Wednesday, June 27, 2007


No, this beautiful dog, Old Hemlock Rangeley, isn't our crazy little Vizsla-pants -- but he is an Old Hemlock dog. Currently I am reading Catherine Harper's 1998 biography of George Bird Evans -- and due to a couple of minor coinicidences, decided to a) post a picture of a dog descended from his particular strain of DeCoverly setters, and b) write a few words.

The coincidences are simple: I had no idea George (and later his wife, Kay, who passed away just a couple of months ago) had lived in NYC as a younger man. His first apartment is less than two blocks from where I work on the Upper East Side; once he and Kay had married, they first lived on E. 11th St... which was less than a block from the Dean & Deluca that I was having a morning coffee at today.

Unlike numerous other outdoor writers, George wrote prolifically AND wrote beautifully throughout his life. I am lucky to own a couple of George's books -- both of them signed, but more importantly, both inscribed. Even in something as relatively disposable as an aphorism to go with one's autograph, George was able to capture the essence of the relationship between a dog, a human, a gun, and a bird. I have a copy of Troubles with Bird Dogs (1975) inscribed as follows: "Each of us seeks his paradise; the lucky ones find it with a dog and a gun."

The city is hot. And despite the new air-conditioning units in our house, the heat makes me think of cooler weather, the russets and golds of fall, and the sound of wings beating retreat.

OOOOOH: Happy Birthday, Mum!!

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