The flood waters are retreating and there is a hint of the countryside drying out. Of course we could have another storm or two between now and the end of April but I suspect they will be rain, which is fine with me. I’ve had enough of winter. My snow blower worked, it plowed nice canyons that were the walkways between my office, the driveway, the sidewalks and the house. I’m pleased with it.
Something else is happening—the geese are back. A skein of geese flew over yesterday afternoon and I happened to look at the kennel to see Cookie watching the birds. I think she truly does live for the birds. She knows when we should be going hunting and her entire manner changes with the hunting season. I guess she pumps herself up for the season so that by the time I pick up my shotgun she is primed for the hunt. I don’t know if it is the change in weather, the length of the day or if she can smell the birds in nearby fields—and the nearest field with grouse is less than a mile from my house. I’ve never hunted that field, leaving it for the local kids who like to tramp through it in the fall.
I was watching some kids hunt that field last fall. They seemed to have a really great lock on what they were doing. They circled the slough, two boys on each side, and continued up the CRP grass. In my mind I could see the sharptails running before them. Maybe if I had offered to let Cookie hunt for them she would have pinned the birds before the crest. I didn’t, though. I watched and sure enough, as they neared the crest of the hill several grouse flushed and the four shotguns all barked. One grouse did fall and the boy who shot it ran wildly to pick up his bird then held it triumphantly for his buddies to admire. Aren’t we all like that? Shouldn’t we be like that? He was totally unencumbered by the trappings of spiritual quest, connection, in or out of nature and the hunt’s salvation of civilization. He and his buddies were having a good time. Nothing else mattered. Too bad they will all grow up. glg
7 months ago