Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Time Again

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As predicted, this morning was warm enough that snow was sticky and melting. There was plenty of moisture in the air, but it wasn’t exactly foggy. There was something of a spooky feel to the ambiance of the ranch.

Delilah didn’t seem to care, as she pulled hard against her leash in a rush to get to the next scent that was always just beyond the one she just checked. The horses were out of the paddock, milling along the fence between the hay-field and the back pasture. They weren’t on the same side of the fence, which is nothing new.

Last night, Legacy was in the pasture and the other three were in the hay-field. This morning, Dezirea was alone in the hay-field.

Suddenly, a loud crack from a rifle echoed between the hills and the horses nervously adjusted their positions in response. I discovered that the pans of feed that I had set out last night were left untouched under the barn overhang.

A couple of the chestnuts had obviously been through the paddock to change their location, but apparently they didn’t bother to come up to the barn. It’s that time again. Deer hunting season started this morning at sunrise. Gun shots started last night. I guess they were making sure their guns worked.

More shots rang out. I’m not sure how far the sound carries, but it gives me the impression there are a lot of hunters in action in a relatively small area around us. How do they keep from shooting at each other, I wonder. And, are there really that many deer out and about right now?

If our horses are on alert, I expect the deer are just as keen to notice the sounds and would be inclined to make themselves even more scarce than usual.

I walked Delilah through the paddock toward the horses in the pasture by the round pen. Legacy responded to our presence and approached the closed gate between us. To accommodate their skittishness, I opened that gate to save them walking around to the one that we leave open. I guided them toward the hay feeder and then walked around to do the same for Dezirea from the hay-field.

More gun shots. The horses let the lure of the hay override their urge to flee. I wandered up to the barn and shook the feed pan, which initially startled their panic response, but then drew them up to eat, albeit in hurried fits of anxiety.

Delilah took full advantage of the all-she-could-eat-buffet of manure droppings that were reappearing within the melting snow, as I just stood calmly to assure the horses that they were safe. At the edge of the pine forest across the road from us, a lone figure in blaze orange appeared to be standing sentinel. His jacket must have been old and dirty, because when two figures appeared across the snowy field from him, their outfits outshone his to the point of looking electrically illuminated.

No sign of any hunting success. From the sound of all the shots being fired, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

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Written by johnwhays

November 22, 2014 at 10:26 am

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