About a week ago, on a Friday morning, I had just tore into my second of four planned projects for the day when my Dad called to ask “are you busy today?” My first conclusion was he was on a search for an extra pair of hands on the farm. Actually, he explained that he and my brother, uncle and a few cousins were taking the day off for a pheasant hunt, and he was hoping I could get away with them. They were leaving in 30 minutes.
I don’t hunt. At least I haven’t for many years. But this was an opportunity to hang out with my Dad, doing his faorite thing. So, without even knowing where they were heading or when they’d come home, I rearranged my schedule and decided to work on Saturday to finish up those projects so I could go along, even on a half hour’s notice. I jumped in Eric’s pickup as we headed for White Lake, South Dakota.
I didn’t carry a gun. I just can’t find the heart to kill things anymore, I’m a softy and life is too beautiful. Though I have no trouble eating them–which is both hypocritical and weird, I suppose. There are plenty of twists in me that even I can’t figure out.
As we pulled off I-90 and headed north out of White Lake, a gigantic utility scale wind farm dominated the horizon in two directions. We spent the day surrounded by larger-than-life signs of a changing world springing up around us. On our way there we passed a few 120-foot long wind blades on enormous semi-trailers. Later we changed our route to stay out of the way of one of those things, and had to move off the road so huge cranes and heavy machinery could pass by on the gravel county road next to a field we were walking for pheasants.
My favorite moment of the day was my Dad saying “This is a change time we’re in, isn’t it? What we’re looking at here,” while we were watching a crane prepare to lift a wind turbine 260 feet in the air. Yes it is indeed, Dad.
The roosters in Aurora County are stealthy ninjas. Even though we walked for six hours (Eric even made us skip lunch) and came home with a bounty of four birds between 7 guys, it was a good hunt. It really couldn’t be a bad day when you get to hike around South Dakota on a mostly sunny December day (and without getting cold). Besides, don’t tell my Dad, but I was kind of rooting for the birds anyway. 🙂