Thursday, November 03, 2005


S&P seem to be getting along better now. Still a bit standoffish, but we caught a bunny at the place I scoped-out in old fields revisited.

I had to take a day trip south on personal business yesterday. I took S, and on the way back we went after brush bunnies. These are a small variety of cottontail, about half the size of a "standard" two pound CT. Unlike CTs they don't seem to like to hide in their holes, possibly because the dirt is more sandy there. So it makes for great fun because they simply run somewhere else, and let you flush them again.

They're small enough to be silent when they get into cover, and they run like rats. Their tails don't flash in that way that hawks find so enticing. Watching them move, their legs don't pump, but you'd think they ought to, given how fast they get from point A to point B. They duck into a set of shrubs and Houdini into the place socks go. You saw where they went, you're sure they didn't pop out the other side, but they're gone. Kick, kick. Kick! Kick!! Trample!!! And nothing. They've beamed out, back to the Enterprise.

If by chance the bunny version of Scotty is off duty, their psychic powers kick in to determine where you least expect them to go, and they go in that direction.

S has hunted these quite a few times, and he loves them. I estimate he's caught at least sixty in his lifetime. They're small enough that when caught they give no fight, which is very appealing to a hawk – but you have to catch them first! Brush bunnies give Harris hawks the most entertaining flights: they sky up, hover, and vertical-stoop. When S was younger, he did a lot of brush crashing, and could catch three brushies in two hours. Now he's older (8x intermewed = 9 years), he's not into sustaining bumps and bruises. He'll stop if he sees a thick cluster between him and the quarry.

He did some excellent flying: swoops and sky-ups. As evening closed in, he got sharper, more determined, flew harder, but still didn't want to crash. We went home without a catch, but it was worth every minute to see him fly like that.

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