I've been unplugged for a while, spending time getting used to a new job, drinking from a technical fire hose of information that comes from a change in industry. That said, I've also struggled to come up with something to say on these pages. No particular reason, perhaps just my first writers block. I've enjoyed an incredible month or so in the outdoors that always comes from the arrival of bird season.
The Blue Grouse opener was amazing, spending time with terrific friends in perfect places, and witness to extraordinary dog work - this is my favorite hunt of the year, until the next one. I had the pleasure of spending time with plenty of dogs this opener, some new to the posse (including my new English Pointer "Lilly"), and some veterans. I'm captivated by watching them go about their business. Every breed, every personality, every expression on their face, I love bird dogs.
Mornings were crisp, followed by hot afternoons. A few birds here and there, each a reward for considerable effort. My best memory: a mistake I made after climbing a little too high above a bowl that held a covey of birds. While I sat resting, gasping for O's and chewing on jerky, I watched the show unfold on my own personal IMAX theater. From a few hundreds yards beneath my feet I saw a point, a single flush, a fallen bird, a relocation, occasional laughter, then another flush, and finally a long poke from way downtown resulting a collected bird brought to hand. After the smoke cleared, the reports silenced and the birds collected, I watched a few strays escape out the back door, those with enough nerve to hold their ground and flip us a furry footed bird. It's here. It's finally here.