Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thoughts on a Snowy Pheasant Morning

I was unpleasantly surprised to see snowflakes begin to accumulate as I walked along Mason Road this morning. It's too soon for this, I thought, but my dismay quickly turned to delight as I encountered a pair of male ringnecked pheasants just a few feet away. They were startled to see me, and tried to camouflage themselves from view, but it was difficult not to discern their gorgeous plumage against an increasingly white background. Happily for all of us, there were no hunters in sight, but we could hear the cannon booms of their guns in the woods not far away.

The echoes of those guns reminded me of a hunter-caused tragedy that occurred just a few weeks ago in the woods of Virginia, where a young couple mourns the senseless death of their beloved German Shepherd, Zeb, who was intentionally shot in the head by a malicious human predator roaming nearby. Even though I had never met Zeb, or his human companions, his death has haunted me since I learned what happened to him.