Friday, June 22, 2012

The days are getting shorter

It's barely noticeable unless you're keeping score, a mere technicality yielding no practicality.  With fully two thirds of the working summer remaining and essentially all of the really hot days still to come only an optimist or a drooling fool would see any sign of autumn in this event.  I've rarely been labeled an optimist.

It's not that I loathe summer.  Swimming with the kids, a hammock I'm pretty fond of, bare feet, no jackets, fresh everything, humidity, mosquitoes, periodic drought, oppressive heat waves.  Yeah.

There are lots of things that I do loathe: spoiled grownups, a leaking roof, a checking account determined to achieve the value of zero, politics in general, Kanye West, reflux.......ok, enough whining.  It's one of the curious conditions of human existence that such nuisances are easily displaced by the hope of something better down the road, doesn't have to be bird season, anything more appetizing than the irritant at hand will do.  And hope comes in the form of even the tiniest reminder.

In the same way I'm forced to admit on December 21st that the best time of the year is ending I allow myself the brief but savory pleasure of knowing that fall and its vices are getting closer.  Not in a hurry, though, just right on schedule.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New York to Finally Get a Dove Season?

Sometimes I focus way too much on the things I don't have instead of enjoying the things I do.  The Syracuse Post-Standard reported this week that a bill was introduced in the New York State Senate that would re-classify dove as "migratory game birds" from their current classification as songbirds, opening the door for the Department of Environmental Conservation to implement a full-fledged dove season.  I don't know why but I just kinda thought that the only places lacking a dove season were places lacking doves.  It's as much of a given down here as fried food and embarrassing local headlines that make national news.

I don't know whether there's a powerful songbird lobby in the Empire State or whether change is just glacially slow in such a "progressive" place.  Either way it seems strange that grouse, pheasant and even bobwhite quail are fair game during the season and dove get a free pass on their way south.  Hell, California has a mourning dove season, for crying out loud.

Part of the problem may be that almost half of the population lives on a strip of land 13 miles long and 2 miles wide, a place where shotguns are are either offensive or defensive weaponry and millet fields are, umm, completely nonexistent.  The other part of the problem, whatever it is, evades me.  Dove hunting is one of fall's finest diversions and there's no practical reason to deprive any sportsman of its rewards.  In both solitary and social forms, it is bargain recreation for any who enjoy a gun, a dog, fresh air or any combination of these.  And it's an excellent way to get a kid off the couch and hooked on something good.

New York doesn't just deserve a dove season, they need one.