Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Arkansas has nothing on beer camp!

Super Bowl Sunday was a day of respite for myself due to the events that preceeded the day. Wednesday and Thursday found me entertaining a business associate, in from Isreal for a visit, so I had a late night and early mornings. Thursday evening found me sitting around the usual Thursday night poker table with the local farmers. Robert was telling me about the few snows he was seeing while out painting the fields behind beer camp with the bi-product of having cows. As I get home after 5:30 in the evening I don't usualy get to see the ariel goings on's of the local waterfowl population. Due to the late night a poker on Thursday I found myself tired and wanting to just sit around, but alas I had to get ready for yet another day of cards as I had an all day acey - deucy tournement to attend on Saturday. Again this day was to be spent with a different group of local farmers and friends. I sent the evening getting the old truck ready to hook up to "Carol Camp" the next morning and was happy to find all in order. Saturday I arose and went to Beer camp to hitch up the camper, and as usual, the morning flock of geese flew low overhead to let me know hey were still in the area. Back to the house I went loaded up and got my "dish to pass" of bacon wraped scallops ready to go. The day was full of fun, and a lot of picking on going on. You see I was showing up as the defending champion from the last 2 years tournaments so there were a lot of sights pointed at me. The evening ended with me going out about 1/2 way through, to the delight of many, but I came back a bit in the side games. I slept in until mid morning and after a couple of cups of coffee I headed back home. I guess that was a lot of BS to read through just to get back to Super Bowl Sunday and by the way what does that have to do with Arkansas, I digress. It's now around 10:30 in the morning and I'm looking out the sliding glass door that looks out on the back fields. Right in front is the bird feeder where the squirrel's are having a feast. The thought comes across my mind that I should have gotten up earlier to attend the Squirrel Hunt at the Sportsmans club but I had not paid my entry so it was a mute point. My eyes caught the sight, through the overcast morning haze, of a large flock of ducks dumping into the back field. I thought this a bit pecular because ducks usualy circle several times before making their final descent to the ground. I went back to my business at hand, of relaxation on the couch, with clicker in hand only to be enticed back to the door several times during the day for a glimpse of the goings on. I guess it would be kinda like sitting on Keiths porch watching the events on the lake, or sitting in the Double Black without looking out, it was that enticing. Anyways I noticed that each and every time I did this another large flock of ducks would materialsize out of the clouds and just dump into the field. Naturaly I had my binoculars nearby and saw that indeed the field was filling with ducks. You notice I'm not mentioning Geese here! Thats because only a few of them went in with the ducks, it was almost all ducks out there. Finaly, with curiousity getting the better of me, at about 3:30 in the afternoon I could not take it any longer. I summoned Carol to the glass door and said to her "get the binocs and be prepared to watch something spectacilar" but even I was not ready for what happened next. I have been an avid reader of Ducks Unlimited and often watch hunting shows that make you sometimes question, how did they ever get so many ducks in one place? I now know a likely answer, paint the field with manure! I took a stroll out to the dozer pile and was amazed at what I was experiancing. There were Thousands, yes thats right I said Thousands, of ducks covering the field from end to end. All 30+ acres were covered with blacks and mallards. As I approched the birds would simply fly 100 yards and land back in. several let me pass within 50 feet of them without moving! As I walked further and further into the fray they stated to leave the field by the hundreds. Now both the field and sky were full of birds. I cannot describe to you what an exilerating feeling it was to be walking amongst that many ducks. Their lack of aparent fear of me due to their numbers, or was it the yoda aura about me that calmed them, was amazing. To have them simply land back in the field was incredible. I guess this would be the best time in this post to show a picture of what I saw but alas I forgot my camera. Another DU photo oppertunity missed! Oh well at least I have a perfect picture in my head of what I saw. As Eric says, "see you in the blind!"


Jim Tantillo said...

"I guess this would be the best time in this post to show a picture of what I saw but alas I forgot my camera."


Still . . . a great account, Ernie. I can see it just as you describe it.

KGT said...

Sweet story...but bummer about the photo.

Just mallards and blacks, eh? How interesting... you'd think there'd still be other species in the area.

Ernie said...

That was one of the things that surprised me, no different ducks. Believe me as they were flying around my head I was looking hard for pintails, cannies, etc. but I saw none of that. Of course I was in a filed full of sh-t so I dont know why divers or others would have been there but I was honestly amazed with the numbers, it just blew me away!

KGT said...

Seems like we've seen (Rich & Pete even) some pretty good late flocks of Pintail in the fields, as you say. And the widgeon and gadwall still seem to be in the area. But maybe they don't field feed as much.

Anyway, cool story.