This time of year, I find myself cradling my shotgun on lonely wind-swept ridges, watching melodic dance of three hard-charging setters pulled by the Western wind. They spin and lope and run with their heads high, drawn into grassy arroyos, flung up onto high sage benches. They stop suddenly, honoring each other, frozen in moment and time and I ride up, dismount and move in. Never knowing what is before, only enjoying the moment and the dance. This is how I live my life. . . perhaps nothing will be there, but perhaps it will be a flock of Huns, flying hard and fast and my shotgun up and swinging. A bird may fall and the muffled panting of the grandson of my best dog will foretell of a young dog with a bird in his mouth, headed my way. I will take the bird from him in high praise, clean it quickly, and shove it down into my saddle bags, warm in the autumn sun, and warm with affection for animals who move us and think more of us then they do of themselves. That is good living, is it not? It is about the hunt, the dance, the west wind, the open country, the eighty year old saddle I ride, the fast-moving gray mare between my legs, the moment. What is before is yet to be seen and doesn’t really even matter.
4 thoughts on “This time of year”
Wonderfully written as always sir. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.
Purchased our first October Setter in August after a referral from you, thank you!
I am looking for one of your websites older essays- “you only get so many Octobers
Is there anyway you can re-publish. it was a super writing.
I want to share it with a good friend whose pointer is in her last season.
Hi John, thanks for the comment. The blog posts should be available to you if you can remember the author, you can just go right their work and scroll down through the posts to find it. Click on the authors name, and then you can start looking.
And here it is, penned by the eloquent Greg McReynolds