Saturday, April 2, 2016

Spring is Here

Maggie running back after flushing the woodcock.
    A cool wind blew from the east under a blotchy gray sky. Small mountains to the east showed the scars of logging and patches of white lingered near the tops of the highest. The two older wirehairs dashed ahead, familiar with the old logging road, having walked it dozens of times over the years, both hunting and just to be outdoors.                 
    Maggie, our twelve week old pup, stayed closer, walking in the drainage ditch and fascinated by the flowing water as only a puppy can be.
    Up from under her nose tweetered a woodcock, the first one seen this year!
A new beaver pond flooded the road.
    Maggie dashed back to sit by our feet and watch the bird fly away.
    After hoots of laughter and praise for the pup, we carried on. Further down the hill a grouse flushed wild, twisting like a calendar painting through the barren poplar and birch. Life felt pretty good.
    Further on, up in a cutting, Chara, the older wirehair soon to turn fifteen, pointed with Colby backing, but no bird was found, yet was still a delight to see.
    Later, almost back to the truck, Chara shuffled around inside a thicket of alders. Pause, snort and sniff, pause, point, shuffle and sniffle…no style, but with determination, and up went a woodcock. That made two!!!

Lounging at Camp Grouse while listening to the grouse drumming.
    On the way back to Camp Grouse, the sun poked through the clouds and the subject of a beer came up. Later, sitting on the deck, we clicked the necks of two bottles together in a toast to spring, and almost immediately the season’s first drumming from a grouse drifted down the hill.