Just a quick post to mention a few good things in recent days…
I received a report a couple of days ago from a friend who was at Brownlee and heard chukar calling. That made me happy because a month ago I spent the day on Oxbow Reservoir and heard not a peep from a chukar; normally I’d hear chukar calling most of the day down there at that time of year. So some birds survived the heavy winter in Hells Canyon. I’d guess that the steeper draws filled with brush and springs might have offered a haven for chukar in the area. I’m hoping the breeding pairs that survived are prolific.
Angus just turned 10, and — knock on wood — is healthy and spry, if appearing occasionally beleaguered by Peat’s youthful enthusiasm. Together, both dogs collaborate on our walks and runs, mildly harassing the quail and pheasant along the Weiser River Trail. They’re staying fit and trim. Unlike last summer, though, we have yet to budge any Huns or chukar. Keep hope alive.
Peat, believe it or not, is actually calming down a wee bit. We’ve still not cured him of his love of counter-surfing, but because he’s rather small for an American Brittany, we’ve learned his grab-ability range and are able to keep desirables safe. He also spends more time now just chillin’ inside, but ignites the second we appear to be heading outside. We get momentary glimmers of a future home without a crate, something unimaginable even a month or two ago.
Despite tick season exploding massively in the past week, we’ve been fortunate to minimize the impact on both dogs. For the second year in a row we’ve gone with monthly Advantix treatments, which don’t seem quite as effective as Frontline did at killing ticks that attached themselves to the dogs, but we’re also not seeing as many on the dogs (yet anyway); maybe the Advantix is deterring some ticks from hanging on once they successfully “quest” a dog.
The frequent storms have dramatized the early part of summer vacation around here, reminding us of Scotland’s wet, windy springs instead of our normal parched Junes. There’s new snow on mountaintops today. We think this is good, and are grateful not just for the beauty, as if that’s not enough.
Inspired by my wife (although the jury’s still out, for me), I’ve been using some of my extra summer-vacation time to look more into Instagram. My resistance comes from believing our culture is far too involved in tiny virtual worlds. The upside, though, for me initially anyway, is seeing how many people are actually involved in the big wide world (and choose to share images from their involvement on tiny screens). There’s definitely a “game” to Instagram (involving followers/following ratios, and other expansion strategies, which I don’t like), but I have enjoyed making some connections to other like-minded (but different) bird chasers. As E.M. Forster’s epigraph to Howard’s End commands: “Only Connect.”
Finally, we sold a bunch of hats – almost all of them, actually – on the new shop’s first day, and are thankful for the support. We’ll have more soon, with some different models, too, including an all-blaze/non-mesh hat for the field. Stay tuned.