Monday, January 25, 2010

West Texas, Take Two

This weekend we headed to Paducah, TX... population 1,498.  Yep.  Shane's grand-parents (MawMaw & Popi) live here.  They have about 1,500 acres of W. TX ranch land... and it's really amazing stuff.

I could live right here and look at those plateaus every single day.  This is hard, rough land.  But there is something tauntingly beautiful about it.  I've never spent much time in W. TX until the past two weekends.  While I've been to Paducah once before, I didn't spend much time at "The Place" hiking the land, taking in every picturesque view, snapping my G7, and listening to dogs pant and men blow whistles....  what?  Yes, I went with Shane on a quail hunt.

This rough land is apparently ideal for quail.  I don't know what this means, but it's apparently true.  This picture however, was a false alarm.  Brownie's new cousin, Lilly apparently thought they were hunting snakes.  Oh well.  This was not a successful hunting day.  Not one bird was shot between three men and two dogs.

But Lilly and Brownie had fun regardless, even though Brownie grew frustrated when Lilly decided to continually sprint to the next county.  Do you see their "boots?"  Brownie's are genuine duct tape.

And he lost one along the way.  Brownie is kind of frantic, have you heard?  "Why the duct tape?" You may ask...  Well the dogs run like crazy searching for bird scent... it's their job, and unlike people they don't really care if they run over rocks, cactus, or prickly pear.  They just keep going with out looking back.  So to protect their foot pads, people either buy booties for their dogs or go the "other" route and use duct tape.  The duct tape is much less expensive, as all dogs lose at least one boot during their hunt.

Can you see why?  This is an example of the land at hand.  Just plain rugged.  Not only is it rugged, it's pretty hilly.  After a couple of hours of snapping photos and keeping up with Shane, I felt as if the tendons in my thighs were about to snap.  It's hard work hiking this land!

... because you have to dodge a lot of these...  yes, the land is shared with grazing cattle.  That's all I'll say about that.

The boys took a break and I cut my day short around noon to head back to the house for some of MawMaw's homemade chili.  After waiting the rain out, the boys headed back out with high hopes, and I headed to the couch to read my Real Simple and take a 2 hour nap.

I have more stories on the animals and land at The Place.  As for now, I'm about to catch some zzzz's.


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