C3 -- Photo contributed by Don Dunkle
This picture confused me. I remembered the dog pens as having a shed on each end,
but here the shed on the near end is missing.
Uncle Don cleared up the mystery: The picture was
taken before the house had an indoor bathroom. The shed at extreme right
was the privy (see detail, below), which later became a pigeon pen
attached to the end
of a new shed on the near end.
The pigeons were used as live decoys for
training the dogs. As I recall, Granddad would put the birds into a
trap that held them motionless on the ground, hidden somewhere in the
underbrush. The dog's job was to sniff out the bird and stand on
point, resisting the urge to attack until the hunter arrived,
readied his shotgun, and gave the dog permission to move. (What was
the verbal command for this?) As the dog rushed in, Granddad would
spring open the trap, letting the bird fly, or "flush," and fire a blank
pistol to acclimate the dog to the sound of a real gun.
I don't remember seeing
much of the training, but I'll never forget hearing the warbling of the pigeons
and the explosion of wings when Granddad opened the hatch
and let them out for the day. I can still see them wheeling over the
creek and dispersing in the morning sunlight, then streaming back, hours
later, at dusk.
This must be a very
early photograph. The sidewalk looks brand new, and the flagstone cover over the well is about a
foot off the ground, as if the lawn has not yet been filled in.
Can it be that those two spruce trees later became the towering giants
I remember from the 1960s? Surely spruces don't grow that fast. But then, I think the house was built around 1922, and 40
years is a long time.