(This is part II of a story that begins here.)
Rather than stop right there and step clumsily out, draped beneath the tangled straps of binocular and camera, into the midst of insulated boots and hunters' caps, I continued past them, turned the car in the overgrown field beside the line of trucks, and wiggled my way back out onto the small, rural road. Four-tenths of a mile further, I could hope for a better spot.
The road to the lake ran between a large cornfield on one side, acres deep and recently harvested into long rows of golden stubble extending to the horizon, and on the other, a thick margin of snarled honeysuckle, through which I could barely see an uncut grassy field. Along this edge, two dogs led by their noses, ran in a winding path through the fence row and out to the road again--no doubt, brought here in the metal cages and released to track in the fields.
In seconds, their prey emerged.
A male pheasant, running in long strides, low to the ground, his head thrown forward and long tail straight behind, effortlessly dodged the tangled brush--
like an arrow, he shot across the road.
The dogs, still nose to the ground, did not see.
(this story continues here)