Friday, September 01, 2006


Long before I ever saw one I heard the bobwhite quail and learned to differentiate between the male and the female – while the male simply called and said “bob – white”, the female’s answer was a flirting four-syllable “who-who-bob-white”, with extra emphasis on the WHITE!

While not as rare as the whippoorwill, the bobwhite’s conversations were rare enough to intrigue a young boy’s mind. I wondered where they hid, how the moved about in the fields, and what they were really saying.

I was finally introduced to a whole host of quail when our next-door neighbor, an avid hunter (and Big Dixie’s daddy), began to raise them from eggs given to him by the local game warden. I got to stand up close to the raised white cage; about four feet off the ground, and watch through the wire the different stages of their birth and growth. Finally, in the fall of the year the neighbor released them to fill the surrounding fields for hunting season.

I watched them rise high in the air, circle the owner’s yard, and then head off to a sagebrush field about a quarter mile away. I often played in that field during the summer months alone. I rarely walked, but rather crawled slowly along the network of trails made by the quail and rabbits that lived there.

I remember I became quite accomplished at crawling up to quail nests in the sage grass and looking at the little white eggs, sometimes as many as a dozen in each nest. Later visits were rewarded with the wondrous sight of the chicks starring back at me. The momma would round them up and herd them off down one of the paths for protection. I loved to watch them scurry down the paths just ahead of me and then disappear around a turn.

Often times I would spook a rabbit that would somehow jump straight up and turn in the opposite direction before coming down on his big hind legs and run off.

Sitting down in the grass, I was hidden from the world and perceived myself as part of the field and a member of the local wildlife community. I would crawl for hours around the field until I knew all the interconnecting paths, dead ends, and shady spots under the dogwood trees. If I lay on my back and looked up through the grass at the sky, I felt even more connected to the field and the world. Once while watching white billowy clouds against a deep blue sky, I dosed off and slept until the sun reached across my face – such peace is rare today.

As I said, I often visited that field as a child, a field on which my future in-laws would build a large tri-level house some ten years later. I do not know where the bobwhite went to after the home was built, but while I lived and visited there, I often thought about how free I was during those days. I remembered the smell of it, the beauty of it, and the serenity of it.

This photo is of my son, nearly thirty years ago, swinging on one of the many dogwood trees that dotted the field where the quail and I played, but now they are part of the landscape in the yard where his grandparents now live.

I often wish I could go back to that innocence – a place where I felt as if I was one with the animals, nature, and my own soul. I know I can never go back, at least in that full sense, but it is comforting to know that I did learn what they were saying when they whistled their bob-white tune and they still call me today, from a distant field, saying – "COME PLAY, COME PLAY"!


.:kat:. said...

it's been a long time since I've heard a bobwhite sing Mr. Mushy -- we have lots of ducks, pheasants and geese but the quail are few and far between -- I do remember hearing them call their mates during the spring --"Bobwhite, Bobwhite" -- and there are still signs of them, if you look hard enough -- but not the covies that use to fly up when you walked through the fields --

huggin' you

Mushy said...

Thanks for the hug! We all need at least one everyday.

Thanks for stopping by...I've voted for you on BlogExplosion often.

Ron Southern said...

What is BlogExplosion? A hangman's list? Am I on it? Oh, well. Nice piece about the bobwhites! You're so mushy!

Mushy said...

Thanks for the nice comment Ron - I always wait for your approval it seems.

You are not on any list...the badge to the right on my blog page (near the bottom) is from BlogExplosion, a site to list your blog, play silly games for points, and compete against other blog sites. The one with the most points when they die wins! Just another way a struggling new comer tried to build readership. Met some nice folks there.

I like it, but it drags you in sometime and you can spend too much time there for little gain.

Fathairybastard said...

Another very nice read. Love your musings about the woods and being a kid. See myself there just a little. Don't know if I've ever heard a Bob White, but we always hear Whippoorwills on canoe trips down the Buffalo in Arkansas. Go to sleep at night listening to them. It's funny how, when you were a kid you would think nothing of running or sneaking through the tall grass and underbrush of the woods, particularly in the summer. It was second nature. Never thought anything about the itchy crap that got all over ya. Not sure I'd want to do that any more. Magic of bein' a kid.

PinkJeweledCat said...

Sometimes it seems that we're just so much alike when I read these stories. Some of my fondest moments as a child were ones when I was alone with nature. I liked hearing the different bird calls, and the various noises of the bugs. I have one vivid memory of one of my cats chasing a grass hopper. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen. The grass hopper would hop, and the cat would hop in almost the exact same manner. She did that four or five times before finally pouncing on it and having herself a tasty snack. I love your stories. In a way, you remind me of my departed Grandmother. She was so genuine and had a great talent for telling stories about her childhood, and my father's childhood. Ta for now dahling!

phlegmfatale said...

Wow, mushy - this post is practically poetry. LOVE it. So sweet, such memories. Well done.

Mushy said...

Ah gee, you know all the right things to say to an old man! Thanks.

You could make big tips at Hooter's!

Anonymous said...


麻將,台灣彩卷,六合彩開獎號碼,運動彩卷,六合彩,線上遊戲,矽谷麻將,明星3缺一,橘子町,麻將大悶鍋,台客麻將,公博,game,,中華職棒,麗的線上小遊戲,國士無雙麻將,麻將館,賭博遊戲,威力彩,威力彩開獎號碼,龍龍運動網,史萊姆,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆第一個家,史萊姆好玩遊戲區,樂透彩開獎號碼,遊戲天堂,好玩遊戲,遊戲基地,無料遊戲王,好玩遊戲區,麻將遊戲,好玩遊戲區,小遊戲,遊戲區,電玩快打,cs online情趣用品,情趣,情趣商品,A片,AIO交友愛情館,AIOAV女優,AV,A漫,免費A片,本土自拍,自拍,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,色情影片,情色網,色情網站,微風成人區,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人文章,成人小說,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080中部人聊天室,080聊天室,中部人聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,苗栗人聊天室,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊聊天情趣用品,情趣,情趣商品,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,AIO交友愛情館,一葉情貼圖片區,情色論壇,色情影片,色情網站,微風成人區,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人小說,A片,AV女優,AV,A漫,免費A片,自拍,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080中部人聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室情趣用品,情趣,情趣商品,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,色情,做愛,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,AIO交友愛情館,AIO,色情影片,情色網,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人小說,成人電影,麗的色遊戲,自拍,A片,AV女優,AV,A漫,視訊交友網,視訊,視訊交友,免費視訊聊天室,免費視訊,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園