Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daydreams of the post-season workaholic

It's been five weeks since duck season ended and I'm just out of sorts.

I'm not bored or anything. The day after duck season ends, the spring semester at my university begins, launching an exhausting 16-week rollercoaster of teaching, grading, advising and managing. Pass the barf bucket and let's do it again - wheeeeee!

It's fun, but I miss my connection to the land. Read more...
I'm in San Diego at the moment, attending a national college journalism convention with ten of my students. Tonight we walked to a restaurant one of my students aptly described as "Chuck-E-Cheese for adults" (which means, yes, thank God, there was Maker's Mark), and on the way we passed this lovely little riparian zone nestled underneath a massive freeway interchange near Qualcomm Stadium.

Click on the picture to make the irritating bubble go away.

It smelled ... green. Delightfully fragrant and earthy. There was water. And cattails.

And greenheads.

"Duckies!" I yelled as I brought our entourage to a halt in the middle of a bridge.

"And you wish you had a gun," one of my students said.

"Yes. Yes, as a matter of fact, I wish I did," I said.

Not that I feel the compulsive need to destroy every duck I see. It's just that it would've been so nice to fall blissfully into the familiar embrace of the land, where I can be a simpler version of my harried self. Quiet and focused. Content just to be. Blessed just to watch everything around me.

I watched the two drake mallards toodle around in the water below us for a few moments, then grudgingly restarted our journey toward greasy burgers and bourbon.

But I couldn't stop looking into this little piece of heaven to our left, scanning it for signs of wildlife, thinking about the blind I'd build there in a heartbeat if I didn't have obligations and laws to worry about.

I brought the party to a halt one more time before we reached the restaurant.

"What?" my students asked as I scrutinized the sidewalk.

"Poop!" I said, peering down at what looked like miniature rabbit pellets. I wonder what that came from...

My students rolled their eyes at me and kept walking.

"OK, OK," I said.

I'd get my chance to connect the earth again. It just wouldn't be tonight.

© Holly A. Heyser 2009


Native said...

I do believe that the wilds are a callin' you Holly, and that you just might be your Fathers daughter after all!

Soon, it will be all about looking for your own little slice of heaven somewhere "Off Grid".
If nothing more than just a simple getaway so that the stress factor of city life, can be lowered a notch or two occasionally.

Shewee-gal said...

Go for it Holly, don't deny your feelings. Find a way to get out and do all kinds of things. For me when duck season ends, I go goose hunting. When that ends I go trout fishing. It all feeds your soul and it sounds to me like you are ready for some nature time. My kids understand that juggle my two businesses and take care of all of their needs, mom needs to get out somewhere and hunt or fish. Sometimes it's just for a few hours, but it works every time. This spring I am going to try turkey hunting. Yeeha!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Native, we'd be off-grid now if those greedy Wall Street bastards hadn't plunged us into a depression. We'd planned to buy a farm by now, but ya can't finance a new house when your current one is worth this much less than you owe.

And Shewee Gal, we've got plans. God willing, we'll be goose hunting in five days. And I'm determined to find turkeys too (that season starts with my spring break). And of course I can't wait to go pig hunting again. LOVE PIGS!

Live to Hunt.... said...

Duckies??!!LOL! For some reason you don't strike me as the 'duckies" type of gal. That made me laugh.

I find that everywhere we drive, everywhere we go I am in the same mode as you. Every ditch has a posible rooster, every vernal pool as a possible pair of mallards, every oak woodland has a blacktail. I get it Holly, it is part of you.

Josh said...

Last year I found myself also stuck for work in San Diego. You know what I did? I woke up every morning at 5 am., grabbed my vest and the 8 wt. fly rod I'd brought, and fished at the harbor behind the convention center. Though I only got a couple of strikes from sculpins in the rocks, I did get to see a school of bonito in feeding frenzies after some smaller fish. It was amazing.

oldfatslow said...

If only the retention
ponds were legal....
there's a little spot
at the library where
I could clean up.


SimplyOutdoors said...

We have these retentions ponds near where I work, and I could absolutely clean up on the geese. It's too bad they aren't legal.

It's always hard to get through the off-season time. You'll make it, though. Duck season will be here again for you know it.

And I say that as I wish for turkey season to get here. No season gets here fast enough - I was just trying to give good pep talk:)

Reid Farmer said...

Ha! You need to go with Rebecca O'Connor on her next trip to Memphis, so you can see the mallards that live in the lobby fountain of the Peabody Hotel. Very cool and very appropriate for the heartland of the Central Flyway.

BTW my high school senior prom was there!

NorCal Cazadora said...

That's awesome! Love the red carpet.

gary said...

Thats pretty cool if can get a reprieve from every day life (THE JOB)in downtown San Diego. Gotta find them where they're at!

longbowlass said...

come to salt slough @ san luis refuge this watch some hunting dogs work and for recess check out the elk reserve down the road