The amazing rabbit chase

It was over in seconds.

We were walking in an area of shrubs, dogs lingering behind. Suddenly a YIP! from Jordie, and I swing around to see him flushing a rabbit to the right across the path behind us. But there’s Kiya, and the rabbit abruptly turns right, on the path, toward us, Kiya barely a length behind. Not good. I instinctively place my feet wide on the path, to force the dog to detour, if only for a split second.

BAM! The rabbit bounces off the inside of my right leg. I spin my head around. Syd has turned halfway around to the right and BAM! it bounces off the outside of his right leg. This carom serves to change its course 90 degrees, and instantly it’s gone into the brush.

And then even more amazing — the five “chaser” dogs completely miss it, and go charging up the path ahead. Only Leah, the princess who prefers watching chases to participating in them, spots the rabbit’s real path, and takes off into the bushes after it. Seconds  later it’s obvious the rabbit has escaped, which comes (happily) as no surprise.

And then the other dogs, who had chased ahead on the path, reappear from behind. Go figure.

 Running Hare Drawing by Malcolm Tait, Saatchi Art
Running Hare Drawing by Malcolm Tait, Saatchi Art (click for source)


Syd has recounted several times the occasion when a flushed rabbit ran out of the bushes and through his legs, but never before contact, much less such a perfectly set up carom that the rabbit-hunting dogs completely missed.

During our time walking dogs together, there have been two kills, bring the total over all the years Syd has walked there to maybe seven. The first occurred at the end of the walk. A young rabbit bolted when five dogs were within a few meters, and didn’t stand a chance. Benji proudly came away with fresh blood on his back, having rolled on it. The second, recently, involved a longer chase, from which all of the dogs returned except Benji. Finally he emerged from the bushes with a dead rabbit in his mouth (no way of knowing who actually caught it). My immediate feeling was that I was looking at a classical painting.

I don’t recall having seen one, so I set out to look, and found this.

Sir Edwin Landseer: The Champion painting
Sir Edwin Landseer — interesting guy: click for story

But that dog, except for its size, looks surprisingly like Leah, the non-rabbit-hunter. Go figure.



Evening sky, looking east

Evening sky, Atlántida, Uruguay

I do love the sky here in Uruguay. Rarely polluted with aerial spraying so common in North America and Europe.

Those are our avocado trees — looking for a bounteous harvest this year, Hod willin.’


From asado to barbecue to…

I explained asado some time ago, the painfully slow way (from a northern point of view) of cooking meat over glowing coals. Fine when you have a group and plenty of time. When the objective is to cook something outside in hot weather, a gas barbecue grill is not perfect, but tremendously more efficient.

But the prices here are double you’d expect to pay in North America, and quality poorer, so it’s hard to justify buying one new.

You might recall we bought a used one and fixed it up.

altered BBQ grill, Uruguay

The other night, I went to fire it up, and the left burner lit up and immediately went out, as if the valve had broken. The right side hissed as if gas was coming through, but wouldn’t light.  So, on to the next alternative: a single gas burner we haven’t used in years, and our largest skillet, which doesn’t have a lid (hence the pizza pan).

I might try taking off the valve and looking at it, but given the grill’s age can’t count on replacement parts. More likely the gas burner will end up inside, perhaps with a second burner. One of those projects one has to be in the right frame of mind for; hands get filthy.


It’s back to looking like a plain old barbecue grill,

but under the hood it’s become a gas stove. Which means less heat inside the house!

Yes, those are bricks holding up the rear legs.


¡Un milagro!

Roughly a year and a half ago, we left Uruguay, where we’d lived at sea level, for a tour a megalithic structures in Peru and Bolivia. The tour organizer, for all his wonderful contacts and insights, does not ‘get it‘ when it comes to running a tour. I could describe several instances of his thoughtlessness, but the one that impacted us the most was insisting that we’d have no problem with the altitude.

Because he doesn’t. Because he lives in Cusco, elevation 12,500 feet (3,810 meters).

When the plane door opens, the problems begin: breathing, moving. The ‘altitude pills’ the organizer had recommended did nothing. Within a short time, my wife was having difficulty with her vision. A doctor, fellow tour-taker, looked at her eyes, went to a local pharmacy and brought her some eye drops (which he wouldn’t let us pay for!). They helped.

But throughout the trip she had trouble with depth perception, more than a minor problem when navigating archaeological sites.

macular "pucker"
Right eye above; left below

Returning to Montevideo, she made an appointment with an ophthalmologist she had the good fortune to have met several years prior. Using very sophisticated equipment, she did a scan and determined that my wife had a ‘macular pucker‘ in her left eye, basically a wrinkled area on the macula of her retina, which would obviously affect vision. And unfortunately, not something apt to improve over time.

So, a year later, we go back into Montevideo for another scan.

Looking at the output, the doctor — who speaks excellent English — lapses into her native tongue. ¡Es un milagro!

macular "pucker" improvement in a year

“I believe in miracles,” my wife replied.