yesterday I caught my first bird, seen above. I was by myself, Ed having left to check in at home. Neither of us expected the trap to take, but it did and the bird I thought was a juvenile was caught. Sadly, it was an adult red tail and I of course let it go. It was beautiful, and handling this wild thing was a quiet, borderline reverent experience. I do not think of hawks as holy things, no more than I think of you and I as holy, but I do treat them with respect. I slowly and calmly approached it. I gently hooded it (for my safety), grabbed his feet, and untangled him. Not sure what to do next I set him on the ground gently and he took off for the tree linene. It was a rush and a tease. To have waited so long for a bird of my own, to train and learn from, and to have to let a finally-caught one go was a lesson in patience and trust. I'm not in this falconry world for a pet or a buddy, I am in it for the hunt and the partnership. To me it is like working with a draft horse in harness, or herding with Merlin: two totally different species working towards a common goal. It is special, humbling, and inspiring to know that this world never stops making me gasp. There is a hawk out there for me, and perhaps now that I know how to catch him, he will hold on tight next time.