Wednesday, November 12, 2014

first pheasant of the year

The bird jumped up behind me with a clatter of wings. Even with one good eye my shooting was poor at best. Now the left lens of my shooting glasses is deliberately blurred, to force the right eye to take a dominant role. With a vitreous detachment in the right eye, this leaves me with no good eye when hunting: better than shooting right-handed and left-eyed, still something less than optimal. I winged him with the second shot so he plumped down a couple hundred yards out in the water. Fortunately I have a good dog who is much better at hunting than me. Artie promptly took off for a long swim, whimpering slightly in the cold water, and perhaps also with the excitement of actually having a bird to fetch.

There was a brief fracas midwater as Artie negotiated a good grip on the bird. The pictures (thanks Ken) are cellphone, which can take beautiful portraits of still trout at close range in good light. The image quality of these doesn't do much to showcase your retina display, but it does have a quality almost like an oil painting when zoomed in, see below, which I find appealing. That's also closer to what comes in through my no good eyes than any pixel-perfect representation.

It is curious to look at these paintings of the gentry at their recreation, and feel a nostalgie for a culture and society to which I would not have been admitted. It is this I think
"perhaps the greatest escapism of all is to take refuge in the domesticity of the past, the home that history and literature become, avoiding the one moment of time in which we are not at home, yet have to live: the present. "

Sensible dog found a tooth-hold safely in the rear, away from beak and spurs. The bird looks outraged, "I demand to see the management !" but unluckily they are not taking complaints today. 

Artie glares at the bird, though his ire is misplaced. Next time he should just bite me on the leg instead.