.
Requiem at Twilight
All   was   strikingly   calm.     I   meditated   about   my   life   and   the   life   given   for   my   family   table   as   I
washed   after   dressing   my   elk.   Did   the   elk   rollick   as   a   calf   in   the   same   pond   where   I   return
some   of   his   blood?   What   were   his   courting   days   like?   His   children?   His   joys,   hardships   and
misery?   Will   I   be   granted   such   a   graceful   and   beautiful   wilderness   cathedral   requiem?   (My
wife   has   promised   to   sneak   around   the   Forest   Service   so   that   my   ashes   will   nourish   the
meadow - a highly insignificant gift for all I was given during a lifetime of hunting.)
Requiem:    A    Mass,    hymn,    music    or    service    of    remembrance    for    the    dead.       Latin    roots:
“requiess” –“ re” – “quies” (“Rest In Peace”) Night of the Banshees
Boiling   black   clouds   appeared   to   the   north-west   in   late   afternoon.   I   briefly   went   back   to   camp
and   made   sure   all   things   were   stowed,   secure   and   tightened   the   tent   guy   lines.   I   returned   to
my    stand,    but    knew    my    prey    had    sensed    the    approaching    storm    well    before    clouds
appeared. They would be hunkered down in deep timber until the storm ended.
Isolation    roared    in    with    the    night    gale.    I    had    prepared    for    a    superb    night    of    reading,
dreaming,   slumbering   and   reminiscing   as   the   beginning   of   a   four-day   snowstorm   cradled-
rocked   my   comfortable   tent.   I   rejoiced   at   the   pelting   snow,   wailing   winds,   the   creaking   and
groaning   trees,   and   the   snapping   of   the   tent   fabric.   I   was   totally   rich,   wondering   what   the
ignorant,   uninitiated   to   the   wonderful   backcountry,   wealthy   people   in   Denver   were   doing.   I
didn’t   care.   Many   had   more   money,   but   I   had   riches   galore.   One   was   a   previous   noisy   night
on   a   mountain   top   when   I   was   totally   content   and   feeling   secure.   I   knew   this   night   would   add
to my ledger of happiness. What a bright warm morning greeted me!
Banshee:     Gaelic   folklore   phantom   which   is   a   lost   soul   the   shrieking   outside   the   door   when
there is death in a family.
Hunter   note:   Please   see   my   article   on   “infrasounds”   and   you   will   underatand   how   elk   can
hear approaching storms well ahead of their arrival.
Approaching Eternity:
The   Hunters’   Full   Moon   began   to   set   over   a   cold-blue   meadow   of   sparkling,   feathery,   ice
crystallized   grass.   Two   Dali-like   forms   slowly   took   shape   and   leisurely   ambled   out   into   the
emerging   light.   One   will   meet   eternity   –   and   I   will   have   to   make   the   tough   decision   of   who   will
live   and   who   will   die.   I   am   always   reverent   of   my   prey,   realizing   some   unknown   day   I   too   will
be   visited   by   the   hunter   of   all   life.   May   he   too   have   mercy   and   let   me   quickly   enter   my
eternity A Well Earned Sandwich
My   wife   has   been   my   resolute   hunting   buddy   for   fifty   years.   A   true   no-frills   outdoors   person,
she   never   asked   for   more   than   the   adventures   -   the   more,   the   better.   Guess   the   reason   for
the   smile   on   her   face.   Was   it   because   of   her   relaxing   after   we   dressed   her   elk?   Or   was   it
because   her   “old   man”   finally   relented   after   thirty   years   and   made   her   the   first   hot   lunch   of
instant pea soup and a grilled hot sandwich?
Last Men Out
In   2010   four   days   of   snow   turned   our   wilderness   into   a   gorgeous   but   difficult   terrain.   Forty
plus   inches   fell   and   was   wind-smoothed   over   the   high   country   meadows   and   drifted   into
timber.   Thoughtful   nearby   hard   core   hunters   checked   on   me   the   soloist.   On   the   fourth   day,
we   concluded   elk   would   probably   not   return   because   the   deep   snow   would   settle,   crust   over
and    make    grazing    impossible.    (Twelve    to    fourteen    inches    of    snow    generally    makes    elk
permanently move to lower elevations.)
Snow   fell   from   a   cold,   moody   sky   as   each   camp   folded.
More   snow   clouds   appeared   on   the   horizon.   When   the
sun   peeked   out   of   cloud   holes,   it   was   surrounded   by
rainbow   ice   crystal   halos.   The   outfitter   had   pulled   out
his   camps,   so   there   would   be   no   horsepower   rescue
options.   We   decided   to   join   forces   to   drag   out   camps
together   on   plastic   toboggans.   Snow-shoed   Curt   (photo)
came   over   to   pull   one   of   my   toboggans   across   a   long
meadow to the trailhead.
The   high   winds   had   drifted   snow   to   a   level   plain.   With   all
the   years   of   experience   I   erred.   Dumb   Kopf   me   thought   the
exceedingly   fine   weather   before   opening   would   continue,
so   I   left   the   snowshoes   in   the   truck.   The   hidden   logs   and
holes    made    the    normal    ten-minute    trek    across    a    major
meadow   into   an   hour   and   twenty-minute   ordeal.   In   the
photo,   I   stumble   to   my   knees   into   a   low   and   wonder   if   it
could   it   possibly   be   a   deep   elk   wallow?   Well,   I   can   always
dream   of   a   next   year’s   wallow-filled   hunt,   can’t   I?   If   you   are
not   a   dreamer,   you   have   learned   to   become   too   serious   in
old age!
The    hike    out    was    strenuous,    but    yet    strangely    very    exhilarating    –    still    another    new    life
adventure.    The    lead    man    got    a    storm-lingering    bull    along    the    trail.    I    got    a    valley    cow.
Remaining   hunkered   down   meant   my   cardiologist   got   stood   up   for   an   appointment:   she   later
saw   the   evening   TV   news   report   and   wondered   if   I   was   one   of   the   many   missing   hunters
(perhaps   for   good?).   Friend   Rick   survived   spending   the   four   days   in   his   camper   shell   with
seven lost guys. That sounded like hell when I was in Heaven.
Then   it   was   done   -   -     -   the   Flat   Tops   Wilderness   was   sealed   for   the   winter.   We   could   only
imagine   the   beauty   to   come   in     a   paradise   of   snow,   wind,   utter   quiet   and   void   of   all   summer’s
living things.
Wilderness Hunting Photo Essays
© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page
Requiem at Twilight All was strikingly calm. I meditated about my life and the life given for my family table as I washed after dressing my elk. Did the elk rollick as a calf in the same pond where I return some of his blood? What were his courting days like? His children? His joys, hardships and misery? Will I be granted such a graceful and beautiful wilderness cathedral requiem? (My wife has promised to sneak around the Forest Service so that my ashes will nourish the meadow - a highly insignificant gift for all I was given during a lifetime of hunting.) Requiem: A Mass, hymn, music or service of remembrance for the dead. Latin roots: “requiess” –“ re” – “quies” (“Rest In Peace”) Night of the Banshees Boiling black clouds appeared to the north- west in late afternoon. I briefly went back to camp and made sure all things were stowed, secure and tightened the tent guy lines. I returned to my stand, but knew my prey had sensed the approaching storm well before clouds appeared. They would be hunkered down in deep timber until the storm ended. Isolation roared in with the night gale. I had prepared for a superb night of reading, dreaming, slumbering and reminiscing as the beginning of a four-day snowstorm cradled-rocked my comfortable tent. I rejoiced at the pelting snow, wailing winds, the creaking and groaning trees, and the snapping of the tent fabric. I was totally rich, wondering what the ignorant, uninitiated to the wonderful backcountry, wealthy people in Denver were doing. I didn’t care. Many had more money, but I had riches galore. One was a previous noisy night on a mountain top when I was totally content and feeling secure. I knew this night would add to my ledger of happiness. What a bright warm morning greeted me! Banshee: Gaelic folklore phantom which is a lost soul the shrieking outside the door when there is death in a family. Hunter note: Please see my article on “infrasounds” and you will underatand how elk can hear approaching storms well ahead of their arrival. Approaching Eternity:
The   Hunters’   Full   Moon   began   to   set   over   a
cold-blue   meadow   of   sparkling,   feathery,   ice
crystallized   grass.   Two   Dali-like   forms   slowly
took   shape   and   leisurely   ambled   out   into
the   emerging   light.   One   will   meet   eternity  
and   I   will   have   to   make   the   tough   decision
of   who   will   live   and   who   will   die.   I   am   always
reverent      of      my      prey,      realizing      some
unknown    day    I    too    will    be    visited    by    the
hunter   of   all   life.   May   he   too   have   mercy
and let me quickly enter my eternity
A Well Earned
Sandwich My wife has been my resolute hunting buddy for fifty years. A true no-frills outdoors person, she never asked for more than the adventures - the more, the better. Guess the reason for the smile on her face. Was it because of her relaxing after we dressed her elk? Or was it because her “old man” finally relented after thirty years and made her the first hot lunch of instant pea soup and a grilled hot sandwich? Last Men Out In 2010 four days of snow turned our wilderness into a gorgeous but difficult terrain. Forty plus inches fell and was wind- smoothed over the high country meadows and drifted into timber. Thoughtful nearby hard core hunters checked on me the soloist. On the fourth day, we concluded elk would probably not return because the deep snow would settle, crust over and make grazing impossible. (Twelve to fourteen inches of snow generally makes elk permanently move to lower elevations.) Snow fell from a cold, moody sky as each camp folded. More snow clouds appeared on the horizon. When the sun peeked out of cloud holes, it was surrounded by rainbow ice crystal halos. The outfitter had pulled out his camps, so there would be no horsepower rescue options. We decided to join forces to drag out camps together on plastic toboggans. Snow-shoed Curt (photo) came over to pull one of my toboggans across a long meadow to the trailhead. The high winds had drifted snow to a level plain. With all the years of experience I erred. Dumb Kopf me thought the exceedingly fine weather before opening would continue, so I left the snowshoes in the truck. The hidden logs and holes made the normal ten-minute trek across a major meadow into an hour and twenty-minute ordeal. In the photo, I stumble to my knees into a low and wonder if it could it possibly be a deep elk wallow? Well, I can always dream of a next year’s wallow-filled hunt, can’t I? If you are not a dreamer, you have learned to become too serious in old age! The hike out was strenuous, but yet strangely very exhilarating still another new life adventure. The lead man got a storm-lingering bull along the trail. I got a valley cow. Remaining hunkered down meant my cardiologist got stood up for an appointment: she later saw the evening TV news report and wondered if I was one of the many missing hunters (perhaps for good?). Friend Rick survived spending the four days in his camper shell with seven lost guys. That sounded like hell when I was in Heaven. Then it was done - - - the Flat Tops Wilderness was sealed for the winter. We could only imagine the beauty to come in a paradise of snow, wind, utter quiet and void of all summer’s living things.
Wilderness Hunting Photo Essays
© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page.
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