For a brief instant, I thought I was getting a touch of acorn fever which is not a malady so much as a feeling of change that would soon lead to long pants, flannel shirts and a sense that fall was finally in the air. Unfortunately, that feeling passed quickly as hot, dry air from the desert pushed the marine influence away from the coast and the blanket off the bed.
I concluded long ago that if fall and its bounty will not come to me in southern California, I will go to it. Once again my attention has turned toward a trip through the mountains to farm and grassland plains far away. I’m watching the weather in northeast Montana and southwest North Dakota – places I’ll be in less than a month.
My truck will be packed with more “gear” than I can possibly need or use, plus essentials that include shotguns and ammo, a sleeping bag, some warm clothes and Gus and Jack – a pair of springer spaniels as ready for the hunt as I am.
Seeing them lying in deep sleep on the cool tile of our family room, they moan sweet sounds as their noses crinkle and their paws twitch…and I wonder if like me, they dream of rooster pheasants bursting from the corner of a field or an elusive flock of sharptail grouse chuckling as they flush from a grassland swale.
This will be Gus’ third and Jack’s second season of trying to make such sweet dreams come true…and I hope we do.