“Never Been Outdoors!”

Stars sparkled in a moonless heaven. Wool-lined moccasins whisked through the fluffy snow. Years ago an ice storm tipped a good-sized cedar tree to the south, just shy of the ridge crest. I paused there to adjust the four-point scarlet blanket that draped over my left shoulder. The night air was calm, but cold. After… Continue reading “Never Been Outdoors!”

Forting Up

The hand-hewed stair seemed steeper, the uneven steps higher. Progress proved slow, the staircase being narrow and confining. Trepidation marked each moccasined footfall. A knowing silence fell upon the twenty-five souls, each pondering the fort’s fate, and his or hers, too. In a smattering of minutes, sweating humanity packed the blockhouse’s second floor as the… Continue reading Forting Up

North of Laughery Creek

The Laughery Valley tortures flintlocks. The summer heat and high humidity are mostly to blame. The same conditions that foster a gorgeous array of lush spring vegetation humble the flint and steel ignition of my beloved “Old Turkey Feathers.” Spent gunpowder fouls thicker. Black goo forms in the priming pan before the smoky wisps cease… Continue reading North of Laughery Creek

A Thousand Birds

“Old Turkey Feathers’” muzzle parted the prairie grass. A circle of white droppings, not more than a day or two old, stared back. Another roost ring, a few steps to the left betrayed the covey’s habit. My thumb eased the frizzen up, then back down. The prime looked good. With the barrel held high across… Continue reading A Thousand Birds