Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Combing The Fields.


We went out with the All Girl Hunt again on Sunday... me with Willow and Ashley, Dutch with Phyllis, Cinnamon, and the eunuch JRT cross, "Jack".  We went to a field that had been fairly barren of late, and we'd left it alone for several weeks.  Additionally, we decided to go north instead of our usual route south.  We hadn't gone north in almost two months, and on this day we were going to go further north than we ever had.  This would prove to be a pretty good idea, as the GPS track above indicates.

I was walking Willow on a slip, because she had shown more than a passing interest in Jack.. as potential prey, not as a hunting buddy.  I thought it would be a good idea for her to get used to him.  We jumped the first jack pretty quickly (start and finish point of the day's walk is the lower left corner).  Willow showed an impressive burst of speed initially, but after a minute was well behind the group, which ended up in the foothill rock and scrub which effectively ended the course.

We walked a good distance further north when all hell broke loose.  A hare popped up, and the dogs gave chase.  I slipped Willow, and she took off in the opposite direction!  I thought, "Oh, she doesn't see it".  Au Contraire... she was off on a different rabbit!  We'd jumped two at once, and Willow had exclusive use of the second one.  While Dutch watched the main group, I followed Willow's progress, as she worked it pretty well, until...

... it went under the fence, which is how Willow learned the "fence lesson".  Go under it like the jack does.. and like the Pronhorn does:  the bottom strand is not barbed.  They usually only make this mistake once, and fortunaely, there were no matching lacerations under the blanket.  Margaret will  have an opportunity to try out the brand new, in-the-box Singer she got at last weekend's auction for $30!

Shortly after the fun with JR's 9A and 9B, I spotted another, who stayed out of everyone's sight, scooting low to the west.  The dogs didn't see it, thus "JR10nc" as in "no course".

Our day wasn't quite done as we made one more north-south sweep, and just as we were approaching the road that runs through the the middle of the fields, we found one more to chase.  By this time, I felt comfortable enough with Willow's ability to find her way back that I was letting her free course.  She was still showing some interest in Jack, but it was more curiosity now, than something like lunch.  This course was short, as the rabbit made straight for the brush.  After four good chases, one which ended up with the rare instance of the rabbit jumping into a hole, we decided to head back for the vehicles.

I called this post "Combing the Fields" because I thought the track was going to look like the teeth of a comb, (which it does.. a very small comb), and I thought we were going to to go up and down a few more times than we actually did.  Making only 4 sweeps, the track looks like something completely different, doesn't it?  Can you see the rabbit?  And not just any rabbit...  Maybe I should have named the post: "Frank"

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