March 5th, 2009

Mollydog in the snow.


More snow today. I was thinking of changing my snowy background on this blog since last week spring was springing so enthusiastically, but perhaps it's too soon.

It was that very fine snow, so though it had formed a crunchy half-inch layer, it had also blown into blobs on all the bushes and drifted into the banks, so everything was covered and sparkly.   There were a lot of rabbit footprints, including one group where the rabbits had clearly been fighting or playing in the snow, deer prints and I also found something that I think must have been a weasel - four tiny feet landing almost together, then about 6-8 inches further on, another group of four, as though it was bounding through the snow.  

There was a fox about too, I could smell him, but I can never remember how to tell the difference between fox footprints and small dog ones so I'm not sure if I saw his prints or not.   The hounds became very excited and ran about looking in holes, but I'm pretty sure they don't know much about being foxhounds either.

I thought the deer tracks that I saw were roe, as they were quite small: Flat Coated Retriever Lady told me that she had found what she thought was red deer tracks accompanied by a young one, but I didn't find those.   I hope they were all red deer: they are much easier to deal with as they have so much more sense than roe and can run like a horse, so if Az sees one it's not really a problem.   

Roe are much more of a problem for me, as they dont' go very fast and tend to freeze until you are practically on top of them.  (I was interested to read in 'Understanding the working Lurcher' that the author thinks roe deer are idiotic animals that behave in a loony way.  This is my impression too: they just seem to be naturally a bit gormless as wildlife goes.  Sadly,   I also discovered from reading that book that if Az is a working lurcher, he's a very bad one with absolutely none of the normal hunting skills, so my approach to roe deer will continue to involve a muzzle and a lead.  I was hoping to discover more about how working lurcher owners train their dogs to take only the designated targets, but basically you seem to need a dog that knows what it's about and doesn't get so worked up.)