October 12, 2018
Heidi Goes In Field Stella Escapes
It is not often I have enough to say and enough photos to put a blog post together 24 hours before it's published. This will be one of those rare posts and it all happened because of the shocking "historic event" of Heidi taking a walk with Stella and I in the field yesterday afternoon. I was so curious that I scrolled through her photos album and found out the last walk she took in the field was April 20, 2018 ... last spring.
She did stop two different times before she put a paw in the field so there were times she could have changed her mind and went the other way toward the house, but Thursday afternoon she didn't. After sniffing the air toward the field while standing in the middle of the backyard, she walked onto the path around Stella and led the way.
It was a beautiful 55° when we took off. Normally I would let her walk at her own pace and most of those times she would never finish the walk with us. She would spend time wandering in the front part of the field and would be in the yard by the time the bloodhounds and I would return. Not Thursday. I told her I'd wait for her to catch up and she kept walking.
Which camera took this flower photo? The Nikon D3200 or the Canon SX530?
Don't misunderstand Heidi's abilities to walk in the field and track scent. She probably had the second best nose in the house of four hounds at one time. Her specialty is flushing out rabbits. That is what any basset hound is made to do, flush out rabbits from heavy brush. Sadie had the best nose, then Heidi, Winston and Stella in that order.
So she does like taking her time on her field walks and checking things out with her nose.
With the weather being fantastic in the late afternoon I was in no hurry to finish the walk. There wasn't a sign or a bite from a mosquito anywhere, the winds were cool, no humidity and sunny. Perfect weather.
Normally at this point I would have kept walking and she would had veered off to the right toward the woods to snoop around but she kept walking the path and I stood there to wait on her.
I might have been waiting but her nose had found something interesting to check on further.
By this time Stella was rounding the first turn. I wanted to keep her within view today since Heidi and I would be walking further back.
So I have one hound in front of me and another hound behind me, both walking different paces.
Heidi jumped into a galloping trot to catch Stella, moving right past me without a wave.
I zoomed in to get this photo and was still surprised that both hounds were walking close to the same pace. In fact Heidi might have been walking faster than any of us.
Still with a good #2 nose, there are plenty of times she would have to stop and double check what her nose was telling her brain.
That meat at times Heidi and I would fall far behind Stella.
Both cruizin' up the path that runs parallel to the back edge of the field.
Interesting how both hounds make the left turn on their own as they follow the worn path.
At first I thought Stella was going to lead Heidi out to the overgrown ATV path. I wasn't going to stop them UNLESS they both headed toward the woods north of us.
This was the most 'nose exercise' I had seen Heidi get in a long time. It was like she was in a trance.
For a while I was beginning to wonder if she was lost and couldn't see that I was left of her too far to reach but close enough she would hear me calling her name. She kept walking straight ahead as if she heard nothing.
I was coming to a critical area ... I couldn't see Heidi ... you can barely see her in the photo below. This is why basset hounds have white tails on the end ... so they can be seen in fields when hunting. (true fact)
And ... Stella was getting too far ahead of me. I had no doubt that she would take this chance to wander over to the neighbors house. She had been looking in that direction for days, raising her nose to sniff that direction. There was something over there she needed to see or eat.
When I turned back toward Heidi and knew that Stella was going to take off on me, I knew it would be easier to catch Heidi later after I corralled Stella, who wasn't wearing her collar. You can barely see Heidi in the center of the photo.
I looked up ahead and didn't see Stella anywhere, even with the zoom lens.
I looked back toward Heidi and thought I saw something white moving but wasn't for sure.
Once she popped into view ... I took off running after Stella.
I guessed right. Stella had stopped to decide if she was going to cross the hidden ditch in front of her between the field and their yard ... or ...
let me know she was hearing me call her name and saying 'no' ... she kind of flinched trying to decide which way to go.
She decided she would come back to where she was hearing her named called. That was another surprise of the day.
With Stella just a few steps behind me, I turned to look for Heidi. I would walk up the return path toward her direction knowing I would eventually run into her.
But she had been running to catch me. Within a few steps I saw her running through the tall grass, almost hopping to get a higher vantage point as she ran.
Once she saw me she slowed to a normal walking pace as if nothing was happening, everything was normal.
She walked right by Stella, who was looking as if she wanted to go back to the neighbors yard.
It has been a long time since Heidi had to wait on us to finish the walk in the field.
Needless to say, after all of that exercise it didn't take long for her to jump up on the couch with the sunshine coming in the windows from the west for an early evening or late afternoon nap.
Stella was asleep just as fast, with probable dreams of getting next door without being caught.
I would rank this walk of Heidi's right up there with the times that Sadie and Stella would find deer to chase. Quite a surprise, exciting and somewhat shocking.
Some rain today in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.