Monday, February 6, 2012

Falconry and Hawk Hunting

We caught wind of the Oregon Falconers Association's Winter meeting, and had a great time crashing the party.

There were 8 birds there, and alot of great people who love the sport - they were patient and willing to answer all of our crazy questions.

Here is a young red-tail hawk that was trapped 5 days earlier.

The birds were also very cooperative - always willing to show off and pose for the camera!

The group was slow-roasting a pig in a make-shift oven.

Pretty slick idea... we'll have to give this one a try.

Unfortunately, we had to leave before the pig was done. Next time, though.

This was definitely a "hands on" event.

Several groups with larger birds went rabbit hunting, and two birds were successful.

This falcon warmed up easily with so many admirers.

In the afternoon, the highlight was a pigeon derby - one-by-one the birds took to the field and hunted homing pigeons as they were released.

The pigeons were pretty cagey - only 2 of the 8 or 9 released was caught by the raptors. One flew into the crowd in its effor to escape, with this hawk hot on its heels.

Here is the video link of the hunt- the birds were right in among us, and we could almost reach up and grab them! If you dare - they were moving along fast, and pretty serious!

These birds were all business!

A fantastic day - both the birds and the weather were perfect.

New Year, Fewer Posts

This time of year we should be hovering around the Cowlitz river, waiting for smelt to show up for dipping. However, smelt are no longer 'dip-able' in the Pacific NorthWest, so we've been busy with other things...

We still have lots of trees here in the PNW... so we've been cutting alot of them down to make room for a larger garden.

We've also planted alot of fruit trees, too.

Too many pines and firs!

With the old backhoe fired up, we pulled a few stumps and an old pole, to make room for fruit.

We had a GREAT snowstorm, with lots of sledding, and big snow-ball fights!

Mom and the kids have been baking lots of donuts in the new cookbook she got for Christmas.

These blackberry fritters turned out AWESOME! Good thing they made 36 of them!

Some travel already this year, out to sunny Texas this time.

Beautiful weather, but their drought is bad.

We still have plenty of wet in the PNW...

While in Texas, I made it out to Galviston to see some water. No fishing this trip, but we scouted it out.

With all the donuts, we also made the biggest snow-cone in the PNW.

That didn't last long, either!

Taste the rainbow!

The last few days of nice weather were great to plow the garden up, working in all the leaves from last fall.

We also broke ground on the new garden area cleared of trees.

For projects, we are still using the rawhide, and working out the leather.

We mixed up a batch of Vinegarrete dye by washing off steel wool with acetone, then mixing the wool with Apple cider vinegar. In a few weeks it will be a good, black dye.

The leather has turned out beautiful - a very nice white.

It is dried well, and now we are stretching and breaking it in to be extra soft and supple.

The black dye will look great with blue-glass beads and the white leather...

We won't be posting as frequently these next few weeks, but rest assured there are lots of new projects going on.