Firelight Bird Dogs

Firelight Bird Dogs

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Aptly Named

The title of this little blog is Firelight Reflections. A little play on words in that over the years I have most often used it to share tales and times involving my Firelight Setters.  But the name Reflections was intended to mean more, intended to offer a time and place to think and reflect on my chosen lifestyle.

My lifestyle is not for everyone. I live on the edge of thousands of acres of forest on a pitted, sandy road.  As far as I know, there are only 3 of us who live on this road year round; the owners of the handful of cabins scattered in the woods live downstate in the cities and come up only for summer holiday weekends. For all appearances, it looks like some owners never come at all.  I live with 7 birddogs who represent generations 5, 6, and 7 of Firelights.  There are hunting boots, rubber boots and snow boots scattered by the doorway. The dining table is cluttered with flowers in my grandmothers crystal vase, half empty boxes of 28 ga shells, my laptop, and empty wine bottles from recent dinners with friends.

It snowed here today, adding up to perhaps 8" or so but has tapered to a fine, light white mist seen in the yard light.  There are no tracks out on the road.  We knew the snow was coming so were prepared to settle in for the day.  There must have been a bird hunter out in the woods this morning for the re-opening of grouse season though because a Labrador Retriever, wearing an orange hunting vest and a GPS/ecollar, came running out from the trail and sensing that this was a dog friendly house, came up onto my deck and asked to come in.  He suddenly turned his head as if he heard his owners whistle or perhaps a buzz on his collar and then raced back off and up the trail. He came back briefly but then disappeared.

The outdoors this evening have that wonderful soft darkness of a fresh snowfall. I had to help the spindly pine out front on which I had strung some Christmas lights, the weight of the heavy snow had pulled the few branches to the ground and even the top was bowed down and touching the snow.  The woodstove is burning steady and warm, I will need to carry in a few more logs before bedtime. And what a wonderful thing it is to be sitting and reading when the yearling dog decides that she need love, or perhaps that it is I who needs love. She comes over and places her front legs and chest across my lap and I set my book and glasses on the nearby table.  She quietly lies there for a few minutes as I stroke her silky ears - I love Setter ears.  After a short time she removes herself and goes to lie in front of the stove, a long sigh is heard as she settles in.

Come tomorrow we will explore to see if the footing is reasonable for hunting as I hope to get this youngster into more birds this season.  But for now, I will reflect on the path that brought us to this peaceful moment and wonder where it will take us next.

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