Can We Hear © Rolly A. Chabot

Rollys Fireside Chat

Welcome 

The anticipation of spring in the air is so very inviting and yet she still has a bite in the air but nothing I can not handle I was wearing cutoffs on a trip to the local hardware store. My goodness you would think I was breaking some sort of law by the questions and comments. Even working in the backyard I had people calling over the fence as to my apparel.

For me it was like everyone else was overdressed. After spending the winter fully clothed with gloves, hat and parka.

I have been dabbing a little with poetry in my spare time. I have decided to drop this one in here and see what you the experts think… Please do comment and feel free to express your views… Thanking you in advance and of course the hugs are always present should you care to grab a few…

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Serene Settings 

We all love it I think, I know I certainly do. We are living in an ever increasing noisy world. For some silence is a new and maybe frightening thing. I had a neighbour in the city who always had something creating sound, stereo, television or radio. It was a constant low thumping sound that would run constantly, even while they slept.

I have watched as parents place white noise machine near babies while they sleep. It may be part of the cause or reasoning for the need to be continually stimulated. Several years ago I had just arrived at what I thought was a secluded spot back in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta for a day of peace and quiet. No sooner had I settled in off in the far distance I could hear the sound of far distant music. 20 minutes later 6 young people arrived with a boombox and the noise and the language eventually drove me away. I went back the following day and ended up carrying a full garbage bag out with me. Not only was the sound of silence broken but the pristine local violated.

So I penned this as a way to speak my thoughts… I understand we all have rights and privileges and I do hope my simple words offend do not offend….   Hugs again.

Can we Hear

Listen to the sound

From all around

It is quiet yet loud

Covered in shroud.

 

It is called silence

 

We close it out

With noise all about

We have trouble hearing

Our noise is so searing.

 

It is noise

 

To sit on the hillside

And watch the hawk glide

We miss far too much

We have lost touch.

 

It is called silence

 

The car that just passes

And fills air with gasses

With bass thumping for blocks

May cause our buildings to rock.

 

It is called noise

 

Man comes and goes

While Aura Borealis gives a show

It’s beauty and splendor

To all who are tender?

 

It is called silence

 

Silence is golden

For those who are holding

To the timeless gift of beauty

Grasp hold of her, it is our duty.

 

It is called Love

 

© Rolly A. Chabot

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Nature Provides

Rollys Fireside Chat

Welcome 

It is such a pleasure to sit outside this morning, coffee close at hand. Quigley roaming over the still brown grass. The last signs of snow slowly melting away. Mrs Robin singing of her delight at what is soon coming. The winter has not been a hard one by any means but it has been long it seems. The first snow appeared in mid October and here we are the end of March and people are beginning to appreciate leaving their bulky coats indoors, walking, riding, jogging or simply walking hand in hand enjoying a new awakening.

I have been asked many times by readers of the books I have penned and on various writing sites if I have ever hunted. I certainly have as it was a mainstay of living in the north where beef was far to expensive. Hunting and caring for meat as a food source became a part of life.

Please gather around and follow along as I write of the methods of caring for the game a hunter takes. Maybe not the most pleasant subject on such a beautiful morning. I do hope you find this interesting as it has been going on for many generations. In my opinion it is part of life. Pull up a chair and gather around. Allow the sun to warm you… hugs are always a part of any Fireside Chat.

Moose or Latin Alces alces

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Today let me introduce you to the most common of hunted animals in Northern Canada. Their meat is a very lean meat, depending on how the animal is taken and the meat cared for will determine the taste.

Depending on age a Moose can be as tall as 7 feet from the ground to the top of its shoulders. It can weigh as much as 2000 pounds and has life span of 15-25 years.

After many years of hunting this giant of the forest I have come to that place in life where I would just as soon sit and watch it. The hunter who has experienced the hunt will tell you once the fatal shot has been taken that is when the real work begins. As I have stated how you take the animal will determine the quality of the meat. A bad shot will put the animal into a state of flight, thus its heart pumping copious amounts of blood through it’s muscles and body.

For me my preference was always the most effective shot was directly into the brain where the animal died immediately. Care of course was needed when approaching the animal, most times a second shot to the brain insured its painless death. A simple slice of the jugular would bleed the animal out and insure quality meat.

The Cree Indians believe a prayer of thankfulness is to be spoken over the animal and its spirit. It is a solemn time of reflection knowing you have taken a life. Your prayer is your way of thanking the Creator for the food and asking Him to guide and direct the animals spirit.

Next comes the hard work I have mentioned. The entrails of the animal must be removed. The hide must be removed to allow the animal to cool quickly preserving the meat. For the true hunter the one who meets the animal in his surroundings means you are a distance from your vehicle. The animal has to be carried out to the vehicle.

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Care and Cleanliness

The amount of care taken will determine what you eat. Once the animal has been skinned and quartered each piece can weigh anywhere from 200-300 pounds. It is a long arduous task to make trips with that kind of load. One has to keep in mind if you are in bear country they have the most powerful sense of smell and will seek out a fresh kill. Thus the task must be done quickly.

The Cree believe all parts of the animal are to be used. Thus the Tongue, liver and heart are taken. All that is left behind nature has its way of feeding many other creatures. Come back to a site a few days later and there will be very little left. Many hunters will leave the hide behind. I was taught tanning methods by the Cree often I would have hides as throws on beds. Nothing will keep you warmer in cold weather. As well a properly tanned hide offers up much leather to be turned into valuable articles.

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Hanging, Butchering and Cooking 

I generally left my meat hang for 21-28 days in a cool location for the tissue to break down slowly and naturally. My shop was equipped with all the tools I needed and I did all my own butchering as well. This is where you called on good friends to lend a hand wrapping and labeling the different cuts. It was also a time of having a large cookout as your way of thanking people. As well they were sure to reap the rewards of a successful hunt by leaving with several meals themselves.

Many people have condemned the practice of hunting as being cruel to animals etc. The entire time not really considering where their meat or foods come from. What happens behind and out into the slaughter house is not much different than hunting. I have worked in some of these places and if I were to compare it to my method of hunting I can assure you I prefer my ways preferably.

Hunting and caring for the meat has always given me the assurance I have seen the animal and the products that grace my plate from start to finish. Can the consumer do the same. All of the hard work and preparation it takes offers the rewards of the best the animal has offered.

I certainly have not wanted to offend anyone in writing on this subject. I do hope though you as a reader have come to better appreciate the respect and consideration shown to nature and all she provides.

© Rolly A. Chabot

Purity in Nature © Rolly A. Chabot

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Come sit awhile on this ridge I find dear

She calls to us all high above the unknown

To take the time to ponder our ways

Her call is for us is simple to give her an ear.

 

Look at what we have created through years of neglect

We have taken and taken to our hearts own desire

We have robbed, stole, pillaged and raped all she has

We have done so with little and far to often with no respect.

 

She has stood by and taken it for years

Of our indifference we have shown

Forgetting of the future of those we call our loves

As we continue to dump on their inheritance without fear.

 

Yet let her lash out with her fury and shown us her might

Through storms floods earthquake fire and disaster

We run and we scatter for she speaks loud and clear

Maybe oh maybe she has enough and started to fight.

 

Over the years I have watched what we have done

With little thought of tomorrow and the harm it may do

Or what it may bring and yet we continue

We take more of what we need yes it is us all and it is us we are the one.

 

Come sit with me high on this ridge

Away from the clutter we leave

Trash from our fast food, shopping and treasures

Entertain this thought of a land without bridge.

 

Where a world without garbage has not found its way

To a place so pure you can drink from a stream

Where the sky is so clear and the air sweet and pure

You utter the words knowing there is another day.

 

Listen to the wind whispering her claims

It carries the sound of its joy

High above we can sail to a land seen by few

This is the time to consider she speaks all our names.

 

Come to a land free of pollution

Far to the north we will travel

Where man has not yet left his mark

This may be a place where the nature teaches the solution.

 

© Rolly A. Chabot

Word Erasers… Rolly A. Chabot

Rollys Fireside Chat

Welcome

It is great to see the sun and watch the very beginnings of spring stir once again. The images appear daily, that little sprig of a plant, the first buds of a favourite tree. This morning the I saw the first sign of the traditional welcome to the season change… The sound of a Robin singing through the open window. His joy was obvious as I sat and watched with my morning coffee, him sitting on my back fence doing what he does best.

Gather around and lets spend a little time contemplating what change means to each of us. Coffee is ready, tea for those who prefer, the smell of fresh baked sourdough bread fills the air. Please help yourself and make yourself at home. The fireside is open and I welcome you.

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What We Seek

I am all but certain we all seek the same simple things in life. Peace, happiness, joy and love. All of which brings us into that cocoon of what we call life filled to the fullest. A place where nothing is allowed to come in and break the mood.

In years past I could find that in the far reaches of the wilderness I would find myself at times. The picture above shows what complete solitude is like where you are one with your surroundings. It is here nothing comes into that state of mind where body, soul and surroundings are one.

Follow along with this thought for a few minutes, listen to the sound of the soft piano music I have playing, the crackle of the fire. Take in the scent of freshly brewed coffee and baked bread. Breath deep and become a part of the peace and quiet of this room.

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How Sad it Is

I know this may sound a bummer after I have taken you to that place of peace and I apologies in advance. Take a moment and think of when the words of another have cut deep into your life. Words spoken in anger or frustration, maybe even ones spoken by yourself into another life, yes even a loved one.

I assume we have all experienced either side of that coin. We are all so different and depending on the mood or situation our internal filters sort through both the outgoing and incoming filters we have. Much depends on the emotions at the time and of course the situations.

If you can imagine all the words spoken or heard were written in permanent markers. What would they all look like if they were divided in two groups. Now take them all and sort through them. The ones that edify and speak of love on one side, those that condemn, judge and tear down on the other side.

Have you ever wished we could be like the pencil and erase those words we have spoken or heard. It would be nice to simply erase them and start over again would it not.

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Our Built in Filters

What if we had filters to stop us or filters to stop our having to hear the harsh and hurtful words. I would be foolish in saying I have not uttered words in anger at someone, yes even those I love. I think our human nature assumes that love will heal all wounds and yes I do believe it will if we approach it properly. No matter if it someone you love or a stranger it must start with first seeking forgiveness and admitting we are wrong. As often as not you will be forgiven and the slate becomes erased as long as you are sincere and change. If forgiveness is not granted I feel you can walk forward knowing and understanding you have tried. Leaving that unforgiveness allows you to step forward in freedom.

When asked to forgive another I think it important we express our pain. I think it imperative that person understands the pain they have imposed. Such a conversation must take place with no anger. Far to often I have seen families carry that anger and bitterness to the grave. In my way of thinking unforgiveness is very much like a rut that just keeps getting deeper if it remains, thus making that rut a grave in itself.

Now lets consider carrying that same concept of filter on our actions. It would be such a peaceful world would it not if actions were filtered.

Take the time today to reflect on your words you have spoken as well as the words spoken to you in anger and frustration. Come into that place of peace, happiness, joy and love knowing and understanding your world is like that of the Robin sitting on my fence.

Make this the first day of many knowing you are dearly loved here at the Fireside… Hugs attached.

© Rolly A. Chabot

Secret Place of Tramps Tree…Wilderness Treasures © Rolly A. Chabot

Rollys Fireside Chat

Welcome

Please come in and sit a while, find a chair, couch, rocker and make yourself at home. Thank you for stopping in and please do feel free to say hello, if you are new here please by all means feel welcome. Introductions are a must as we all love to know who you are. Please leave a comment if you like.

A mans home is his castle and this is one castle I want people to feel free to speak as you are considered part of the family here, your voice is important.

It is yet another of those restless nights. Those nights when your head has hit the pillow at 11 and someone or something comes along and slaps you awake, at 12:31 am in my case. So here we are getting ready for likely yet another all nighter. I know, never drink coffee late in the evening and worse yet, please close your eyes or look away from the steaming cup of coffee off to my right.

The setting as you can tell is the old writing chair in the corner, Quigley snoring off to my left and Gizmo the cat purring in his favourite perch behind me, his one paw always plugged in on my shoulder. I have no idea where the words will take us in the wee hours, so buckle up and lets see where we venture… The title will find its home later…know that you are loved and appreciated.

Who is Tramp

Many years ago when I was young, wild and often foolish I was back into some far off countryside. Northern Canada in the Yukon, well to be more specific it was both in the Yukon and British Columbia Canada. I had been out playing in the wilderness one day and quite by accident found myself several miles back in some unknown country. The road I followed was not really a road, more like a goat trail, a place my old van named “Rolly’s Royce” cut its teeth. It started out a regular old 3/4 ton Ford van. & years later it was a full blown bush wagon. I raised it up two feet, slipped in a custom 4 x 4 assembly, large steel bumpers front and back with winches on each end. Not much could stop her after that. She was fully camperized and ready to take on any challenge and challenges I found… smiles.

As I would later learn from my topographical maps I was near the great divide between the British Columbia and Yukon Territorial borders. I reached the end of the trail, threw my backpack onto my shoulders along with my rifle and started heading out to what appeared to be a lake in the distance. I estimated it to be some 10-12 miles as the crow flew, the blueish haze that sat in the valley looked promising. Closer inspection through my binoculars indeed revealed a lake.

Tannis my faithful and fearless dog was at my side and we headed out. It was a clear day with a few clouds building in the west over the mountains, traces of smoke filtered through the air but nothing to worry about or so I thought at least. Tannis and I were doing what we did best, heading out on another adventure. Not a living soul was within 70 miles and we were right in our element.

The Fearless One

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For those who have not met this little lady, this was Tannis Mountain. She was my rescue dog and faithful sidekick for many years. Don’t be fooled by the cute haircut, she was hot off the grooming table for this pose. Her only objective after any grooming session was to find an old dead fish or anything to mask the shampoo and girly stuff. It was her mission to become one with nature again.

Tannis and I became acquainted one Christmas Eve. I was looking after the Humane Society on a casual basis and got the call late that night. The only words I heard were, “Come and get this dog or I shoot it tonight.” When I arrived I found the saddest, filthiest kennel and dog I had ever seen. Tannis had been left with these people, her owners had left on a holiday. While they were away the marriage ended and they just left her, no one claimed her. Neither the wife or the husband called, this was three months later, she had been abandoned.

My first impression was not a good one. When I leaned down to pet her I was greeted with an attempt to bite off the better part of my right hand and arm. The next time it was with no avail as I scooped her up, well gloved and well covered. With great protest I managed to get her into the back of my car, while avoiding her nasty bites. She was a horrible mess and the smell was terrible as she had been living in a 3 x 4 cage that had never been cleaned. It was late and I did not want to take her to the kennel and leave her alone, so I took her home.

The place she deemed safe was behind the wood stove in the corner. Each time I would get close I would be met with gnashing teeth and a warning I was not appreciated. I just placed a bowl of food, fresh water and milk close by, shut off the lights and went to bed. During the night Tannis remained hidden behind the stove, come morning her food had not been touched. It was Christmas Day. I sat in my recliner chair talking with her and each time I said something she would spit volleys and insults back at me.

To make a long story short I took her and her attitude to the groomers after the holidays and when I picked her up later in the day it was like a miracle had transpired. When I entered the shop the young groomer was smiling, sporting a few bandaids she informed me that I had a tattooed registered American Cocker Spaniel. She had placed some calls to the Canadian Kennel Society and learned the dogs registered name was Tannis Mountain. I walked into the back and she opened the cage and Tannis came running and that was it she was adopted or I like to think she adopted me.

Adventure

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Not Tramp by any means but a problem bear which I was forced to take down several years later.

So back to the hike again, sorry for the sidetrack. Tannis was nervous that morning and was pacing back and forth a great deal. I wondered if there was another animal or the smell of smoke in the air due to the high fire season, Tannis kept snuffing at the air, pacing in tight circles and whimpering. She was reluctant to go but I insisted and she just followed. We had gone about halfway to the lake site when I started to hear the dull roar. I found high ground and the fire had crested the hill and was coming down the slope to my right.

I had two choices, one to attempt to outrun the fire or the other was to find cover quickly. I glassed the area and off to my left. I could see an old outcropping of rocks that would afford some cover a few miles away. The other option was to climb the 6 miles back to the van that sat on high ground. The chances of me making it back there was slim. So Tannis and I started the slow decent over treacherous ground with the fire about 5 miles away and heading our general direction.

What I found was an old mine shaft leading into the mountain near a slow moving creek. There were two entrances and I chose the one furthest away from any vegetation, the other had a massive old spruce tree leaning far to the left near its entrance. I filled my canteen collected a little firewood and slipped into a semi dark opening, Tannis at my feet, all I could see was the whites of her eyes and a deep growl that never seemed to stop.

Within the half hour the fire crowned itself in the treetops roaring into the valley and creek below. The roar was fierce and Tannis sat close by, shivering but still with the never ending growls. After a long cold night I awoke with a growing dog beside me staring out the cave opening. The fire had passed with doing a great deal of damage mostly in the tree tops but we had made it. The area had plenty of rich green moss on the flat so little would burn. I can tell you I was very thankful to those old miners who had created a safe sanctuary for us that day. Tannis followed reluctantly as I was insistant in checking out the lake far below which lay in the scarred blacked valley below.

I bent at the creek to get some water and I noticed the oddest thing. A set of tracks like none I had ever seen. It was a bear but what was unusual was his left front feet. His right foot was normal but the left was turned outward about 70 degrees, probably from a bad break or injury. His claws tore up the ground as he walked. It was easy to spot in the blacked undergrowth. Tannis kept growling and looking up towards the direction we had come from the van. The tracks of the old bear revealed he had spent his night as we had in an abandoned mine shaft and thankfully it was the one next door.

His Markings

We arrived at the lake a number of hours later and made camp. Tannis had watched the danger pass and was once again herself. It was a good thing she was black and hardly showed the results of trapsing through the burn. I was filthy, a splash and dash bath was in order. The area we were in had been spared and the meadow was covered in natural moss. making a great place to spread out a sleeping bag.

We spent 5 days back in this area, the lake was filled with trout and grayling. As far as I could tell I was fishing in BC without a license. If a game warden were to have come along I would have been more than happy to pay the fine. The trout were some of the best eating I have ever had.

Tannis and I began the long uphill climb back again on the 6th day. Near the mine Tannis started to growl again. I glassed the area and 1000 yards ahead, sure enough there stood an old male grizzly bear. He was on his hinds legs, his right claw was ripping at the lone spruce to his dwelling entrance I assumed. The only other exit choice we had was directly in his path, it was the shortest route back to the van. Off to my right was an impossible climb up a rock wall with a 65 pound pack, a rifle and of course the dog who hated bears. To the left would mean walking several extra miles through rough terrain. I chambered a bullet and shot high into the tree he was working on. He never moved only turned and snuffed at the air. The next shot was inches away from his head, the bullet slammed into the tree and he began running off in the left direction. His gate was fast but impeded by his crippled left leg. He stopped a few times and looked around, only to be met with another shot at the closest tree. The last I saw he disappeared over the ridge.

Tannis an I made our way up. The closer we got the stiffer Tannis became and her growling grew louder all the time. I stopped at his tree he had been tearing at and there were several deep gouges from his massive claws. I stand close to 6 feet tall and this guys claw marks were a good three feet higher. Needless to say I moved fairly quickly after that and Tannis close behind me.

The bear well he like many of natures characters I met in the wild was given a name that day. He became none as “Tramp” and the tree well it became “Tramps Tree.” I would run across old Tramp a few times over the years as I visited the area many times. The last I saw him was very late one fall, he was heading into his mineshaft den I suspected for his winter sleep. His coat was heavy, the finest coat I think I ever saw on a bear. It was a golden brown and the guard hairs were almost a white. It shone in the late afternoon sun. He stopped once, raised up on his hind legs, sniffed at the air and looked in our direction. I heard a few loud snorts and watched as he tore at the ground with his good front foot. The debris flew high into the air. He was letting me know this was his area and we were but guests.

Sadly one spring I found Tramps remains in the cave. Several bones in a heap undisturbed and a few strips of his fine coat. Old Tramp had slipped away in his sleep that winter. Winters at well below -50 could rob the life out of anything. One of the reasons a wise man stays close to the stove during those times. Two strips of Tramps fur later became the top dressings of a new pair of mukluks. Somewhere in my collection of years past are five of his claws. I guess you could say old Tramp and I have been hanging around together for many years. I made it a point that day to carve his name into his tree. “Tramps Tree” it could likely still be found if his tree is still standing.

Flat Lander

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I often ponder those days, they were fulfilling years with little or no worries. Tannis passed away many years later and I buried her in a heavily wooded area of my acreage A beautiful spot I had bought here in Northern Alberta. Right beside her a close friend we picked up along the way named Wind. She was a Shelty/Whippet cross who was fast friends with Tannis, her teacher and mentor for a number of years. Wind passed away a year later, I think she mourned a great deal and slowly gave up. I planted two wild Jackpine trees, one on either side of their resting places. Their view would have been a perfect setting for both of them, a small stream and pond out front and the mountains off to the west. The trees were but saplings at the time. Today they stand thirty feet high, look close enough about 15 feet up, you will see the names carved in the bark. “Tannis” on one and “Wind” on the other. I have gone back a few times over the years and the site still remains as it was, only far more mature. I smile as I write this as many I have matured with the two of them.

So here I sit, smiling at the thought I would love to go back to Tramps Tree someday then realize I could barely lift or carry a pack that size anymore, let alone a rifle and challenge that adventure once more. Today I have become a flat lander as you can see from the picture above. Beautiful yes and only a short drive to the mountains. The heaviest load I can carry now is myself and my camera.

Thank you all for allowing me to relive some of my adventures again. I so miss those days but they were a season in my life. I had 15 of the best years a man could ask for sitting on a hillside overlooking some of the wildest country a man could imagine. Right beside me was Tannis Mountain who’s name was derived from the Cree Indian words “Little Girl.” Rest well my little friend, maybe some day we can be together and romp again.

Hugs and Blessings to you all… know that you are dearly loved….Please share some of the places you have lived that touched your heart and impacted you… the floor is open and we all await…

© Rolly A. Chabot

Fireside Chat… Rolly A. Chabot

Rollys Fireside Chat

Welcome 

For some the Fireside Chat is a carry over from a competitive writing site I have been a member of for a number of years. HubPages and I have had our moments and I have decided to carry the tradition on here. So welcome and I do hope you find something of interest here.

The fire is slowly burning radiating out its heat as a welcome. As always I ask you help yourself to the coffee and or tea of choice. Should there be a snack at hand please do make yourself at home. Curl up and settle in, the fur ball who is overly friendly is Quigley. As long as you are willing to pet and scratch her she will love you to bits. She also doubles as my vacuum cleaner so no need to worry about the crumbs.

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Content 

Each time I write it will likely be on a different subject, hopefully you will find something along the way of interest to you. Your comments and suggestions will always be welcomed so please speak your mind. This site is a safe site where each opinion is valued.

As some of you know I have spent the better part of my life living in the now distant Canadian North as well as short stints in remote Alaska. Often in locations which could be classified as wilderness. Through some poor choices in early life the wilderness is where I rediscovered the person whom I had lost for several years.

Nature has a special way of teaching a person the importance of balance. Her’s is the utmost in holding all her aspects in check. Without man and his involvement she has taken care of herself for centuries. Once man instills his vast wisdom driven by greed that very same balance soon becomes upset. No matter the circumstance wether it be driven by the quest for oil, lumber or natural resources natures balance will be upset.

She Humbles 

Often in the remote regions I have spent time I realized just how small I truly was in the grand scheme of things. That flash of lightening striking a tree close by followed thunder that vibrates deep in your chest. The wildfire crowning through the tree tops as it closes in on you, your only escape is a lake while being showered with burning embers. That day when you come face to face with a Grizzly Bear on his turf and you realize you are but a guest in his domain. Nature can humble a man and all his thoughts and desires of his dominion are lost in but a few moments.

It is here where a person comes to know just what he or she is truly made of. It is here lessons in life are taught that no amount of education and or degrees will give you. Nature is the greatest teacher and she will show you the way like no other can.

The Door is Open 

In closing I would again like to welcome you to the Fireside. If you would like you may  find many older posts at hubpages.com/@rollyachabot some of which you will find here in a new format.

Please do feel welcome, hugs are a plenty so settle in and stay as long as you like…

© Rolly A. Chabot