Dreams are powerful tools that can help guide anyone to success and happiness. They represent some cherished aspiration, an ultimate ideal of achievement.

The word sylvan refers most directly to a setting associated with the woods. Reflecting on the vigorous life that abounds in sylvan settings is a very powerful force in my life. For me, this word evokes feelings of transcendence, clarity, and unity.

A Sylvan Dream is a dynamic compilation of my life dream. It is an attempt to seek out and document the truth, beauty, and clarity that exists in this world.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Returning Home - Part Three, Old Scary Spots, and New Turkeys Trots

Continuing uphill, I pass into another logged section of forest, choked with slash and briars. I jump from slash pile to slash pile, walking along refuse logs as far as I can in silence, until I either loose my balance or run out of slash. Squirrels that I hadn’t noticed shoot into the trees and chide me from safety after I crash back down onto the leaf-covered forest floor.
At the edge of this logged plot, I return back to forest, and am welcomed by an old ‘NO DUMPING’ sign.

Over years, the maple tree the sign is nailed to has slowly began enveloping the sign as though it were wound from a broken branch. The bark seems to be pouring over the sign in slow motion like thick taffy. Given enough time, it will be gone.
Behind the sign I see an old shack I visited some time ago. I approached slowly, gazing nervously at the large hole going beneath the cabin, from where I heard an alarming noise during high school that sent me running. Having found bear scat this winter, and hearing wolves last week, I felt even more trepidation at approaching this hole.

I stood twenty or so feet away with knife in hand, and snapped a few shots before, shining a light down into the hole. It appeared to be vacant. There were no footprints or animal hair. I walked on, somewhat disappointed.
Following another deer trail from the cabin, I descend another slope, dropping down into another micro-drainage adjacent to the one I had just left. Remarking to myself over the freshness of these prints, I begin to envision walking up on some deer, and then motion up ahead catches my eye. A moment of confusion overcomes me as I see a dark object with a red head and beady black eyes slowly trot away from me behind a fallen log, and I just as quickly realize I walked up on three male turkeys.
I began to trot behind them, skirting fallen logs as much as possible. I followed them for several hundred yards unsure as to how alarmed they really were. Finally I came around a corner within forty yards of them, and their desperation was apparent. Running full out with necks outstretched, they entered another old, eroded springbed full of large rocks, choked with saplings.
I ducked under a few hemlock branches on the edge of the flow, and began hopping anxiously from rock to rock as fast as I could. One gobbler turned towards me, ran a few steps and exploded into flight, and a second did the same a couple seconds later. I picked up my pace to a full out sprint towards the final gobbler, sure it would fly away any moment. The faster I ran, the more nervous it became, zigzagging in confusion through the thick saplings. I was perhaps less than twenty yards from the turkey when it exploded from the ground, wings cracking against the surrounding trees. It looked much larger than I expected in flight.
Silence quickly returned to the forest, until my breathing was all I heard. I smiled at the quaking saplings. Turkeys in the Bald Hills were relatively unheard of growing up, and anyone who claimed they saw some was regarded with considerable skepticism. I felt a little remorse in chasing the turkeys, for they may have broken a few primary flight feathers while taking off in such a tight spot, but the pleasure in knowing they were at least present in these woods again quickly overcame such feelings.
I followed the flight path of the turkeys for a while before turning, back uphill towards the ridge. My feet were growing tired, so it was time for a cold porter back at home.

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