Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cactus, Jack

I spent the better part of last week chasing birds in South TX, something I've been fortunate enough to do for the last few years at various times. This year stood apart as far as the quail are concerned (more on that later) and, unfortunately, for one other reason.

Walking after some singles I cut a corner a little too close and knew it immediately. The cactus drove through my pants just above my knee and left the spines in there when I lurched backward. The long ones have surprising penetration ability and the short ones are just plain aggravating to get out. I got them all out after several minutes of picking and pulling that also involved dropping my pants in the middle of a Texas pasture, but that was just the beginning.

Not this one, a bigger, angrier cousin.

T + 3 hrs - I start to notice some soreness in the knee.

T + 20 hrs - What the ???

T + 36 hrs - I need an aisle seat on the plane.

T + 48 hrs - Wonder what a torn meniscus feels like? Or a strained medial collateral cruciate patella femur thingy?

T + 72 hrs - This damn thing ain't gettin' any better.

T + 4 days - Stairs is another word for Bataan.

T + 6 days - Finally turning the corner.

Lessons learned? 1000 denier cordura is no match for this stuff.  Filson tin cloth might be but on most days it's too hot in my neck of the woods so I don't own a pair. After this run-in I may see what's on eBay, though. And in the future I'll be giving a wide berth to these green hornets. I'll try not to complain about briars any more.

Worth it for some of the best bird hunting I've ever had? Oh yeah.

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