Avoiding black ice and traffic the other day while listening to the drone & thumps from the interstate cracks, I saw a New Belgium Brewing Company truck. The makers of Fat Tire had plastered the catchphrase of Follow Your Folly. Ours is Beer. obtrusively upon their beer carriage.
Well, my folly isn’t beer, but bird dogs and the wide open spaces they’ve taken me. Yes, it’s true that throughout my life I’ve rodeoed in many foolish endeavors…bounced out of airplanes with the 82nd Airborne Division (landed on my head once too many times…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), far far too many more to share…but never my bird dogs.
My bird dogs have taken me from the Montana prairies to the heavily-US-Border-patrolled-Mearn’s-country. We’ve breathed in the air of the dry Palo Duro country of the Texas panhandle and the Kansas sand sage and plum thickets. We brought home sand burs of the Cimarron and seen the photographs of the dust bowl years of the 1930’s on the walls at Jim-N-I’s in Elkhart Kansas. We’ve tromped in Hemingway’s Sun Valley and the cholla choked Colorado prairie. We’ve suffered from hypoxia at 14,000 ft above sea level desperately searching for ptarmigan and seen sage chickens cast shadows on Colorado’s North Park country.
Through it all, it’s been a great folly…explosive 50 bird coveys with setters feathering the wind.
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!
–Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You’ll Go!)
Instead of chiseled dignity, for example, a pointer of blue quail, regardless of breed, tends to have a cheerfully scheming and furtive air about him, and when he first points he seems to indicate: “This is just the beginning of the program, buster. If you pay attention we might get you a shot at some birds.“
–Charley Waterman (Upland Sprinters)