Thursday, May 22, 2014

From the days of film

Thumbing through some old photos I came across this one and although I had to scratch my head for a second, I don't think I've ever posted it here. It was taken around 1998 or 1999 at a preserve north of town where I had permission to hunt the leftovers. Pen-raised fowl are a distant second to wild birds but it was good practice before the season opened.

bird dog on point

Shortly after sunrise on a foggy morning, the scent conditions were ideal when he stopped in his tracks and I snapped the photo, then shot one of the two birds that flushed. The other landed in a tree at the edge of the field and he pointed that one too, ten feet over his head. I managed a photo of this as well but seem to have lost it in the folds of time.

Occasionally the unexpected, unplanned, and accidental have virtue. I thought nothing when I took it or later when I looked through the stack of pictures from the PhotoMart. This was no photo session. In fact, it was shot with a disposable camera.  Remember those?

A friend saw the picture and asked if she could have the negative to make a copy. That "copy" came back 2'x 3', framed, as a birthday present and I still have trouble convincing people that it's not a painting. The camera quality (low) combined with the film speed (probably high) and the enlargement resulted in a very grainy portrait that closely resembles the work of a brush. For the doubters I point to the ear turned inside out and the beggar's lice on his side.

This is the dog I wrote about in the first post ever on this blog. He's long gone and all this image brings back is more images played out in the motion theater behind my eyes. We had a lot of good days.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Semi-annual lazy links

It's May, it's hot already and bird season is a long, long way off. The right side of this equation is that while I may be thinking about birds and dogs and such, there aren't a lot of words in the pen right now, so excuse me while I stoop pretty low and point you to someone who is motivated.

Two someones, actually. The first is an article I read on Craig Koshyk's Pointing Dog Blog (found in the blogroll to the right).  The piece was written by a friend of his and is a well-presented case for preserving the remaining prairie, or what he refers to as "community pastures", for sharptail habitat by placing them in public trust. Funding for this would come from energy royalties. I know it sounds kind of dry but like I said it's well-written and is an interesting proposal that might have applications in other species and in other places. Bobwhites, prairie chickens....

Direct link here:

The second someone is Daniel Wallace and he writes about a cemetery in Alabama for coon dogs. ONLY coon dogs. I can't begin to do it justice, so just follow the link:

After reading the article and poking around, I found that the cemetery has its own website and Facebook page. If this ain't a slice of Americana I don't know what is.

We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming when this round of apathy passes.