We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Writing can confront you with odd things, like realizing that you aren't 100% certain how to spell "twelfth" when you start typing it. Lots of consonants for one small word. You can cheat and type 12th.
The Glorious Twelfth is the August opening of grouse season in the UK, mainly in Scotland. That would be the Scottish Grouse - Red and Black - legendary game birds. Driven fast-flying grouse - doubt I could hit a single one. Some day, I will try. They can reach 60 mph.
Unlike the US, in the UK you can find game on restaurant menus - and on the same day, if lucky. In the US, we found it necessary to make that illegal - market hunters were driving wild critters to extinction. Public lands, no gamekeepers.
Our grouse babies aren't even full-grown yet, and our grouse season doesn't begin until October. Brits and Scots would hate our North American grouse hunting. It entails walking endlessly, without cocktails, through alder tangles that can feel like jail cells, and with only a few shots per day. And no loaders, no drivers.
Image: Scottish Red Grouse, in the heather on the moors.
I tried quail hunting one season. It was about 13 years ago. In the Great Sonoran Desert near Phoenix. No alders there. Just cactus. There are a lot of plants there that aren't technically cactus. They have thorns instead of needles. It had been dry for two years. When they tell you it was dry in the desert that is outside the normal understanding of the word dry. Our best day on that trip we flushed five coveys. The closest broke at about 75 yards. I had a borrowed 20 gauge. Would have saved some money if I had used a BB gun. We didn't kill a single bird. We did, however kill more than a couple of cases of Milwaukee's finest and shot a lot of bulls. Fabulous trip.