Plummer’s Hollow hunting report

Our near-neighbor, the poet Todd Davis (whose work has appeared here in the past) included the following in an email on Saturday night. I thought it might be of general interest, especially for fans of meditation. —Dave

pileated woodpeckers on a dead tree

Still no deer. But another beautiful day in the woods. As you know, it snowed Friday night until about three in the morning. When I walked in at 5:45 a.m., the woods were striped in white and there was no need for a headlight: the snow on the ground was catching the light from the sliver of moon, making my path easy.

My blind was crushed to the ground by the weight of the snow. It’s a temporary blind, a tent essentially. I had to pull it back up, knock snow and ice from it, and make all kinds of ridiculous noise.

I had deer around me four different times today, but none afforded me a safe and merciful shot. Thus no deer. The ravens were quiet today, but the crows took up the chorus. I had a dead black cherry near and a pileated would knock on it every so often, asking me to open the door of my senses, stop me from day-dreaming or drowsing from lack of sleep.

I walked out at 5:30 p.m. The moon was back up and, without wind, all was silent, except for the railroad tracks in the valley. While my freezer and family may mourn no meat, it was still a day well spent.

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Todd Davis (webpage) teaches creative writing, environmental studies, and American literature at Penn State University’s Altoona College. He is the author of three books of poetry - The Least of These (Michigan State University Press, 2010), Some Heaven (Michigan State University Press, 2007) and Ripe (Bottom Dog Press, 2002) - one chapbook, Household of Water, Moon, and Snow: The Thoreau Poems (Seven Kitchens Press, 2010), and co-editor of the anthology, Making Poems: 40 Poems with Commentary by the Poets (State University of New York Press, 2010). His poems have been featured on the radio by Garrison Keillor on "The Writer’s Almanac" and by Marion Roach on "The Naturalist’s Datebook," as well as by Ted Kooser in his syndicated newspaper column "American Life in Poetry." In addition to his creative work, Davis is the author or editor of six scholarly books, including Kurt Vonnegut’s Crusade, or How a Postmodern Harlequin Preached a New Kind of Humanism (State University of New York Press, 2006) and Mapping the Ethical Turn: A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory (University Press of Virginia, 2001). His latest book is an edited collection of creative nonfiction by poets writing about basketball.

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