Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not Broke to Children...

So, off for a day with an old line Virginia foxhound pack.

Found the meet, cool and frosty.

And at DAWN, which is when it ought to be.
Off the trailer,

Lovely stout hounds-

And not collared!  Excellent to see.

Past Tara. Last time I saw this house it was a wreck, it and the grounds are immaculate now.

The Huntsman assigned me to follow a pilot, who sent me around the corner to a road.

Ford , the Niva of America.

I heard the draw in front of me, and a couple of deer ran out off to my right. And  then, dashing across the polo field-

Stupid tree...

A big strong maroon fox!

Gittin' it, isn't he?

But wait, what's this?

His scruffy pal, a brace away!

Thank you for spotting me just right, Jimmy.

And off down the road.  My camera should NOT drink so much.

Fortunately I remembered that this crew doesn't holloa before opening day.

Along came hounds, opening on the second fox's line.

Heading right at me, beautiful music.

Fairly tight, too.

At the point where the two lines intersected, they switched to the first fox's line,

then the wall swirled them back up,

and back to the  ragged critter.


Only a moment, and back- and then farther back...

And way on ahead to the horn. 

Cutting corners?


They opened again, and off away.

It's a jungle in there.  I followed along and along they came. 

I hear my pals over there!

Turns out that ANOTHER brace had come out of that first covert, and the huntsman wanted to chase them. 

Off across a big open field.

I like funny looking hound pictures.

The field pounded along...

Better get your armour!

Thelwell crew bringing up the rear.

A split and a check.

I was introduced to a lovely follower out for her first day's hunting.  I told her friend that it would have been better to just give her heroin. Less disruptive to her life, cheaper, less alienating from society.

"Oh, she is a new Chronicle employee and she ought to be educated."

Which is a much higher requirement than they have for  the readers...

Hey fellows!

What do you have?

Hey what's going on?

Just like standing on the sidewalk in the city and looking up.

Hounds rattled around back and forth for a while, sounding good. Heard a horn call,  around the bend, to see this...

Yes, to ground in the round (bales).

Huntsman did as he ought, get off and root around.

A good thorough stir up produced nothing,

so off for the next draw.

Here I am barreling up and down Route 50.

What is this, 1988?

Draws continued, not much luck. Down into a cool little glade to regroup and count up.

I was startled by one whipper-ins voice on the radio, which sounded shockingly like one of ours at home.

"I got twenty and a half twice. If that means anything."

Clearly a graduate of the Staghounds school of hound counting.

Watch it....

Get back to him!

That's better. Jackass.

Off over into another pretty valley.  Again with the deer, hounds paid no attention.

Drawing up and down these woods, hounds speaking but just not able to hold on for long.


As in England, I was not startled to hear my pilot make references to history- "Mosby's second in command lived on that farm".

There was a pretty good bit of The War up and down this valley.  The best kind really, stitch up some uniforms, go rob Yankee trains and burn their stuff, go home at night.  Good thing that beast Sheridan was elsewhere.

"The Yankees burned that mill."  1865 was not yet 2 long lifetimes ago, memories of oppression last.  Shame our current Generals and Politicians didn't grow up amid the grandchildren of insurgents.

Past a goose pond...

And winding up.

Our future sorts out the day.

Cute ponies!

Homeward bound.


And as I took my end of day picture...

I heard what sounded like a terrier yipping from the far side of the house, and BOOM, hounds were off!

Whippers-in sprang into action, but hounds were focussed!

Oh lord, they have killed our host's dog...

Whew, no.  Turns out that as the field were returning, someone playfully reached out and squeezed a child's knee. The youngster laughed- that was the terrier like sound- and hounds took off.

And of course came right back.

Now that sounds like a mistake at first blush, but consider. I mentioned holloaing before,  and that's very important with this pack, especially at this time of year.  Remember the no holloa before opening rule? They want to avoid chopping cubs, and so hounds are kept very much on their toes to ensure that they can be readily called on, and off, as the situation demands it.

And they did dash to a high pitched human cry. 

So what might have seemed like a training failure was actually not one.  Now if we can just get a bit more holloa recognition experience...

All in all, a fun and interesting cubhunting day.

And need I say it, as always, friendly and welcoming people.

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