Every year, we talk about going into the woods to cut a Christmas tree, but lately it's been too cold, we were out of time, there was too much snow, or my husband's qualms about cutting down a perfectly good tree got the better of him, and we ended up at a local tree stand in town - where we got a nice tree cut in Montana. But still. This year, we had time, the temperature was cold but not bitter, and there wasn't too much snow, so we went up Bridger Canyon to stalk a wily Christmas tree ourselves.
We took some teenage friends and sleds so that we could mount a diversion, not let the trees realize that we were actually looking for one to bring home. The boys had a blast careening down short, steep slopes full of obstacles, where they really shouldn't have been sledding at all, but it wasn't enough to fool the trees. Nearly all the good trees headed for higher slopes or took refuge behind a ratty looking older trees, and we had a hard time finding one that came even close to our requirements (which admittedly got looser as we got colder). Finally, my daughter found one hiding amoung four or five spindly trees and, after a lot of discussion, we cut it down and took it more-or-less proudly home. It looked pretty small and sparse in the woods - that was part of its disguise - but turned out to be a great tree with lots of room for ornaments, and just the right size. So we got a trophy tree after all, in spite of the wily trees.