Pre-dawn rise. Collars charged, canine chargers kenneled in the pickup. Black sky and drizzle. Fog. All four released into tall grass and ripening berry. Fur wet through to skin. Running hard and hunting as if it were the last day of the season instead of the first. All four into the mist of this first day of the best month of the year. Pause now, lead dog pointing, others backing. Walk in. Five birds rise. Autoloader: three raspy barks. Three young grouse fall. It doesn’t, it can’t, get any better. No way, no how. Not even with dry feet.