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Friday, July 31, 2015

Just a walkin' the dog

A quick walk up onto the top despite the 'seasonal' weather, that is cloud level at about 350 metres, visibility down to about 50 metres, wind about 20 mph and frequent showers! As you would expect there was not a lot to see and unfortunately for Tarquin I decided to go with the wind at our backs. You see, I didn't much fancy walking into the wind for any length of time when the showers were quite heavy. So, he didn't get much chance to scent anything that wasn't already behind us. Still, he managed to stretch his legs quartering the hillside following the ground-scent and deer tracks.


Even though not yet a year old, he is able to cover miles running over really rough terrain. Whenever, deer are within reach, he is off. He just seems to love the chase. I say that because on one occasion, he chased a young buck into the swollen burn and while the deer managed to get itself broached on a rock Tarquin was swimming madly against the current in the pool below it. I called him off and gave the deer a chance to get away whilst we walked on upstream. On our return journey back down stream he pointed to a bush, where the young buck was taking shelter. It seemed absolutely tired-out as, when Tarquin ran at it, it fell over when it tried to stand.

I feared the worst and expected blood and fur as my lovely, gentle pet dog turned into a ferocious killer ripping the poor beasts throat out; however, Tarquin jumped all over the poor beast apparently trying to sniff it to death. I finally managed to get his attention, not easy when the distraction is as powerful as that, got him on the lead and pulled him off the young deer; which got to it's feet and tottered unsteadily away whilst I dragged a reluctant hound in the opposite direction.

My lovely, gentle pet dog... a ferocious killer?
I allow myself to be distracted by our fortunate position in this country, i.e. top of the food chain, and forget that to the rat, a cat must be a monster. By reducing the wild animal population to smaller that the average dog we have protected ourselves from the dangers of being a part of the food chain. Without bears and wolves to worry about the only thing to be wary of is the occasional rutting deer and insects. If we could, would we would try to eliminate the ticks, midges and mosquitos...I bet we would.

Clay shooting at Rothiemurchus for Andrew, Sarah and Angus whilst Zoe was looking after a pony for a day at Broomhill stables in Fortrose.

 Definitely at the top of this food chain...those clay pigeons don't stand a chance!

Even so, I think we gave 'em a sporting chance. A new experience for us all, we had never fired a shotgun before. There is something quite satisfying about seeing those clay discs disintegrate in mid-air almost instantly. Especially when you get to shoot two discs with two barrels one after the other...now I'm starting to boast about my prowess with the gun. We all enjoyed the experience although Sarah admitted that she felt quite nervous of the guns. Andrew settled into the thing quite well and started to hit discs consistently by the end of the session, which lasted over an hour.

Sarah said that she preferred archery, but I must admit that I just seem to enjoy shooting anything that can be shot accurately whether that is a catapult, bow and arrow or gun. Not sure quite what it is about, but a big part of it seems to be about skills acquisition rather than any actual outcome of the act itself. A bit like golf I suppose, it is all to do with progress and improvement, the moment it's not challenging, the moment there is not anything 'more', then it gets discarded as soon as another challenge can be found. So there it is, it is much more about the challenge and achieving progress with perfection as the goal rather than the outcome. Still, the closer to perfection it gets the greater the satisfaction. Then I can move on to something else...of course.

1 comment:

Angus said...

Zoe speaking. The clay pigeon shooting looked really fun, the own a pony day was great.For a while i had Skerry because Cassie was getting new shoes after lunch i had Cassie again :-)