Late summer is one of my favorite seasons to spend time at the farm. The sunlight in the evening is just to die for when it sets over the field by the big lake or the pecan trees, the weather can be 70 degrees in the morning and mid-90's by afternoon (my dream) and of course, the annual Dove Hunt that marks the opening of dove season is always Labor Day weekend.
This year we had so many of the kids out there for the weekend, many of them just old enough to really get into it for the first time. Their "Peepaw" loaded up the trailer with a few bales of hay and drove them around the trails and through the woods throughout the weekend, where they spotted some turkey, deer and even found a turtle.
The grape vines up front were loaded with muscadines and scuppernogs, deep purples and bright gold, and sweet as can be. So the kids loved pulling them off in handfuls and filling up buckets onto the trailer to snack on during the hunt.
While my excitement for a Dove Hunt might seem a little strange if you follow along here, or even know me in "real life" but it truly is one of my favorite events of the year. I'm not really a hunter but to me it marks such a fun Southern tradition that Shane's family loves taking part it. And, it's such a social event. Unlike deer hunting, everyone sits around one field, visible to everyone. There is no need to be quiet or to hide, and you can spend time walking around and talking to each little group of family + friends that have set up their little areas for the day.
I love that the kids get out there and have fun with ALL of their cousins, playing in the field and running around in their tiny camo clothes. It's the way childhood was intended, and the way a good tradition always begins. People often ask me about tradition, keeping them alive and starting them for your own family, but the single most important thing about a tradition is that it involves a span of generations taking part in the event. The young and the old, the past and the present, living in the moment and taking it all in so that it can continue into the next year, and hopefully onto the next generation.
Next year I vow to finally paint up a Dove Hunt sign for the stand in the field. And I'll be sure to include some pictures next year of the post-hunt feast of dove, our favorite ways to prepare them and more. Love to hear about your adventures and some of the traditions you most enjoy this time of year! #heirloomed