Saturday, November 14, 2009


First thing this morning I heard the hounds off in every direction. Traffic was whizzing by. Trucks filled with gentlemen in orange caps trolled in circles. I stopped briefly to do a smidgen of gardening in the roadside bed and a black hound with a radio collar wandered by then dove off the side of the road down to the drain field garden to be. The hound bounded back up to the road sniffing in frantic circles. At the same time a blue truck packed with gentlemen in orange caps pulled up and said, "There's one of em." Yes there's one of em.

The trucks filled with gentlemen in orange caps trolled the byway in circles all day. Big antenna poked from the side windows of a few of the trucks. Caravans of motorcycles roared through the curves or passed slowly by looking, a normal occurrence on any sunny weekend day. Regular passenger vehicle traffic has more than doubled since the massive rock slide in the Pigeon River Gorge closed I-40 between here and Tennessee. It will be a couple months at least before the interstate is reopened and the spillover dissipates.

The gentlemen in orange caps kept passing by. First in one direction then circling back, over and over. The noise from the motorcycles, the extra traffic and the big trucks with small cages in the back created a din so powerful it is hard to imagine any creature would dare come close enough to the road for the orange hatted gentlemen to snatch even if a hound was in close pursuit.

I find this method of drive by hunting to be the most peculiar form of sport. Not once have I seen any of these trucked parked and empty liked someone went for a walk in the woods. These gentlemen in orange caps ride around in circles all day in big trucks and call it hunting. What I am seeing is a new form of bumper cars high lighted with orange.

It was rather loud today as the main body of the beadboard ceiling for the basement patio was completed.

The small box that protects the gas lines as they descend from the floor joists to run along the main girder was surrounded by beadboard.

The big box with the sewer line will be next. A bit of trim work and the carpentry part of this project will be done. The painting can wait until I am in the mood.

The hounds are still out there. We are surrounded.

I worry of course about the spotlets who are now full grown cats. After being cooped up inside for two days of hurricane they are out there enjoying their own style of hunting in a wild cultivated garden that has thinned quite significantly making movement so much easier to spot. I know they avoid strangers and strange sounds. I just don't know about the hounds and the gentlemen in orange caps.

There are just the two of them now. After two and a half weeks I don't think Mama Spot will be coming back. She has moved on. It was very fine having Spot for the year.


Anonymous said...

It's so sad, but I don't think Momma Spot voluntarily "moved on." I hope the young Spots will be safe and that the hunters will move on quickly.

sweet bay said...

How 21st century, trucks and radio collars.

I feel surrounded during hunting season too. We don't allow hunters on the farm but we are surrounded by people who do hunt. When they feel like doing a bit of target practice or want to be picked up it's like being back in the Civil War.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about Mama Spot, voluntary or not. (It does seem strange that she disappeared twice in such a short time, like maybe it started out voluntary, at least.) I have had friends who won't let their dogs out during hunting season for fear they will be shot by hunters who shoot at anything that moves. Perhaps an orange cap would be a good idea for you too, on your walks.


Christopher C. NC said...

Sallysmom I can't be sure what really happened. Spot appeared out of nowhere and disappeared into thin air almost a year to the day.

Sweetbay I do find this time of year very unsettling. The hunters no doubt are not real thrilled about the growing number of people moving into the mountains into their hunting grounds.

Bev I find the whole double disappearance thing odd as well and lean more towards her leaving the grown kids naturally. Maybe she went back where she came from. I do have an orange cap I found on the side of the road. Very stylish.

Lola said...

It is so sad about Mama Spot. I really don't think she disappeared the second time on her own. The first maybe an accident, but !!!!
Just hope that Crawford & Collar stay close.
Very annoying for the trucks loaded. Not a fair way to do it. Heaven forbid that some potential drink is involved.
The Cozy Cabin is looking more dressed. Very handsome lady.
Yes, by all means wear some sort of orange while out. A hat & vest would be an advantageous purchase.
I was told that a bullet is dangerous up to a mile.
Be ever so careful, dear friend.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Do be careful while working in your garden especially. I remember a few years ago a lady was haning laundry in her own back yard and was shot. Hunting from a vehicle is illegal in our state. That doesn't stop them though. I hope Momma Spot has found a warm hearth to curl up around. Don't you wish she could tell you where she has been and where she was going?? My BIL has a cat that "visits". Just day visits. It comes in and curls up on their guest bed like he/she knows that is where guests nap. Funny.

chuck b. said...

I cannot imagine riding around in circles in big trucks all day. Depressing!

I will light a candle for Mama Spot.

fairegarden said...

First I was angry about the men in the orange caps and their noisy trucks and their lazy butts, but then came to the goodbye to Mama Spot. Since I had the extreme privilege to meet and pet her, I feel she has simply moved on, after making sure her babies had a good home. You might see her again someday, alone this time. :-)