Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weekend Hunt

We-- Terence Wright, Karen Wetherill, their lurcher Loki (grandson of our Plummer and Lashyn), gyr- prairie tiercel Cog, Daniela and her smooth saluki pup Blaze, English master falconer and author of Game Hawk Ray Turner, Libby and Ataika and I-- spent January 16- 17 hiking and hawking, first on high La Jencia Plain, on Lee's ranch, then north of White Sands' Stallion Gate on the other side of the river.

We ran only four hares and caught none but covered an amazing amount of ground and saw some great runs. We had fun. Among the following photos, the first ones at Lee's are mine; the good, later ones Daniela's.

Beginning of first day: Cog at Lee's, on Karen's Cootie car (click twice to enlarge enough to see "insects"). She is an entomologist, THE bee expert in NM, who has employed me to collect them in the Sevilleta Refuge. Fun fact: native bee species in NM are 1200+ and counting. I want to discover one...


Terence with Cog on "paint roller" pole. Cog may be the first "longwing" to pole- fly. He, like Arab sakers, will spot hares that are sitting in their forms, and has a real advantage there.



Karen and Blaze at White Sands. (Trinity atomic site, by the way, would be just behind her collar).


Ataika, a very youthful and energetic seven (her mother was twice that when she gave birth to her in Kazakhstan).


Searching, strategizing (Ray with binos)...



Loki lurcher...


Refreshments...


Finally the unseasonable though pleasant heat got to Cog and he baled out on a hare and landed on my head. Do notice please that I had been walking for two days at that point-- and I am laughing. May have some seasons in me yet...


Cog apparently changed his mind after we loaded Blaze, but it was late afternoon and time to leave. A good time was had by all, and Ray got to see a kind of falconry that, outside of Asia, is still something of a New Mexico specialty.

And: I proved to myself that I can still walk.

7 comments:

grapfhics said...

What a day. This looks awesome.

Peculiar said...

Damn, that looks like a lot of fun! Nice pictures, too!

Chas S. Clifton said...

Good days afield, clearly.

Mary Ann said...

Great to see you're having fun Steve--wish I could have been there!

Doug said...

Sounds like a good time. Would love to try some "desert hawing"

CyborgSuzy said...

A litter at 14? Wow. Are lurchers usually long-lived?

Steve Bodio said...

Suzy: not necessarily. But 'Taik is a native Kazakh tazi and they ARE. I think her mother and grandmother both hit 18, certainly 17.

I suspect a strong tazi strain in the lurchers will help...