On a cold winter day, well below freezing, with crusted snow in the woods and in the meadows and with thick ice on the pond, I feel like we can go anywhere. My father drove Bob and I out to Brick Yard swamp in Litchfield, New Hampshire where he watched us cross the snow covered land. The winds were strong as small cubes of ice and snow pounded our face as we travelled at a snail's pace in hopes to find a young man's treasure.
It was late in January but we were young fur traders looking for our riches. As we walked, all I could think about was how it was for the Indian tribes in these parts during the winter and how it was never a time to hunker down and hide in a hole. Winter must have been solely a season for hunting large game and migration to lower lands. It wasn't until the Europeans came, that the fur trade made winter, the season, for trapping because of the thicker, darker fur.
I would think back to the easiest animals that one would see in the winter, even on the coldest of days which were always deer and porcupines. The deer provided Indians with generous portions of meat and the hide could be use for clothing, shelter, and drum heads. While porcupines were prized as food, the quills were dyed and used to decorate clothing. The kind of patience Indian women had to do anything with the quills still puzzle's me today.
It was a long walk to our first traps and my father could see us for a long while. Soon we were out of his sight and this is when he would start to worry. I never knew that he would get nervous until years later; my father was never the kind of man to show his feelings. I started hunting, fishing, and trapping to have something in common with the man I respected but never talked too. It wasn't until we had a common ground that he would show any kind of affection towards me. I'm glad to this day that it was for the love of the outdoors that we became close.
Bob walked to our first set of traps and we started to fill our backpacks with a couple muskrats and raccoons. The day, even though cold, was turning into a profitable one. We set the Conibear #330 trap near the entrance to the dam and we were slowly heading that way. The anticipation in both of us was growing. We hurried to the dam and as we looked down where our best beaver set was, we stopped dead in our tracks. Our carefully made set was gone. All the fencing sticks were gone too. I thought someone had stolen the trap. My heart sank as I thought about how much we had spent on the trap and what a great beaver set it was. As Bob set another trap, I walked down to look for tracks. Then, at the base of the dam I saw the wire we had tied off to a tree. I grabbed it and pulled. If I remember right it was around 10 feet of wire. I felt a great weight on the other end. A big smile crossed my face as I called to Bob and pulled in more wire. Soon, a huge big old dead beaver broke the surface. I slowly pulled him toward
An Extremely Cold Day In Winter
India is a land of extreme climates. In summer, It is very hot. In winter, it is biting cold. It was a bitterly cold day. The morning was icy cold and the sun was simply peeping out. It appeared that the warm rays of the sun would soon spread from everywhere to everywhere. But a saying goes that morning shows the day. The icy wind was getting every minute the better of the warmth of the sun. it cut one deep into the very marrow. Outside, the low sky began to drizzle. People were hurrying about with cheeks red, hands almost frozen. A few fortunate rich sitting at home drew closer to the room heater. Those out of doors cursed the weather. All of a sudden, there was hailstorm. It made things worse. The sun peeped out but was soon covered with mist and fog. Everybody longed for a sunny day. People tried to keep within doors. A poor homeless beggar looked almost frozen in the cold weather outside. An old man in the locality was reported dead. Afternoon came with all the more intensity of cold. The fury of the cold evening was unabated. There was no relief from the stinging wind that passed by. At night, people tried to feel the cosiness of the quilt. It was an extremely cold day in winter for years to come.