Starting the first of the year my family and I will be participating in the 52 Hike Challenge. We already try to have a weekly adventure day but with the weather getting colder they will slowly stop as we bug in for the winter. I really like the idea of a challenge that will help push us through the cold parts of the season. I think it will be a good life lesson for the kids. Sometimes you have to push forward even when you don’t feel like it.
Without a hawk to hunt, I haven’t spent much time in the woods this fall except for our adventure days. Yesterday, I decided I had to get out on a trail somewhere, anywhere. It was like my mind needed to reconnect and recharge. I only hiked about 7 miles in total but I got to see a waterfall and hiked to the top of a rock formation called the King and Queen seat.
My favorite part of the day was meeting a couple from New Zealand and sitting with them on top of a rock and listening to their adventures and sharing some of their dark chocolate hot coco. After about 40 minutes we said farewell and they were off for their next adventure.
I wish I would of taken more pictures but oh well, there’s always next week.
I’m sitting outside today watching the hawks soar overhead. Seeing them makes me reflect fondly on some of the birds that I have had the pleasure to work with in the past.
So, what is falconry? N.A.F.A. says it best…
“Falconry can be defined as the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor. This ancient art is a very demanding endeavor, requiring a serious dedication of time and energy from the falconer. On November 16, 2010 the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added falconry to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity.”
To me, falconry is a way to have a relationship with a raptor and be permitted to interact with and help in its natural instinct to hunt. In return for this incredible privilege, a falconer will help train the bird of prey to be a better hunter, will help improve the survival rate of these birds out in the wild, and raise awareness in order to get laws to be passed to protect their habitat and keep them healthy.
I love being a falconer! Being able to work with a bird of prey is amazing, as long as you remember they’re wild animals and never pets. While it takes time to build trust, your rewards are amazing! You’re an active part of the hunt, finding the game, flushing it out into the open then gathering the spoils of the hunt.
So what does the hawk get out of the deal?
Longer life – 90% of the juvenile hawks die in their first year, and many hawks barely make it to 6 years of age in the wild. However, hawks kept as hunting partners can live 20 – 30 years. And believe it or not, hawks aren’t hunting pros, so in the time spent with the hunter the hawk will be able to hone its skills while still being fed a proper diet and given medical treatment.
This season I will not be flying a new bird. Sad to say, but I have some other things to do this winter and hawking requires full time dedication. So until next season! (maybe with a new falcon)
Sunday funday! The last few Sunday afternoons my wife and I took our kids on an adventure. Today we coined it adventure day! Nothing extravagant, just time away from Minecraft, Pokémon and even for us making art. Today we’re going to drive to Elk Neck state park to visit a lighthouse and just to see nature.
It’s fall on the east coast of the United States so we’re blessed with a brilliant display from nature. The trees are ablaze with fiery reds, oranges and yellows. A perfect backdrop for those seeking a meeting with her, or just looking to see something beautiful.
Look at the different coloured leaves, Swaying gently with the breeze, Lovely reds, browns and greens, All waiting to fall from the trees.
When they leave they twist and turn, Ready to join the masses of fern, Landing softly on the ground, You can taste the smell of autumn, all around.
by Ernestine Northover