« my precious | Main | resurrection day »

March 30, 2002

let's go peenting

Tomorrow I drive through the treacherous swamps of Central Wisconsin, where herds of suicidal deer throw themselves at your car. I'll be visiting several sets of friends there, and will most likely drive around my alma mater campus, UW-Stevens Point. Sadly, the Point Beer gift shoppe will be closed, but I already have my LaCrosse Lager tee-shirt. Where I come from, LaCrosse is a city, not a sport.

I'm hoping to coerce my friends Tim and Cindy to go peenting. Peenting is sort of like the legendary Snipe Hunt, except you actually see snipes. Well, woodcocks to be exact, the close cousin to the snipe. In the early spring, male woodcocks find an open clearing, usually near a log or other outcropping as a staging area. Then the rotund bird lets out a 'peent'. Plug your nose and say 'peent', and you've just made a woodcock call. Then, the male will suddlenly fly upward in a horizontal spiral, up to heights of 200'. All the while it makes a melodious tweeting. On its way down, it does acrobatic loop d'loops while making gurgly whistles. During its ascent, you can run to the nearest bush where the bird last was and hide behind it. The woodcock is terribly myopic, and can only see movement or a foot in front of its face. So, if you get to the bush before the woodcock begins its descent, you get a nice spot to watch it resume its peenting. And if you're close enough, you can hear a brief hiccup, an intake of air that fuels the mighty 'peent'. At that distance, the peent becomes a 'hic-peent'. I am not kidding.

The spring peepers and wood frogs may also be doing their spring thing at the nearby reserve, so hopefully I'll get my fill of the Wisconsin Spring Concert Series.

Posted by jimbo at March 30, 2002 12:24 PM