But beneath all the languishing, the doldrums of late winter, something small and quiet is ruminating in the dark corners of our periphery, fleeting and just out of our grasp, but something we know will soon be here. Spring, sweet spring and the promise it brings for another season under the sun. All these idle hours leave ample time for building castles in the clouds, and mine is as lofty as they come. And it all starts with spring.
Sheds: find them, both at home and on some new properties that will also require some reconnaissance, research, and repair. Boat: remodel it. She has passed the initial float test, but we have a long row to hoe before she is standing tall. Turkeys: call, deceive, shoot, and recover at least one, and hunt every weekend like I'm getting paid for it. Food plots: the goal for this year is to plant four four, three primary and one micro. It's time to experiment and pull those deer to my farm instead of watching them pass by. Bass: catch as many as humanly possible, and put in some miles to fish a few new locations outside my comfort zone. Trail cams: buy more, always more. I want to watch some velvet grow.
Amid all the spring must-dos are some hope-tos as well. I dream of cooking a meal that is 100% hunted, grown, or gathered by me, maybe on an open grill, or even over a campfire with a side of mosquito bites. I want to sit on a bank somewhere, listening to spring peepers well past the hour respectable people retire to bed. I hope to find the rest of my missing arrows while out searching for spring mushrooms, one more so than others--the one that should be nestled in ribs picked clean by predators and attached to the pretty basket rack of my missing buck.
I thought the last year was my season of firsts, and everything else would quickly become old hat. However, now I realize the firsts will never end; this year will bring a new bow, new ground, new friendships, new hunts, new hobbies (bowfishing, anyone?), and new adventures. While these winter doldrums have me aching to flip the calendar one more page, I have to admit that perhaps Steinbeck knew what he was talking about; "What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness!"