The Decoy

It was the first day of the 2014/15 season and a friend and I drove up to the ski hill and spent the afternoon touring up to Crater Lake. We were glad there was enough snow to tour up, and ski most of the way down. When the snow became impassable for skis we proceeded to walk the rest of the way back to our vehicle.

At a certain point we stopped for a rest and the whiskey jacks that were flying around us were quite glad to make their introductions to us. I couldn’t remember ever having a bird rest on my hand like this before so it was pretty thrilling to be able to offer up a little snack.

Little did I realize that the bird on my hand was just a decoy. For while I was pleasantly watching the granola being pecked at, his buddies were gorging themselves on the bag of granola that lay open on my backpack. 

It’s been over three years since this little encounter and it still makes me laugh. The whole time prior to this was spent doing something I love. Yes, it was the first day of the season, and having only toured a few times before my legs were straining and my lungs were burning. But being out in nature and accomplishing a goal was tremendously satisfying. Then to have this experience with the birds was like the cherry on top of a big bowl of ice cream. A little flourish to end the day. 

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