Monday, February 21, 2011

Traditionnn!

How is it that sometimes the best of friends are the ones you see now and then?

I was thinking about that today on the way home from one such meeting. How you can see or talk to people and pick right up. Maybe distance and infrequency enrich intimacy.

I've been fortunate to have three families. The New York one taught me that a family can be about joy and trust and encouragement, love.

My New York sister was one of those relationships, it was like yesterday even if we hadn't spoken for months. I thought, I'll call her tomorrow.

And then I get home.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Good Staff Day with the OFH...

Monofixtural today. It's getting to where I almost feel deprived if having only one hunt!

There were some good bits though. First, the day was not as fast and busy as is usual with this pack. Some running, which we were not in a position to get very close to, but lots of drawing. I do love me some thorough drawing, and of course like those odd scenting illustrations.

It was a warm and fairly clear day. There was a period where to my eye hounds couldn't generally smell much, and they acted like they were on a walk in the park.

But two minutes later in another field, it was a different story. They snapped to and paid attention, you could tell they were smelling things. Why? A little cloudier and cooler, but not much. Maybe that was it, maybe just a different spot. Again, just curious to see the contrast.

Whatever the reason, they gave a good exhibition of hard drawing at one particular covert. Although it was thick and rough, not a single hound stayed out. And again, they went in enthusiastically.

That is a tribute to a huntsman, I believe.

Only seldom do I think much about hunting hounds, I am by temperament and experience a whipper-in. Interesting, considering my absolute lack of game sense. More of my losing insurgency against real life!

Often when hounds draw, you'll see some not bothering to go in, skulking- or just cruising along- outside of covert. Sometimes you'll see them all go in, but it's obvious that they do it sullenly to avoid a worse fate than scratched ears. It's much to my taste to see the WHOLE pack plunge in, do it cheerfully, and pop out the other side with that "Nothing in there! We looked! Take us to another one!" expression.

Anyone can take them there. And there are plenty of hounds who love to draw. Anyone active can drive the rest in. But it takes a bit more to get them all to WANT to go in.

End of day came, drawing back to the meet. And what happened?

Yes, an alert whipper-in saw a "red" fox sneaking away. She holloaed them on. It was well done and distinctive. The field were pleased, according to the later reviews!

Not as pleased as they were about to be. Hounds ran him through the woods, and then he turned back across an open field. When he came up out of the dead ground at the edge, he had a surprise- there was the mounted field, in the same pasture!

You could almost hear him think- "Well, I've never had a horse and rider try to bite me in the bottom, so here goes!"

And there he went, right across the field among the riders! it was pretty spectacular, especially since he was a bright glowing safety orange- almost lemon color!

Here's my picture:



And one by a real photographer:




He crossed the field and into the woods.

Actually hounds were a pretty good distance behind.



But they were burning hot across this field when they got there!












They lost him just a quarter mile along from this picture, in the woods. Up a tree, down a hole, or just really awful scent.

It was a good day for staff, though, at least to my eye. Lots of "right place, right time":








Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ms Logan " Was Asking For It..."

No, she wasn't. What happened to her was terrible and everyone should be safe everywhere.

Having said that, I despise the news coverage.

She was in a RIOT, one that she chose to attend. None of the Egyptians that have been beaten, raped, or killed have been worthy of national front page coverage.

Nor have any of the women who were raped the same night right here in the riot free U. S.

Ms. Logan could have had the same experience in many American cities, just walking down the street at two A. M.

And saved the air fare!

Millions of Americans live in a place like an Egyptian riot every day.

As long as they keep voting right, their masters don't mind, it's not news.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Musical Valentine This Year...

No embed, so smack the link up.

The Humpty Dumpty Was The First Journalism Professor...

A few thousand Egyptians use violence to overthrow an elected President. Some Generals then send the elected government home. Our masters in the media , in THE ONLY STORY OF THE WEEK, tell us this is a triumph of democracy.

56% of the most highly informed and educated voters in the oldest republic on the planet make a choice in a highly contested, single issue, free and open election, and they tell us THAT is all about deception, framing, and false consciousness.

I'm sure American journos would say that too, but I suspect that we don't need to know. Look, King Tut!

My favourite quote by a loser: Martine Brunschwig-Graf, MP, said: "Women in Switzerland have only had the vote for 40 years and they aren't engaging in politics yet, even when the issue concerns them."




`I don't know what you mean by "glory,"' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected.

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master - - that's all.'

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Getting shot at...

Every time a police officer here becomes long term unavailable for court, that department sends us a letter.

Going through the mail today, there were three notices. I told Day Wife, "Smith, Jones, and Robinson are leaving the Big City police department. Well, Robinson is on military leave for deployment. He's going to spent the next year being shot at."

"You mean, shot at somewhere different."

C O L D

Monday, February 07, 2011

Joint Meet...

(Remember, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

So the OFH hosted visitors. I was fortunate to have three days out!

First, the Friday and our hounds. (I can say ours now, I think.) Sloppy and cold, and it looked like rain.

Getting the plan:



Tembo showed off his new coat:



A.J. suggested that we might watch out for a strike on the part of the pack, demanding warm jackets.

Misty...



Mysterious...



Mystified...



Dashing around to try to get to hounds...



And they did try!


A pretty good bit of running for a while, but things just died out. Grr.

Next day, a mixed pack. And an extra huntsman!



So, off to the first draw. And on the way to it, hounds opened! Into a covert, and out the south side on a coyote.

Meanwhile, on the north side out popped two!




The field swung out, then back- the race was on.


Hounds couldn't hold on to the southbound critter. No problem, up to ours, and away:





He crossed the road east, and I thought he'd turn north and along the river. Wrong agin, south. Then a loop west, across the road, and- a silver singleton this time, out of the same covert! A little slip north and east and then:



No , this is not number 307 of my ongoing "There was just a coyote here, really!" series...


Yes, they are still back there...


But a fair distance. First on the scene was our spare huntsman. Lifting his hat to show where the game went, as one should:


"They are going to have this one! I'll eat him myself if I catch him first!"





I don't know. Those hounds are pretty far behind.



Again I ventured to wonder if he'd swing north. There was a little flutter that way, but back south. Hey, it worked before! And again, west across the road:



And north again! Well, it worked twice before. Crossing the same field east? You bet:




A little faster this time!

I wonder how much better A. J.'s shot of this 'yote is than mine:

"Sheesh, what is WITH you people! L8r-"



" I am not EVEN taking my hat off this time."


Hounds were farther behind than before, and Wile E. did not look beat to my eye. Between the soaking ground and his jinking and turning, he was lengthening his lead.

I'm always beating the drum of how scent varies from hound to hound, and here was what I took as an illustration. When hounds came across the field, they were on his track, but spread out like a cloud. And they weren't really running in the classic sense- drifting and swirling around, and fairly quiet. This picture gives an idea:


But then from the back edge of the field we could hear one hound- a fairly high pitched voice. Along she came, dead on the line, head down, and speaking at every stride. To my mind, the scent in that field at that minute was just no big deal to two dozen hounds. But to that one, it was the thing!

She came straight, right through the rest of the pack. They got the message and fell in.

Alas it was not to be. They lost him on his third try in the woods. Unless, as I believe possible, our extra huntsman caught and ate him!


Hmmm...

Naah.

No way he'd have kept it to himself...

Good boys and girls!


A moment for sincere and respectful condolences from one professional to another on the silver coyote's escape:



And then on to the next draw. In the brilliant "Parkinson's Law", Cyril Parkinson scoffingly suggested that if the ordinary trends of bureaucracy he was outlining held true, a day might come when the Royal Navy had more Admirals than ships.

That was intended as a ridiculous and impossible straw man, but it actually has come true.

And now because of stupid Parliament and its jackass laws, the D&S and QSH have more staff than hounds.

I don't think we'll get that way any time soon. But...



here's one per couple and a half!


That was pretty much end of day. Hounds worked well together as far as I could tell. The visitors and home hunt didn't pick different coyotes and run in opposite directions at least. And a fun hunt party to round off the Saturday!

I stayed in a remote cabin that night, courtesy of a very generous fellow hunter. And had my very first experience like this ever!

I woke up...



(No, not what you think.)



AT THE MEET.

No driving required. Shock.

This was at the N. F. H.

Pretty day, alas:



A lot of scampering! The pictures are pretty lame- shots of the truck roof, grass, sky, random tree branches. We moved out, my pilot believes in getting there!

Did see a pretty self cast by these hounds, coyote came arrow straight into one side of a big jungly covert and turned ninety degrees right handed in he middle of it. They worked it out just fine:



Covered some distance:






Hounds, as these do, worked hard and there was much running. We didn't catch this clever and woods-bound coyote:



But he had a good workout.

One funny incident. The G. L. E. are still in effect. Pictures available on request...