The sun rises and a new day begins
It is still very early, and quite comfortable to remain here by the fire. Its flames seduce me as I savor my morning coffee. This morning I have added pure chocolate powder and a hint of cinnamon to my brew. My french press brings out these aromas well, and this produces a very tasteful and pleasant drink. A small hint of honey satisfies my sweet tooth.
Yesterday evening’s meal of rainbow trout, onions, garlic and baked potato with butter was very impressive for an open fire menu, and not bad on the palate as well. The merlot that I make was a welcomed guest, to the party. It has taken a while and a lot of planning to reach this degree of comfort and cuisine in the boreal forest.
Many of my ingredients are cached discreetly or carried with me and by dog pack, as I trample from mountain ridge to riverbank in search of the next great photograph to add to my collection. Living in the wilderness for extended periods of time is a skill that requires time to master.
Living in the wilderness involves a more sophisticated mindset than survival. While survival is the primary instinct here, and a must to master, living is the next level. Living well is a human thing, and comfort is always preferred to struggle.
The birds have started to sing their morning songs and the sun is crawling its way up the backside of the mountain. The sky is clear and most of the stars have left. Only the bright ones remain, and soon they will be gone too. I look forward to the bright sunshine of the new day and he will be welcomed after a long absence.
Today, I will walk in a southerly direction, toward a new marsh that I found last summer. It will be the home of many new birds, as the spring season is quickly approaching. All open water now is full of water birds and their quacking and chatter can be heard from far away. Hopefully, they are there today. There is a lot of forested area around this marsh and it should be possible to capture many good photographs.
On the way there, I must get myself a meal for the evening. The nights are long and dark and preparing a fine meal is a great way to spend this time, deep in thought and quiet comfort. The fine meal is the “living” part, and the meal as food and fuel is the survival factor in this equation. The grouse, the rabbit, and the fish are all competing for this honor. Who will share the evening meal with me remains to be seen. A little mystery always adds to my day.
Wollen socks in my rubber boots are my method of travel today, and their thick, deep lugs will grip the ground well as they keep my feet warm and dry. I inhale deeply. The fresh morning air is a welcome to my lungs and I quicken my pace. This morning I feel well and I will head to the marsh first to see what fine captures I can add to my library of photos.
The dog’s enthusiasm is always a nice site to see as well. No need to get him on board. With patient training and maturity, he is a great addition to my team. His saddle bags carry my water, his food, and a few other items that seem heavier in my pack than on his back. He feels proud and fulfilled and his wagging tail and enthusiastic demeanor are a dead give away.
The trail is easy and clean and I can hear the birds in the distance. The Tundra Swans are always the loudest and I may be able to capture their gestures and posturing if I am careful and lucky. I have spent many hours in the early darkness to position myself well. Sometimes it serves well, and other times, they do not show up. Such is life.
As I near the marsh, I slow down and the dog slows his pace as well. He is behind me, lowering his body close to the ground. His instincts are in full mode. The swans are sounding very loud and I cannot see them yet. They are very close. I feel a nervous feeling in my stomach. I am about to get a great capture.