Life as a falconer, insect systematist, and double Masters Student (or a look into the mind of someone who is questionably sane).

01 February 2007

AZ and back in a weekend

After a mostly uneventful first real week of school (including taing my first lab it was off to AZ. We got a bit of a late start even though I skipped Oz's class friday afternoon. By the time we were loaded up in the truck it was after 1400. We stopped in Caldwell for a late lunch at McDonalds then jumped on the road. Most of the drive was pretty uneventful. Cammack made a CD for the trip which had enough music to get us there and back without listening to the same song more than a couple times, mostly a mix of country and rock, so we just listened to that and talked most of the way. The highlights of the drive was seeing something burn up in the atmosphere. It was the strangest thing id seen in a long time. Bright green, flying across the sky for a good 2 or 3 seconds before disappearing. The other really fun thing was driving down the highway with the headlights off in the dark. Cammack asked if I'd ever done that and I said no so we did it, it was really cool so i made him do it a few more times. We finally got to Harrys at around 5am and found our room. Paul was already in the room I normally claim so Cammack and I got the other bedroom by the computer room. We were pretty much instantly asleep only to be awaken a few hours later by Schebert, Harry's treeing fiest. The dog ran into the room and jumped on me before decideing that i was not very interesting and running over to the bed and jumping on Cammack. We got Schebert out and I got up briefly to say hi to Harry and Paul and ate breakfast before going back to sleep. The second time I woke up I stayed awake. People started comming by the house shortly afterward to see harry while we ate lunch. Then it was time to go hunting. There were quite a few people by now gathered at the house, probabily 20 or so. The plan had been to all go fly Harry's Aplo then go watch the peres fly. However there was a miscomunication somewhere along the line and we ended up getting dividied into two groups. Me and Cammack went with Harry, Beth, and a couple others to fly the Aplo. We went to a nearby field and turned the dogs and bird loose. The bird perched on the car top while Harry and Beth got on the horses and took off. Shortly there after we got our first quail point and flush. The bird chased it nicely, but no catch. The quail was reflushed and this time after a 100 yard flight or so the Aplo grabbed it in nice flight. The fiest was near by but was unneeded to recatch the quail as the Aplo had it all on her own. The pointer ran off and found a few more birds and held point nicely while the Aplo ate. After she was done Harry boxed her back up and went to get the pointer. Then Harry called Paul to figure out where the pere group was and we took off to meet them. The pere people were being led by Tim Rierden who found a pond to fly his falcon. We came up on them and parked the truck in a long line of cars and met up with the other group then headed down to the pond. We all hung back while the pere rung up. Tim flushed the ducks and the pere stooped. The birds went back to the pond and the pere remountd. On the third remount she connected with one. It was a nice flight she caught the duck after a bit of a chase right by us so we all got a great view of it. Tim let her eat a bit of the duck then hooded her up and it was back on the road. We found another pond to try the next bird on. The bird went up although not super high and stooped the ducks nicely although didnt catch any. The ducks all flushed and we were off to the third pond and peregrine. Again it was a nice flight but no catch. This final pond was a bit of a hike from the trucks and across a barb wire fence and by the time we got back to the trucks it was dark. We loaded up and headed back to Harrys to get ready for the banquet. The Desert Hawking Classic was being held in Harry's honor so as guests of the guest of honor we got great seats with Harry and Beth. I bought a meet shirt and 3 raffle tickets plus a telemetry tickety. I didn't win the telemetry, but I did win 2 gift certificates for quail. Harry bought a ton of ticekts, so we all got to put a bunch of them in then keep track of them. I got some additional books that way since he divided up his winnings between me and Paul. As part of the festivities a few people got up and gave speeches about Harry's affects on them. The best though was one detailing various quotes from Harry over the years, the best was one likinging something with being sinful with the the 18yr old neighbor girl. Everyone got a good laugh out of that one. The club gave Harry a large bottle of Scotch. After the banquet I talked to Tim for awhile about pulling peres, I really do want to give that a go sometime in the next few years. It was now time to head for home since it was getting a late. So we loaded up in Harry's firebird and took off for home. On the way he asked Paul if hed every shown him the acceleration in the firebird, and Paul said no, so Harry gave us a taste of the Firebird. Nice car. We went home and went to bed. This time Schebert didn't wake us up, and i woke up intime to grab breakfast before making the new anklets for boeri. Once they were made we got him and cast him. I put the new equipment on and then got him on the fist for a little bit. Then I boxed him up and finished packing up the last of our stuff before loading up in the truck and heading back east. Boeri screamed all the way to Las Cruces. By this point i was trying to figure out any way to make him stop, cause belive me a screming bird in the middle seat of a ranger is not conducive to a good road trip . I thought if i had a hood that might help a bit. I called Angel first since Boeris is about the size of a tiercel Aplo. I left him a message and he called me back after a few min. He was hunting quail, and didn't have a hood anyway but suggested Pete Jungerman might have one. I found Petes number and sure enough he had a hood that would work. So we stopped by his house and after struggling to get it on the normal way we cast him and stuck it on. That quiteed him instantly. Then me and Cammack took a tour of the breeding birds, Cammack liked the goshawks and the tiata falcons. then it was back in the truck agian. We finally got into College Station around 2 AM, dropped Cammack off at his place then went to mine and attempted to get Boeri to eat something. He screamed a lot and ate a tidbit but that was all for tonight. Long weekend, but I had a lot of fun, hopefully Cammack had some too.

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