Wednesday, September 24, 2008

oops

There are hazards to car hawking, as I've noted here and there. So far these have all been vehicular.

First stop on the Nearby Route is the local golf course. I was lucky today and saw a likely pair under a cypress. Everything went fine, beautifully even (in-flight catch) until P actually got hold of his quarry.

Cue women golfers, stage left.

They stared a moment at the struggle, then the boldest of them came forward, yelling at my bird. I was striding rapidly already, then stepped up my pace and -- the golf club coming up! -- started yelling at her. She was too focused to see or hear me. Fortunately, she only prodded my bird and by then I was there. I told her I was hunting and she said she didn't know, I said it was okay, and everything was hunkydory.

Whew. I think I got away lucky. People have different reactions to hawks. Someone else might have taken my bird's head off with a 9 iron.

Just one more thing to watch out for.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

the month flies by

with crows, crows, and more crows, and one jackrabbit. I'd gotten a late start and drove the entire 19 miles of The Route without seeing even a possible slip. The hawk was craning his neck so hard, you'd think he could yank crows down from the trees by willpower alone.

As it was getting dark we came to the end of the Route to see a pair of ravens on a light pole, calling with their soft alto warble, a sound sad yet hopeful. I turned north again and took a final pass through some of the streets I'd skipped in my rush.

Where I spotted a lone jackrabbit on a strip of lawn in front of an office, just starting its evening feeding. A sitter always attracts P, and he had caught one from the car earlier this summer. I whipped into the parking lot, P hopped to my outstretched fist, not even knowing what I'd seen but eager for a slip.

He raked it -- it dodged just in time -- and it ran, but shockingly slowly. P bounced up to snag it in the karate hold, and it wriggled into some dirt near the office door. I grabbed both feet then and shoved them down so P could transfer his locked foot.

At that point I saw it was a fairly gravid female, and felt tremendously guilty. I'd only brought tidbits and one small takeoff piece, far too small a reward for catching something of this magnitude. I hate it when this happens, having to make a choice like this.

The rabbit lost. One of these days I'll start breeding jackrabbits to make up for it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

partial albino crow

It was a smallish one.

and the last day I hunted the sharpy, he caught a deer mushroom: