Wednesday, October 26, 2005

old fields revisited

A new skim of my old fields is both promising and disappointing. The last time I was in this one field, I was standing atop a pile of concrete chunks watching a fox run away. I'd never seen a fox, but they're supposed to be red and skinny. This guy was gold-brown. And fat -- he had a distinct joggle waddle to his trot. Reason being, he was eating all my bunnies.

On Sunday, the concrete was still there, but the bunnies weren't. Maybe because it was 16:00, which is a little before the bunnies start coming out. Still, we managed to catch a jackrabbit. Both birds were in good condition, and Squeaky was on the fist at the time.

The jack rocketed off, heading southeast with the wind. Squeaky launched and bound to its rear, held it briefly, but the jack kicked him off. Meanwhile, Polya had taken off from the pole he was on and bound -- again to its butt, damn it -- thirty feet later.

We then had a thirty-yard rodeo ride with both birds bouncing. I could see Squeaks trying to get a foot on the rabbit's head. (He has better control over his feet than Polya, and once walked up a jack's back to get to the front end. Think of it like trying to climb from a rampaging elephant's rear to the head. One step: CLANG. Another step: CLANG. Another step: CLANG!)

Jack was still going at a good pace when I caught up with them all. Whew.

So I don't have bunnies, but I still have jacks. I drove by another field, which had been fenced off for construction. Looks like that has fallen through (hoorah) and I can get to it again. They flattened and scraped clean a hill and a lot of brush, and it was getting dusky, so it was hard to tell if there were any bunnies left. I did flush a jack, though. There's always jacks.

So that's good in its way, but bunnies are more fun. The birds do more interesting flights with bunnies, because if they're a distance from the hole, they zig more. Jacks run flat out. Being smaller, it's easier for bunnies to freeze up under a tiny bit of cover. The hawks sky up and hover, waiting for it to come out again, then do spectacular vertical stoops, like falcons in miniature.

So it's just waiting for Thursday to go hawking again...

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