View from the 'frew.
I could finally see the deer – two of them. The buck was standing by the shore while the doe dipped its nose into the lake for a drink.
There was so much blue sky it was almost distracting, but I focused.
Three Canada geese flew overhead.
My eyes scanned through the carpet of twigs and branches and golden leaves.
Slowly, the deer took shape when I found the flash of white on their tails.
I was suddenly certain this weekend’s hunt would be successful. I would indeed finish this beautiful jigsaw puzzle of two deer.
November is here – the longest month of all – when many family and friends head out on the annual hunt.
I know I’ll never be a hunter. The closest I’ll come will be setting jigsaw puzzles, as I paw through shapes and colours to create order from chaos.
Jigsaw puzzles ease me away from my favourite month – October – the month of glorious busyness. It’s time to bring in firewood, rake leaves, throw on the storm windows, rustle around the garden and put the boats away for another year.
This past October was especially memorable, from my first ATV trip with friends to the top of the Pakkotina Trail overlooking Golden Lake, to a Blues Night at the Wilno Tavern that just happened to fall on the 20th anniversary of the Tuesday night tradition.
Unlike October, when the Renfrew County landscape glows with majestic colour, dreary old November, with its landscape of dreys and dark skies, drags on. But jigsaw puzzles make it bearable.
And when I need a break from hunting for puzzle pieces, I rummage through my tackle box, dream of ice on the lake and ponder the promise of a new ice fishing season.
The hunt is an important and respected part of my rural heritage, even though I don’t feel the personal urge to fire a gun.
The annual fall harvest is a key economic driver in Renfrew and area; a tradition we should treasure and defend.
The fall hunt is an important part of wildlife management, in the same way logging is an important part of forest management.
Unfortunately, many of our city neighbours are generations removed from their rural roots and don’t always understand country folk. So our elected officials have a special responsibility to be informed and fight for the preservation of sound wildlife and forest management.
To hunt or not to hunt is all about personal choice. And choice is always best because it’s the ultimate declaration of freedom. If we shook our tiresome urge to judge others, we would all be happier.
So although I’m not a hunter, I can put myself in their blaze orange and boots.
I sense the pre-hunt excitement and enjoy the backwoods banter, from hunt camp tales of hits and misses to grocery store observations like the cashier who chuckled, “I don’t know how much they hunt, but they sure do eat.”
Her smile will be missed
In this solemn season, the community marks the passing of a lovely lady. Linda Jackson, a long-time waitress at Finnigan’s Roadhouse in Renfrew, passed away last week. Her friendly manner and quick smile brought joy to so many. In a world where shallow celebrity often trumps substance, she exuded real warmth and displayed a strong work ethic worthy of note.
Sympathy goes out to her family, friends and all who enjoyed her generous spirit.