Fluffing his feathers as he took off, flakes swirled, soaring upward. His wings, following this well-traveled path, cut through the air with long, steady strokes.

Banking right, he flew due south, racing the gathering storm. Clusters of icy snowflakes slowed his pace.

He scanned the snow-patched ground, and there, in the distance, a familiar view.

Beyond the blue ribbon of river, just over the treetops…he was almost there.

Crouched beneath the trees, a camouflaged man heard a honking. A lone gander approached—tracking it, he sprang up, aimed and fired a ten-shot burst with his SLR.

It was beautiful.