Beau January 24th, 2010
It’s been a long, wet, soggy, foggy week. A short stay with the flu (always seems longer than it is) and I missed most of it, but learned once again the value of soup and a light diet! Haven’t been sick in at least a year, and this one snuck up quick one night and stayed for a few days. Of course now my appetite is making up for it…
Lots of rain though, and the ground is really saturated. Hopefully we won’t see the wind storms we do at times, because that’s when trees tend to blow over. The birds don’t seem to mind the water though. Instead of our typical wild birds at the feeders, a host of Mourning Doves showed up early one day to enjoy a breakfast banquet with friends.
I haven’t seen this many before- there were nearly twenty-five at one point and they’re pretty skittish. The least movement or sound and they fly off in complete abandon, nearly in all directions and some thumping on the windows of the house. Most the year I hardly see them at all, and they hide and roost in the forest pretty effectively.
Doves are “in season” from about the first of September through early November here in Missouri. They’re hunted pretty hard in the farm areas, and are not easy targets. They fly incredibly fast, and are not easy to find. Usually a dove hunter sets up near a field where they’ll feed early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It’s not too far off for an average hunter to go through a box of shells and only take a few doves home. Yes- they’re pretty little as far as birds go, but they sure do make for a fine meal when prepared right. They’re not like chicken, but more like a lean dark-meat bird like duck, and more tender. I sure enjoy seeing them come to the feeders in winter though, and glad they can find what they need.
I didn’t get out much this year to help stock the freezer with wild game. I hope to do better next year because we are really blessed in Missouri with plentiful wildlife to help with food stores and costs. Not to mention the fishing! If one wanted to stock a freezer full of panfish it wouldn’t be very difficult. Instead most of us purchase expensive salmon or roughy or tilapia… Just our culture these days, and the pace of life.
One of my boyhood friends loves to fish, but doesn’t have much time anymore. When he’s asked now if he enjoys fishing, he says “You bet!” and then describes in glorious detail how he “goes fishing” and finds the diversity of the seafood section at his favorite grocery store.
I take for granted the fish we have right in our own pond. Always like the thought that they’re there if we need them, but we don’t eat them very often. Maybe this year it’ll be different… we’ll see.
The ice on the pond is almost gone now. I wonder if we’ll see really cold weather again this winter? I don’t know about you, but a little sun would be nice… :)