One thing that I severely lack, now that we have set the clocks back, is time. By the time work is out and I get to anywhere that I can throw the birds up into a tree, daylight is bleeding from the sky.
I did have time to get Tess out for just a bit today and we saw one squirrel chase. It was short and sweet, but we needed Gonzo. One of the cool things that happened last season as these two birds worked together is that they meshed and assigned themselves certain jobs. Tess is my closer.
Tess watches low for the squirrel to squirt down the trunk, or to make good his escape on the ground. Tess can dive from on high and crash bushes. She can sprint on foot and catch many squirrels in a foot chase.
But Tess doesn't climb.
Gonzo is my chaser.
Gonzo will climb to the top of any tree and pick the squirrel right off the top and drop it to Tess, or chase it back down the trunk to where Tess is waiting half way down. Gonzo will stalk a squirrel, round and round the trunk, up and down, while Tess waits for her opening. They are a tag team.
Today we needed Gonzo. Tess spotted the squirrel running along the ground and she was off like a shot after him. The squirrel found refuge in a brier tangle and snuck behind a tree. Tess pulled up at the last second and landed in one of the branches about midway up the trunk.
I waded into the briers and the squirrel scampered the rest of the way up. Tess caught sight of it and followed until she lost the squirrel a little further up. Tess stood there, ten feet from the top, watching me pull vines trying to get the squirrel to move. But it was sittin' tight about five feet above the hawk's head, frozen.
Tess waited for me to do my job, but I couldn't get that squirrel to move again. And daylight was fading fast.
We came home empty handed. We needed Gonzo.