Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well it's a new year, or so they tell me. I've often wondered why it is we claim it to be a new year and a time for new beginnings in the middle of winter, when most life
is slowed and new growth lays dormant. Perhaps because in this stillness and cold void of winter, we can reflect back on what has passed and try to see clear of it to make preparations for the future. In this time when the leaves are bare - it is less cluttered than any other season, and the short days and long nights provide ample time for reflecting, sorting and contemplation. So we can renew ourselves within and try to make ready before the arrival of spring and the emergence of new life
occurs. This inward renewal brings a glimmer of hope in the midst of the darkest time.
I hope everyone is finding that kernel of renewal inside themselves for the
New Year.

Over the Christmas and New Years holiday we've taken advantage of some time off
and made good on travels around the area to go see and do some things.
Hounds Tadawelt and Ananas joined me in meeting up with friends Dutch Salmon and Dan Gauss for a lovely day of hunting. They had with them - Galgo Sandia and Longdogs
Ashley,Angie and Cowboy. Cowboy was a handsome new addition to Dutch's group with a
deep dark black brindle color that reminded me of another dog, Tiwul,who was also quite beautiful in her time. Cowboy is a gift from a woman in Georgia and he can
really pour it on out in the field.
I began with both my hounds on leash and alternated having one in slips.Tadawelt had not been out running or hunting for 8 months,since April, and having been pregnant and given birth to a litter of puppies in August. So, I chose to walk her and let her warm up and reacquaint herself with things to start out with while giving Ananas the first turn out.
The day started off pretty cold and gray with a forecast of precipitation for the afternoon.So it felt like we better get out while we can,in case something did materialize and then it would be time to retreat indoors again. Dan and Dutch had already been walking around and were finding hares pretty quickly. After I got there
and started off with Ananas, we didn't have to walk for long before one revealed itself. That one ran out and gave a couple turns before outsmarting the dogs and going through a fence.
Now, it was Tadawelt's turn - Again, it wasn't too long walking, though we had gained
some distance from that fence, before we found another. All the dogs moved out smartly and it seemed the whole group were on top of this hare right away. There was swooping and swirling - a flow of curves and turns faster than I could perceive.
And in the next instant they had caught it! Ashley or Sandia - I'm not sure who...
But they were all right there and they figured it was 'chow time'! There was a bit of a 'tug-of-war' and each hound got a little before we were able to take it. Tadawelt surprised me by actually giving it up to another dog. Then Sandia stole the whole thing and had to be persuaded to give up his lunch.
After getting back on the move, we walked for a very long time and Ananas was quite fed up with walking in slips. She was reluctantly trudging along behind.
Tadawelt was on high alert, still hoping for another chance at lunch. So,I switched
them, and put Tadawelt back into slips to run again. The next one we finally found gave her a really long running workout that she hadn't experienced for eight long months. It went on and on till they were out of sight,over the horizon. She really
put herself into overdrive, and even though she trailed behind the faster longdogs,
she never quit. She put all her heart and desire into it, running the distance.
She also gave me a thrill by returning with the whole group of dogs and finding me right away. It was truly thrilling to see her give it her all and have such a grande time in the pursuit.
Even though we walked on for quite awhile, we did not find another hare before returning to the vehicles. I let Ananas off lead to roam around freely with the rest
of the group. And in this she did well and to my relief did not just run off on her own. The day had turned gorgeous with sunshine by then and walking all morning out
in these grande,open spaces had me feeling uplifted - A breath of fresh air in my spirit. Days out in the landscape, experiencing the moment are essential to some of that inner renewal. I am thankful to have had such a day.

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