Saturday, June 25, 2011

Crush on Bird Dogs Pointing

A dear friend took me to God's country today. We started out at five am with the pick-up packed with birds and dogs. It was time for training. For me and them. I've never photographed anything quite like this and wasn't sure what to expect. 
The morning sun in the desert is something to be experienced. The rolling mountains turn a pink, purplish hue, held up by a floor of green sage. Our only company was cattle, jack rabbits, and some howling coyotes. 
Before the training begins, the stakes must be driven. 
The homing pigeons are placed for scent. Did you know these birds fly home up to 900 miles? For a pigeon, this would be a day in paradise. 
Each dog waits at its post to do what it was born to do....find the bird BUT doesn't have it for lunch. The five dogs:  Ringo, Max, Uno, Tink, and Carley are ready for action...
This is Max, the orange and white pointer, waiting for his signal.
Max showing off his speed and power. 
 He wouldn't lose point and move his head. So kept throwing me the side-eye.
Meet Uno
 Introducing Ringo
The boss and his dog
You can see from the blur action that Uno was giving me action photography training today.
Pretty Girl Carley
The other boss and Ringo 

Ringo making feathered friends.
Releasing all the pigeons...
Tink doing her best to leap for the pigeon. None of the dogs ever get the birds. The training is to NOT get the bird, just find it. The Boss told me once the dogs are fully trained they won't even try to go for them. They have learned that they are dogs and cannot fly as the pigeons do. The pigeons fly home to roost and the game begins again on another sunrise.
What a great experience. I learned so much about a sport I knew nothing about. Got to see the sunrise on this beautiful valley. Mother Nature made us a magnificant backdrop today.  And, I got to hang with the Bird Dog Boss.

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