Horizon

“Now, bring me that horizon,” says Captain Jack Sparrow.

And also my dog and I.

We miss fall hunting and big skies.

What’s Good for the Goose…

Last week we had an ice storm. 

No, that’s overly dramatic and not very accurate.

Last week we had lots of nice beautiful snow.  Then the temperature did un-winter like things and the precipitation that fell was not snow. One morning I woke up to discover that we no longer had snow. Instead we had white ground covering what looked like snow but was actually ice and it was still raining/sleeting/hailing/anything-but-snowing.

It’s like snow, but instead ice with hail frozen to it’s surface between the puddles of water. Notice the dog isn’t even running- it was that slippery.

I headed out to do the chores and while ice was glistening on all the branches making a beautiful sight it took me an unprecedented amount of time to haul my buckets of water across the ice that was masquerading as a snowy yard to the birds. 

I let my birds out and the geese walked down their ramp and tried to walk across the snow-ice to their water pan but their big ol’ feet kept slipping in old ruts and they fell on their faces.  I would have taken a video but they don’t like me laughing at them and if they found out I had done that they would have held a grudge. You don’t want a goose with a grudge.

Instead, I slipped and slid and swore my way over to the brooder house with it’s winter supply of straw and then slipped and slid and swore my way back over to the poultry and spread them a nice layer of straw so they could stand and walk without slipping. Satisfied they’d be fine for the day I started back toward the house doing my now second-nature awkward penguin shuffle with the tiny steps as slipped in and out of every old foot print I ever made, occasionally flapping my arms like a dancing ostrich to keep my balance.

Then I stopped the insanity, looked back at the geese happily walking on their straw and headed back to the brooder house.

You know what they say, What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

And me and the dogs…

Happy with my straw trails, I shortcuted through the non-slippery house to the front to see what sort of beautiful ice coatings I could find and to check out the driveway.

The ice was indeed beautiful.

The driveway was indeed ice.

But what’s good for the goose…

… it looked odd, it was a bit unorthodox but it worked!

 

 

Montana Sunrise

I was able to run away from home for a week of bird hunting in Montana this October.

And after the last few grey mornings here I’m longing for one of these still frosty Montana mornings.

Which sounds odd because I’m not at all a morning person. But I have found thatI’m much less grumpy if I get to spend sunrise in a field with my dogs rather than in the kitchen with my kids.

What can I say?

The dogs are always happy to be up and running and they never, ever, complain about their breakfast.

Camping Facilities

We recently got back from a week of camping.

This is the sort of news that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for.

There are the people who hear my family (as in Mom/Dad/Brother/Sister-In-Law/Nephew) were along and get a bit wide eyed.

There are quite a few people who hear we brought the boys (boys in my case always refers to my dogs) and raise an eyebrow questioning my decision making skills.

My boys, re-named “Fish Dog” and “Snail Boy” by the end of the first day due to their respective new odors.

There are even more who find out we brought all of our supplies to an island (Okay, this year it was actually a super long skinny peninsula, but it felt like an island) by boat and make some sort of surprised exclamation.

And then there are those who inquire and find out that our toilet facilities consisted of a nice long trail with a raised toilet seat over a pit in the woods and declare that it would never happen in their world.

Fortunately we only had a bit of rain (with awesome double rainbows as a reward for all the wet) the family got along well (and also there was Rum), the boys were fairly well behaved (if stinky), my brother and my dad had motor boats so we didn’t have to canoe all the stuff in (which was very nice) and so it was really quite an excellent trip.

But…

I wasn’t totally in love with that open air bathroom.

It wasn’t the long walk up the trail through the woods. That was quite nice and usually populated by cute tiny toads.

This is not a tiny toad, it’s a tiny tree frog. Toads are cute, tree frogs are cuter. Sorry toads.

It wasn’t the open air experience. I’ve been a camper all my life, a “throne” with a view is excellent perk.

It wasn’t the mosquitoes- well sometimes it was the mosquitoes – but it was pretty breezy so they weren’t much of an issue.

This face had nothing to do with bathrooms and everything to do with the smell of dead snails. Not coincidentally they smelled just like my dog Snail Boy.

It was the lack of locking door.

At home my kids, like everyone’s kids have magic sensors every time I go into the bathroom. In case it’s been awhile since you’ve had kids or you’ve yet to experience the fun, let me explain.  Once a mother goes toward the bathroom their magic sensors pick up on it and they come down with severe cases of “questions that must be immediately answered” or break out in rashes of “crisis’ that aren’t”. At home there is a door, and it locks and yet it’s still hard to break away from the children.

See how happy she is? It’s because her mom wasn’t trying to go to the bathroom while this picture was taken.

At the campsite there was nothing but a long trail.

I was at their mercy.

Our “island” home.

Good thing I like camping.

 

Dog with Drive

I’ve got a dog with drive.

In pointing dog speak that means that when I take him out looking for birds, he is willing to hunt every bit of the cover we are in and beyond.

It means that when he is out in the field with his nose to the wind, it doesn’t matter how tired he is or how long we’ve been out.  He still flies over the ground with enthusiasm.

It means that when a bird goes down running, he runs after it.

It means he never quits.

In everyday-life-speak that means that he digs holes like he means to go to China.

And it means that when his paws don’t work, he uses his teeth.

Yup, I’ve got a dog with drive.