cup of coffee and the smell of frying eggs and pepperoni slices keeping me company, it is my prayer that as you view these photos, your hearts will join mine in thankfulness to the Father who created all things beautiful and good, and the Son who died that we could truly enjoy it all.