As we turn off of the highway and onto the dusty dirt road heading towards the chukar hills, our bird dog stands up in the back seat of the pickup and sticks his nose out of the crack in the window, snorts, and wags his stubby tail in excitement. The last time we turned up this road we were heading out for a bitter cold January hunt. Dogs have a keen sense of memory. Does he remember the turn, the smell, or something else?
The chukar hills are always turning with the seasons. Bright red Indian paintbrush, brilliant yellow arrowleaf balsamroot, deep pink sweet pea, purple Rocky Mountain penstemon, multi-colored wild lupine, verdigris sagebrush, and spring green grasses are now flourishing after a long winter. The reward from the snow melt is habitat and food for wildlife and a new batch of chukar that soon will be hatching in these hills.
We all wandered in different directions across the hillside covered in wildflowers blanketing the ground in a blaze of yellow and red. It was a short walk to admire the views and to collect some arrowleaf balsamroot seeds for our own wildflower garden. We eventually met up and sat down on some flat rocks in the warmth of the setting sun to quietly take a moment to reflect on the last time we hunted on these chukar hills.
11 Replies to “Pirouetting Chukar Hills”
Great pictures. My second favorite time of the year to be on the hill. Most people are enjoying the water leaving the mountains pretty quiet. Enjoyed your last post also. I’ve always had problems with my dogs and baby black birds in the alfalfa fields. I finally figured out it was better just to turn my head instead of yelling at them.
Thanks, Larry. What’s your sense of the chukar hatch so far in your parts?
Great looking photos! was just over in the E. WA hills a couple of weeks ago and it’s a beautiful time to be out.
Thanks, Jim. The beauty’s always bittersweet for me: those flowers mean pollen, and allergies. It’s bad (good) this season! (?). See any game birds on your hike?
Great pictures! Your wife has talent.I really like the one of you with the dog.
Thanks, Alan. I agree with you on both counts. I’m grateful she can take photos and write and likes these landscapes in the ways I do. How’s Alaska right now?
Hot damn Idaho is a babe! How’s the summer shaping up? Seen any babies?
Way more chicks than last year at this time, Larry. It’s shaping up to be near normal (crossing-fingers, knocking on wood, fingering the rosary).
The prose match the photos. Not too much longer now, If you turn your head quick enough you can see October sneaking up.