My Best Hunting Dog

The best hunting dog I ever had was a small Brittany Spaniel, she was an outstanding hunter. Her breed could hypnotize a pheasant the way Fox can. The pheasants did not fly until she made them take off. Once I walked up she had a hen pheasant about a foot in front of her nose. It blinked its eyes at me then looked at the dog, but it did not move. Hen pheasants stay put a lot better than Roosters. Sam would stay on point. I walked up and made the pheasant fly one time. Sam grabbed it as soon as it took off the same way a Fox would do. I took the pheasant from her and turned it loose, that poor dog looked at me with a puzzled expression on her face, her head cocked to the side, like what did you do that for? Sam always rode up on the back of the seat right behind my head in the pickup. That was her favorite spot to ride, she could see out the back window or the front, it gave me a warm headrest also. You could take a lunch break if you wanted, she would point until you got back.

She only had one litter of pups, but it was huge. She had a baby every hour for 10 hours. Those ten pups were draining her energy. Feeding that many babies got to be too much, I bought milk replacer and helped feed them.  A friend of mine got one of those pups, it turned out to be a good hunting dog for him for many years.

There was a pasture across the road from our place. A trapper set traps out there every year. One day I saw Sam out in the pasture by herself, she wasn’t moving. I walked over there she was laying there with a trap on a front foot. She had a look on her face like “look what I have done” she didn’t fight or try to get loose as a wild animal would do. She was just lying there waiting for me and let me get her foot out of the trap. We walked home with her limping all the way. From that day on, anytime we were out hunting she would smell a fox trap and slowly back away from the area, exactly the way a fox would do. They know where the trap is at by smell.  

Sam loved to eat field mice fox also have a diet of field mice. They must be tasty little critters. One day my son-in-law Gaylord and I had been hunting all afternoon. Sam was doing her usual good job of hunting for us. I notice she was filling up on field mice, half the time the mice must have gone down her throat still alive. She just loved them, couldn’t get enough. After hunting all afternoon we were driving home, Sam wasn’t on the back of the seat behind my head likes usually rides she was between us. I could tell she didn’t 0feel good. We were almost home, Sam jumped up, let out a few loud burps and then regurgitated half a gallon of field mice onto my son-in-law’s lap. I stopped the pickup quick Gaylord bailed out leaving a trail of mice parts all the way to the road ditch. I think he also lost his lunch.

We lived about 30 yards (ca. 27 m) away from busy County highway with traffic going past 60 to 70 miles (112.65 km) an hour. One morning I looked out as a neighbor was going past. He was going very slow Sam was coming across the road. He ran over her right on the center line and didn’t even stop. I quickly ran out there, picked Sam up and cried all the way back to the house. She died while I was carrying her, that was a horrible day.

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Arizona Sonora Historical Ruins

We lived in Tucson Arizona USA in the early 1970s. I hunted quail about 40 miles (ca. 64 km) Southwest of the city, every time an opportunity came up. My favorite spot was an old abandoned place that was occupied about a hundred years ago near the Mexican border.

I liked to hunt pheasants and ducks. Quail hunting tests a shooter’s ability to hit a target that bursts into the air at his feet and is instantly traveling the speed of a bullet. Some compare it to dove hunting. I could never shoot a dove. When the three Olson boys were growing up, we raised pigeons and had individual names for most of them. The Lord never made a bird more caring and loving than a pigeon, there is no way on this earth I could ever shoot a dove or a pigeon.

The Gambel’s quail are plentiful and can be found in large coveys in the hot, parched, desert of the south western United States. When a covey explodes into the air, they all go in different directions. I suppose that is, so they don’t collide with each other, but it also confounds the Hunter as he tries to quickly pick a target. Usually by the time the one with gun makes his decision the quail are long gone. They only fly a short distance, as if beckoning to you, just dare try to make us fly again. You will see them scurrying along the dry creek bed seeking a new shaded hiding place.

A sad, but true testimony to my wing shooting ability, we didn’t have quail under glass, a brace of quail would be an appetizer. The table was not graced with quail very often. It was time for celebration if I got enough little birds ‘about 90 grams each’ about ‘3.97 ounces’ for my wife and 3 daughters to enjoy a taste.

Those ruins must have been witness to a colorful history in that wild western desert. I always took a ‘time machine’ rest break, sitting in a shady spot near one of the cooler, stonewalls. After checking for scorpions and black widow spiders, I would sit, close my eyes and conjure up memories of what must have taken place there.

In studying that low doorway, I concluded, if Matt Dillon ever followed a gunslinger down here from Dodge City Kansas, he had to bend down low to enter the house and bring the bad guy out. There was no doubt many shootouts there. The total amount of hot lead that got ricocheted off those rock walls through the years would have made an anchor for a large ship. I wish there was a list of Sheriffs, U.S. Marshals and Texas Rangers who rode in there. You can bet some never caught the gang off guard so didn’t ride out, not sitting upright, maybe tied in the saddle.

It didn’t take much  imagination to decide it must have been a hideout for numerous murderers, bank robbers, horse thieves, cattle rustlers and other unsavory lawbreakers. The location was perfect, if the word came down that a posse was approaching from the North all they had to do was hop on their horses, a short ride later they were safe in Mexico, until the Federales chased them back north.

It would have been a perfect hideout for desperados trying to escape the law and the hang man’s noose. It would have been a destination discussed in all the saloons and honkytonks in places like Dodge City Kansas or Fort Worth Texas or other areas where bad guys did dastardly deeds then headed South as fast as they could go, a perfect location to rest and recuperate from gunshot wounds.

Land seeking settlers probably built the house, and corrals. It took all the labor a whole family could muster to survive there. It was nearly impossible to grow enough to stay alive on.  The stone corrals keep a pig or two, possibly, captured Javalina, from roaming off into the dessert. Chickens could fend for themselves until a hawk came to visit. Water was a constant issue. Pigs fed on cactus and wild gourds. Goats would never stay behind a low rock wall, but they needed to roam free to find enough food to survive on. Goat was the main meat on the menu no doubt, unless you got lucky enough to shoot a rabbit, then you had meat for a couple of days.

The first early settlers had to have many hair-raising meetings with the Apache people over trespass rights. It is likely the desperadoes found many houses vacated.

Several arroyos or creeks converged on that property making it the most likely place to find underground water in the area. After closer examination I discovered the remnants of a shallow hand-dug well, it was one of the few places in that region where water was available during the hot dry months.  Walking along a Creek bed searching for quail early one morning I saw the largest rabbit my eyes have ever tried to focus on. I figured my mind was playing tricks on me. The broiling hot, rising sun, glaring on the dew in the creek bottom must be creating a mirage. That rabbit seemed to be several feet tall with ears as big as a donkey. He just stood there looking straight at me from about ten yards. I didn’t have my dog then, a good thing, she probably would have chased that critter all day long. That night just before going to sleep another vision of the bunny appeared. He was similar to Harvey the rabbit that was on the television program. I then decided about seriously considering the amount of alcohol I consume.

This is a rabbit.

http://www.lelandolson.com/


 

December 1, 2019

This is what I saw when I looked out my front window this morning.

This is what I saw when I looked in the mirror this morning. YIKES!

I became 79 years old today. Miracles still happen in this world. There is still a chance, someday I will grow up.

I want to thank all the faithful followers at “My Mixed Blog,” also my Facebook friends. Thank you Don and Rosie Bowers for the funny E card, also thanks to Patty and Craig for bringing me a combination meal from Guadalajara last evening. It took me back to the good old days at the Tucumcari Truck Terminal in New Mexico. They had the best combination plate on our route. Thanks also to Phil who is going to bring me his famous enchiladas this evening.  This old geezer has had a good birthday and is thankful for family and friends. You have all helped me make it through another year. I love all of you.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

Sonora Desert

The Sonora Desert in Arizona can be an unfriendly, foreboding place. You do not want to be lost without drinking water. In the spring scarce rain starts to fall, which is rare indeed. Arroyos creeks and rivers flood the low land, everything becomes alive overnight. Dormant frogs come to life and crawl out of the ground making a roaring sound on still nights. Cactuses start blooming multicolored flowers for birds and bees to savor. Wild poppies are in full bloom as far as the eye can see. It is a true marvel of the extremes nature can show us in a relatively short period of time.



Image result for sonora poppies

Wild poppies as far as the eye can see in the Sonora desert near Safford Arizona.

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I Swear I Curse

I Swear I Curse

My wife and me we’re married close to 50 years. I’ve had a bad habit of calling myself a name after doing something dumb. This drove her wild, she would threaten to use a Willow switch on me if I didn’t stop it. I always seemed to belittle myself for doing something wrong, now in my old age I do things that are even dumber. My wife has gone to be with the Lord, her physical presence is no longer here. As I grow older and become more of a klutz, I catch myself swearing at my actions more.  Everything I put in my hands gets dropped. Hearing aid batteries are the worst culprit, they hit the floor multiple times as they are readied for each ear. This creates verbal barrages as I swear at my-self, alone here in my humble abode. Why do this just for being disappointed in myself? It now brings out an unhappy female spirit stalking about carrying a very stout shillelagh each time I start a tirade. The conflicting ties that bind. An oxymoron? It might get me to quit that bad habit, under these unique circumstances.

Being disappointed in self should not bring out swear words. This got to the point I asked myself, “why do people swear?”  You hear young people swearing a lot, yet they are not disappointed. There must be another triggering device. I believe human nature leads us to copy what others do. Monkey see monkey do too. If people your around swear you automatically follow their lead, so you’re accepted as one of them.  If you’re in a crowd where nobody is swearing, and you still swear you stand out as the different one also. If we do enough swearing, it follows us no matter where we go. It becomes second nature. 

Employers might swear to get the quick attention of someone doing wrong. Some people in high office use swear words as they delegate authority to advisors and staff members. To most people this will cause a negative effect, especially if there was no reason to be sworn at.

We had an old blacksmith one time his hands and fingers always seemed to be bandaged from burning them or waking them with hammers. I don’t imagine he said “Praise the Lord” after hurting himself, but I never did hear him use the Lords name in vain.  He had a sign hanging in his workshop, “Swearing shows your intelligence.” He must have been offended by swearing and the sign reminded people of that.

As a youngster growing up one of our aunts was determined to have authority over her domain and swearing. She had a bar of soap that served the purpose of cleaning up language, it only needed one application in most cases. There were no swear words said in her presence or on her property.

We grew up on a farm me and two brothers. Two of us were less than a year apart, it was rumored that mother had some anxiety trouble once. I can imagine there were many times when she felt like a mother duck trying to get a dozen duckling across the freeway.

When she took us to visit at our aunt’s house, we naturally became acquainted with the soap dish quite fast. My aunt knew the language we were listening to at home because our dad was her brother, and she had to grow up with him. Dad claimed the use of colorful adjectives was to make his point of view more clear, that it did. That is undoubtedly where the soap bar idea came from.

I have decided as far as foul language is concerned, society will get back what they put into it. We are all that we accept good or bad.   

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Full Life

Full Life

As I grow older, I have come to learn life really is a race, run in different phases. We start out as helpless infants who need constant care. Before learning to speak we learn to get assistance with different cries and noises, sometimes quiet and weak at other times loud and prolonged.  Our caregivers faithfully race to rescue us and supply our needs.

Through some small miracles, we reach the age of 2 years. We race in everything we do, and every place we go, racing constantly, to the echoing word “NO.”

We are learning language, and how to communicate. No is a strong starting first word very easy to hear and understand. The perfect word to start life’s race with, a warning word, no will come and go through our minds during the whole race, sometimes we will listen sometimes we won’t.

One day, usually while you’re at school puberty starts to take control of your body. You wonder what’s happening to me? I think something is going awry. Physical and psychological demons are fighting over my mind and body. Doubt and dread were foreign to me yesterday. You just got slam dunked into the adolescent stage of indecision and despair. Change wants to rule your mind leaving you in wonder about self. You might feel like staying in bed and hiding from the rest of the world. It, feel’s best to shut everything else out, stay in your quiet little shell. That feeling will soon pass as a young adult you continue your education or join the workforce.

Upon entering the workforce your first lesson is to be on time. From that day on don’t start out late and race to your job. It would be easier to get up early, old habits are hard to break. It seems like Friday will never come each week. Your race to work made you successful, with a wife, and children and lots of stuff. That’s what modern life is all about. You fulfilled the American dream, you have a big house, three-car garage, loving family and loads of stuff.

As you get older the body slows down. It finally becomes an all-day snail pace, race to put your clothes and shoes on. Everything gets done in super slow motion, but it is still a race for the finish line. Fridays seem to be every other day, meaning the end must be near, but you can’t see, or hurry it. You know it will come for you, it’s a fact, your days are numbered but you know not how many. You continue that living race in a worn-out body, soon needing special care again. Your final hope is to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

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Tend Your Lamps

In my youth wicks were carefully trimmed. Mantels got cleaned with deliberate care, bright light they would share. Sootie glass reflected poorly on a housekeeper, yet it never got noticed until Twilight, with the sound of breaking glass everywhere.

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Replace

Dear Ralph,

I write this short memo with deep feelings of regret.

The executive committee recently met behind closed doors. They delegate their authority extremely well, that is why they chose me to write you this letter. A vote was taken, the new members all decided on me as I have been your best and oldest friend here at the firm. After much deliberation and carefully worded consideration the decision was made to replace you. It was unanimously decided, you would be replaced with a vacancy.

Respectfully yours,

John

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