Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Father's Eye

I was my father's hunting buddy from age 10 until I was 15, when I dumped him for a boy at school.
From September 1st (dove season) until January 31st (geese), we hunted every single Sunday.
We were bird hunters.
Dove, quail, pheasant, duck, and geese.
His dog of choice was Brittany Spaniel.
They were a dual-purpose dog.
Fabulous pointers and great retrievers.
To this day, I don't know how anyone hunts small birds like dove and quail without a dog to retrieve them.  
Finding a downed brown/gray/beige bird in brown/gray/beige brush seems impossible to me.

This morning I was doing something that is second nature to me----looking out the window of my car as I drove the kids out to the bus stop.
My eyes are always on pasture land, forest and sky (and the road, duh!).
All those Sundays, scanning the sides of the road for the perfect pasture to hunt, or the sky for geese and duck working in, has become a part of my makeup as a human being.
Eric says I see things that other people (him), don't see.

I get that from my dad.
I believe that I've passed it along to Jenna.

As I rounded the corner on my return home, something in my pasture most definitely caught my eye.
At first, all I saw was spots and red.  
My brain processed, "fawn that is bleeding".

It never entered my mind that it could be a ring-neck pheasant.
We don't have those in Central Texas.

Evidently, we do.

I carefully rolled down the window and he stuck tight.
Camera phone picture was ridiculous.
I pulled away and prayed all the way back to the house that he'd still be there when I returned with a real camera.

He did.

He sat like a stone.
They do that. 

I got back to the house and uploaded the pictures.
Or not!
The darned computer wouldn't recognize the camera I had used!!

Back in the car, new camera in hand, praying, praying he'd still be there.

He was!
He sat like a stone.
They do that.

The sun peeked through the clouds and provided some great lighting.
This was the best picture.
Of course, he had his eyes closed.
Isn't that always the way? :)

No matter.
If I hadn't spent nearly every Sunday from September-January with my Dad, I would never have seen this beautiful bird in my pasture at all.


  1. Wow! After all that I must say you were meant to take that picture! It's so nice you have such warm memories of time spent alone with your dad. Bernie has many memories of bird hunting with his dad, too. I love to listen to him talk about them. They used Springer Spaniels - Candy and Charlie. And they hunted for pheasants as well. Your picture turned out really nice!

  2. That's awesome! I have only ever seen one in the wild...I wish they were more common. They are beautiful birds!

  3. Wow!!! What an awesome picture. And it is even more awesome that the bird stayed put while you kept running back to the house. I probably would have never seen it as he is so well camouflaged. Your days with your Dad really payed off.

  4. Awesome, CeeCee! That's so funny - just this morning, I saw not only Mr. Pheasant in our pasture, but Mr. and Mrs. Pheasant - a first! I love the sound that they make... and yes, they are such beautiful birds.

  5. WE are seeing less and less of those lovely birds here...too many coyotes and foxes. I'm glad they are showing up down there!