Henderson is filling out, lengthening, pausing here and there to touch his nose to the frozen ground. We've been doing a little hunting, with Rocket leading the way. Finally, Henderson is getting out there and sniffing the ground. If it moves like a hunting dog, and checks the air like a hunting dog, it might be a hunting dog. We're still not sure. Mallards should be here soon in big numbers.
It's nearly duck season, or at least I keep telling myself that, and the refrain "drain the swamp!" is still ringing in my ears. Why would anyone want to eradicate wetlands? Swamps are my favorite places. I prefer them to Thai restaurants, fashion outlets, and football stadiums. Here's five reason why we should respect swamps and wetlands. 1. They act as nurseries and nesting sites for wild birds (hawks even) and animals. 2. They absorb rainwater and run-off so that water has a place to reside. 3. They are worth painting. 4. They are places where one can go and be alone emersed in birdsong. 5. The global economy doesn't matter much when you're knee deep in a swamp and there are mallards overhead. I'm tired of people using their misunderstanding of natural places to score political points. If you need to contact me, you can't. I'll be in my local swamp with my dogs.
Patrick and I took his son, Brendon, to Springer for a pheasant hunt this weekend. Brendon was very safe with his gun, listened to instructions, and shot his first birds. I frequently asked him if his safety was on, whether or not he knew how many shells he had in his shotgun. We told him to make sure all of his birds were up and cleared of the dogs before he shot. He did well. It was hot and dry, so the birds were running. Rocket flushed most of them. Henry still just sort of comes along and trails behind me, which is new for me. He goes out and hunts a bit here and there, but is still too young to know what to make of it all.