Thursday Night Fun Run

This is a nice flowing course that should encourage a bit of speed. It’s probably a bit more difficult than it looks as it features several options and traps which are always more interesting when they come at full speed.

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Warm-Up Sequence

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A February Walkabout

Typically February is a month of oppressive cold, crusty ice, and treacherous footing. This week has been exceptionally warm feeling more like mid-April than mid-February. I fear that the freakishly warm temperature of this Indian summer will entice trees into pushing out their early spring leaves and blossoms only to be betrayed by a killing freeze surely to follow.

Last evening the storm system that pushed through Oklahoma the day before was upon us. And we were under a tornado watch. We gathered our dogs up and went down into the basement while the wind hammered against the house. There was a bit of thunder and lightning making the whole thing a bit more dramatic. But ultimately we escaped anything really terrible.

After setting the course for this evening’s fun run I took a walk out through the property. Mostly I was interested in what kind of damage last week’s ice storm had wrought, coupled with a terrible wind event yesterday.

I have downed trees and boughs all over the property. I’ll have an active spring with the chain-saw and can probably put up enough firewood for both cottages and the main cabin to last us a couple of years. The pine alone will fuel a number of pretty good bonfires for our summer agility campers.

Taking a stout branch as a walking stick I followed a critter trail through the woods and across the lower pasture. The path seems to be cut mainly by deer and rabbits and both have left ample scat to mark their passage. The pasture has been leased in years past for field straw and hay. I’m more interested in transplanting a variety of trees and allowing it to go back to nature, while marking a permanent walking trail to meander around through it.

By the pond there is a place where some carnivore took apart a rabbit some time ago, leaving little but a pile of fur tufts. I’d noted the spot several weeks ago. I noted this morning that the creature has moved on to meatier game. There is a section of a spine and a large hipbone in the vicinity. I’m guessing that these are from some deer that was shot by one of the many irresponsible hunters that trek through this part of the world shooting at everything they see. Because many of them aren’t particularly good shots their prey will often run away mortally wounded to die in some low hollow in the woods.

I don’t know what the critter is. I expect it’s a coyote. I can hear their song on some evenings. I don’t particularly want them predating on my property and expect I’ll have to do something about it. A domestic dog is a meal to a coyote.

Coming back up the hill from the pond is considerable more work than walking down the hill, toward the pond. I expect I should do this walk everyday, weather permitting, because it’s pretty good exercise. I made note of first year fingerlings under the canopy of the woods that really should be transplanted. They’ll die for lack of sunlight come the summer.

I’ll typically pick up pockets of hickory or walnuts seed when on these walks and then stomp them into the ground in clear areas. I noted by the lower cottage that most of the hickory nuts had been cleaned up leaving only a littler of shell quarters. That most likely means that there’s some squirrel or rodent bivouacking at the cottage. I’ll have to keep my eye on that as well. They seldom clean up after themselves.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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