A new challenge to take part in – I thought long and hard about it and I think I can probably find a shot each week to post. For this first week here’s an image of a piece of street art that has somehow not found a use before…

…It was taken in Rome in 2011.

You can read about this challenge, and how to take part, on Marsha’s Always Write blog 🙂

After kicking off in Fishing Planet, this week I’ve taken a chance and fired up The Hunter – Call of the Wild. I’m aware of a number of outstanding issues from the most recent of updates but I wanted to try out hunting with a canine companion.

So, meet Mack, my Bloodhound…

…Not the best looking dog and I’d rather have a Border Collie but Expansive Worlds have only given us Bloodhounds. The advantage of that is the tracking ability when you’ve wounded an animal. After initially struggling a little, Mack is now picking up the scent of blood from a good distance which comes in handy when you shoot a Moose – even mortally wounded, they can run over a kilometre and often choose some good hiding places to finally keel over! This one chose open water having dived through some big reeds that would probably have had me scratching my head even with the tracking aids that we have…

…Mack’s barking at me to make sure I’ve seen what he’s found 😉

The community as a whole have welcomed the dogs – even more than the announcement that we were getting Turkeys in a US reserve last year! The disappointment of the bugs that came with the dlc did dampen things a bit but still they are a welcome addition. It is less about what the dog may be able to do and much more about having a companion when you’re out there hunting alone. I certainly like having Mack with me – almost like I occasionally enjoy having a passenger in my truck 🙂

However, I think the presence of a dog comes at a cost, at least in the early days. I’ve missed a couple of shots because Mack got in the way and I had to lower my weapon. I missed an opportunity of a Blacktail buck because, despite having earned the ‘Awareness of when an animal is likely to spook’ trait, Mack spooked the deer. I wonder if the dog’s understanding and implementation of these learned traits slowly improves over time? I guess I’ll find out. But it is good to have a companion 🙂

Here we are sharing a couple more kills – a Bear and a nice Moose 🙂 …

I’ll let you know how Mack grows into the job. ps – If you’re wondering about the name, my Mack Trucks are named after dogs, so I’ve reversed the process 😉

For Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge this week I have Water. It’s not the salty splashy stuff though but a calm ornamental lake on Hampstead Heath…

… I can’t do the brown rocks, so how about some brown freshly tilled soil? A field prepared for sowing on Ellern Mead Farm…

…Both the above shots taken in the past month 🙂

Actually, I forgot – I do have some of the salty stuff with some very big rocks in the distance 😉 There’s even a family! …

…Marbella, taken back in 2008 🙂