Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hail or sleet?...and drama in the morning woods

Yesterday afternoon, I suddenly heard a racket on the roof like I’ve never heard here before. I first thought it was the mother of all sudden rainstorms, but when I looked out the door I saw large icy things bouncing to the ground. I first thought "huge sleet" and then, "no, hail." So which is it? I had to check my weather definitions to be sure, and even after doing that I still think I had both. I think the first few seconds of the bouncing, large icy things was hail. Then after a minute or two, the large icy things were not longer quite as large, and they might have been sleet.

Sleet forms after it falls from a cloud. Hail is formed inside a cloud when water is forced upward, usually by a thunderstorm cloud. Typically, hail comes in warmer weather and sleet in winter. We did have a clap or two of thunder when this brief but intense storm first came through. I think we went from hail to sleet to rain, all in the space of less than five minutes. Yesterday was one of those wild weather events.

Does Dog look guilty to you? He should. And even if he does, he doesn’t look nearly guilty enough. As I reported yesterday, rifle deer season opened in Pennsylvania Monday morning, bringing hunters up my private lane and past the cabin. So, the dogs are not being walked beyond the driveway to the cabin for a bit. As a result, I am now the unproud owner of two wild, exercise-deprived dogs. This morning Dog showed me just how bad a thing this can be.

So it’s just after 5:30 a.m. and the two of us are walking along the driveway when one of the hunters, in a big red pickup slowly starts to inch his way up the lane. In the first place, Dog hates vehicles, and more than that, he hates vehicles other than mine coming up the lane and worst of all, he hates pickups. A pickup coming up the lane towards the driveway to the cabin is the worst of all possible evils to him. So Dog goes wild. He lunges against the leash and won’t stop. Before I know it, he has pulled the leash out of my hands and goes running up the lane after the pickup.

There I am in the complete darkness of early morning, hurrying up the mountain on the second day of buck season, chasing a dog who’s chasing a big red pickup. I yell for Dog to stop. That does no good. I try to call him to me. That does no good. I keep heading up the road, yelling for Dog, hoping the pickup guy, who at this point probably doesn’t even know Dog is chasing him, isn’t planning to hunt over in the next county. Near the top of the mountain, as I am running out of breath, the road reaches an abandoned ski slope, and along this grassy area I see the pickup guy stuck inside his truck because Dog won’t let him out.

I grab Dog, who still needs to be dragged away. In his mind, he’s caught the pickup, it's now his, and he isn’t going to give it up. I apologize profusely to the guy who was hoping to sneak into the mountain to go deer hunting, and pull Dog back down towards the cabin. And all this before 6 a.m. in the morning. Drama like this I don’t need.

I probably ruined that poor guy’s day of hunting. The deer around the cabin are used to humans, though, so perhaps to them it was no big deal. Life in the big woods—there’s never a dull moment.


Dana and Daisy said...

well, I laugh, not at your misfortune, but at the hunter's. Maybe this will deter other hunters from coming your way this season?

I guess Dog was going to show Mr. Hunter who's woods they are!

Carolyn H said...

Dana, I'd feel sorrier for the hunter for interrupting his morning, but up where he's hunting, I haven't seen any buck this year and precious few doe. He can blame me and Dog if he doesn't get anything, but I'm not sure there was anything to get right there, anyway.

Carolyn H.

Anonymous said...

The dog was right. I, too, have an aversion to hunters in big red pickup trucks slowly driving by my cabin. You're lucky he didn't shoot poor Dog.

Cathy said...

Carol - you're lucky he didn't shoot his gun off or worse shot Dog. That's a good picture of him too.

Carolyn H said...

Well, in PA you're not allowed to shoot before daylight, though you're allowed in the woods before then. So, it was still way too dark for shooting. plus, I got to the pickup not too long after Dog, so it worked out. This morning, the pickups never arrived, so I didn't have that to worry over. I think one of them got a deer late yesterday afternoon, anyway.

Carolyn H.

Pablo said...

That's an excellent story!