Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pheasant Hunting

Now that Ryan has all his gear, we're ready to go. We woke up relatively early the next morning, but it would have been earlier if it wasn't raining, and headed out to the fields. Once we got there, it was POURING. But Oom Jopie noticed a break in the clouds to the east, and so we decided to drive to a little town, I believe it was called Springfield, to scope out places for breakfast. This was a SMALL town, like 1800 people, but we managed to find a little diner whose biscuits and gravy were raved about by people leaving it. Biscuits and gravy is probably Ryan's favorite breakfast, so we rode out the storm there. After having our fill of warm food, coffee, and listening to their cook sing along with the old country western tunes, we headed back to the fields to find that the storm had moved on. While it was pretty chilly, the sun was starting to break through the clouds.

Seriously, look how dark those clouds are. Just to the left are the cold, snowy Sierra Nevadas.

Shelby couldn't wait to get out and start looking for some birds. She would run from bush to bush, sniffing and looking, while we waited for her to show a point. It looks kind of like this. . .

but not really. Mom IS holding a pretty nice point though.
Shelby continued to work the bushes, she is a Brittany spaniel by the way.

And so did Mom.

Just kidding! This woman is hilarious.

We walked and walked, just waiting for Shelby to find something.

Oom Jopie (left) and Ryan

We found a cute, rustic windmill. I like windmills.

and enjoyed the view of the pretty outdoors.

cloud-hidden, snow-covered Sierras

I love the mountains. It didn't rain the whole time we were out there, but it was totally storming just over there.

Pretty much what the entire landscape looked like. A lone pair of trees. Piles of sage brush here and there. Then another cluster way over there. And we'd have to walk to it, because Shelby, with her amazing supply of endless energy was already over there scoping out the bushes and you didn't want a bird to fly and not be there. It was funny, because she would be sticking to a bush and Jopie would tell Ryan to go run over and wait for her to point, and so Ryan would. If it was my other uncle, Oom Tiki, they would argue with each other about whose turn it was to run over to Shelby, then watching the bird fly out and neither of them were there to get it. Then they'd just laugh at each other. Jopie enjoyed Ryan's eagerness to learn and get something.

It was so muddy. I wish had thought to get a picture, but the mud attaches itself and grows on your boots. And you end up with a whole clod of mud, wet grass and leaves stuck to your shoe so that you are carrying an extra few pounds on your legs. exhausting. I think Ingrid is trying to show me here.

sage and hills

There's the pheasant farm. There is some guy that raises the pheasants and lets them out periodically over the season. He has to do that since they are easy hawk/eagle/coyote prey and they often get pushed up into the hills behind his farm (where you're not allowed to hunt - there's a fence). So he ensures that there are birds for hunting.

the Farm

more walking . . .

Ingrid and Ryan

The boys (Ryan, Jopie and my dad) and Shelby also ended up sweeping the whole other side of the field. Mom, Ingrid and I huddled together on a log not too far from the windmill and busted out the snacks. Sadly there weren't any birds, or pheasant at least. Ryan shot at a dove but missed - they were in season too. Shelby was so cute, because she was getting so frustrated about not finding anything. She whined and whined. It was so sad. And she was a tired little girl too.

The Shelbs

She slept with Ingrid and I. Every time one of us would shift or move, you'd hear her let out this huge exasperated sigh, like "guys, would you please let me sleep in peace!" We went out again the next day too. It was sunny and much warmer, but still no birds. We heard one though, crying out as if jesting at us because we couldn't try to find him. He was on the other side of the fence. O pheasants, just wait until next year....

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