Vail Daily letter: A song on the wind
Edwards, CO Colorado
It is one of those spectacular afternoons we are familiar with here in the valley, and although the sun is just beginning to wane, there is still a smooth, seamless blue sky and enough warmth left in the day to take my dog, Boden, for a walk. We are up near BellyAche ridge, and from there, I can see the inspiring, sugar-coated crags of the Gore Range reaching up like many outstretched hands to scratch the sky.
The sun accompanies me on this walk, dodging in and out of the trees, alternating between blinding me and leaving me in the shadows. The aspens are mostly naked now, their gold fleeces scattered around their feet. And up here, the pines are green, mostly untouched by the pine beetle, silent partners in this autumn dance.
The air feels crisp and clean and refreshingly cool, and I am feeling so thankful that at this moment, I am here to drink this in and marvel at this place where I live.
Suddenly, the afternoon quiet and my reverie is broken by a loud bull elk call. It is clear and resounding and mesmerizing all at once. It begins as a perfect note – a soft, high e-e-e-e, then E-E-E-E-o-o-o-o-o, resonating like no other horn, shearing the silence, splitting the crisp air. It sounds so close and yet, studying the treeline, I cannot see him, though he must be there. Boden is peering, too, curious and interested. But he seems awed by the clarion call and content to listen.
It occurs to me that the beauty here is not only of the visual and olfactory senses – of spectacular landscapes and wildflowers – but also floats as a song on the wind.
And then I think of that picture I saw in the Vail Daily a few weeks ago of a large, dead elk, juxtaposed next to a bow hunter. And I understand that I will never fathom why anyone takes pride or pleasure in shooting an arrow at its heart.
Boden and I search the forest.
What cruel nonsense, hunting.