Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bobs and Spinners

Sweden Grain Bins
On the twenty-second of January, Susan and I were at the Rev Room in Little Rock listening to Billy Joe Shaver sing and tell his many tales of life in Texas. We were pretty much oblivious to the destruction that five tornadoes brought to a familiar area about fifty miles to the southeast. One  tornado blew through the Sweden Plantation, destroying about the only thing left there. At one time this spot had two of the most beautiful southern homes on the Arkansas River. The smaller of the pair is left and the tornado spared it. Not the granary and farm shop though. It also cut a quarter of a mile wide slice through an ancient cypress swamp. Unlike Kansas and Oklahoma, our twisters usually come in the night and are hidden by the forests in the area. It's just something else that kinda adds to the drama of storms in Dixie.

William, Susan, a lot of dogs and I were very fortunate to be able to go to an old family birdhunting spot that my uncle had designed when he owned and farmed a plantation nearby The Sweden. The farm had been laid out for agriculture and bird hunting in the sixties and seventies.  My earliest recollection of chasing Gentleman Bob goes back to that crack in time, 1968, with my uncle.  It was intimidating to hunt anything with him, much less the feathered rockets of a covey of quail. My uncle was an All American trap or skeet champion (I could never get it straight in those days) so any shot seemed routine to him. I hit the first bird I shot at and I think he thought he had a progeny.  That all turned to crap when the next covey exploded off a point by Paladin's Punk.  Pretty cool dog name for 1968.  So with a great deal of past memories swirling though my psyche, we turned loose and set free Jack the Dog, Bobby and Hazel.  Jack didn't take long to find the first legacy covey.
Jack the Dog

 About fifteen birds exploded between William and me, and we got two. William thinks he got a double but I had to remind him that in family history his genes had been diluted more than mine - therefore I surely shot one. We had a great hunt and I enjoyed pointing out the places to Susan and William where I had found quail years before. Jack the Dog, (thank Anna my daughter or the song by the Band for that name) finally nailed another nice group of birds in a plum thicket and I still don't know how I missed. William pointed out that he didn't.We had a great time on a round that twenty years ago would have produced close to ten coveys. We were very grateful to the owners of the property letting us have a fine walk on a beautiful Sunday morning behind a brace of happy setters.
Weddings, trout fishing and an end of the bird season run to the barren Comancheria lay ahead. Be curious, ask questions and enjoy good music.

Loggerhead Shrike

lucky shot

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