Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hunting Partners

They are learning each other, as I am learning to man Italics. Everyday there is a training session in the morning and sometimes one in the evening, too. I have a leatherbound journal I use to record his daily weigh-ins, the weather, attitude and progress. To some falconers our story is moving too slow. I guess I am just trying not to push it. So far he has only been in my life nine days and in that time he has gone from a wild, flapping, scared animal to one that sits on my fist while I do my morning farm chores and eats out of my hand. That to me is a heck of a long journey, even if he isn't flying through the air onto my hand yet.

He doesn't seem to mind Merlin, and Merlin totally ignores him. My next step is to take them on a walk together, Italics on my fist and Merlin's lead rope in my right hand. If they both can handle each other that close moving in a direction I think we are not far off from riding with a hawk. The end game here is to be able to ride Merlin into the fields and hillsides on this mountain and release Italics for the hunt. To come home to the farm with some rabbits or squirrels in the saddlebag will be a mighty day. Though it may be a while off.

With Italics, everything moves slow. Yesterday he started walking up onto my fist to eat instead of just bending over to eat out of my hand. It seems small but the choice to come to food instead of waiting for it to be presented is a huge mental stride for an animal with a brain the size of a pea. My brain is a lot bigger, and it was a huge mental stride for me as well!

My afernoon consists of working on a new book proposal, cloak sewing, and possibly a decent workout. Martial arts is such a big part of my life now, and every day the routine of going through my forms with body and bo staff opens up my heart and mind. It stretches limbs and retracts worries. It is a blessing in my life for sure. I look forward to those quiet times in the afternoon where the farm slips away and it is just me and 21-40 memorized moves. If you practice yoga, tai-chi, dressage or dance you may know what I am talking about?

Speaking of martial arts.... I have one spot left for Arrows Rising, which I hope one of you snags (or gets gifted) as a Holiday gift. It will be a wonderful weekend with all beginner archers! And if you can't make it here on Beltane Weekend I also provide personal lessons in instinctive shooting and can offer Archery Indie Days with a bow and arrow or two waiting for you when you arrive. Same goes for summer Fiddle Camp ( 5 spots left) which can also be an Indie Day with a fiddle in the case waiting for your hungry hands. Email me at jenna@itsafarwalk.com for more details!

P.S. Shares of pigs for next summer, 2 shares left. These are live shares, mind you. Email for what that all means if interested.

16 Comments:

Blogger Amzonie said...

Just finished One Woman Farm....a delightful and inspiring read. Just made a move to an old farmhouse and 5 acres at the end of May so I could really relate to so much of what you wrote. As I sit here in the dead of winter I sometimes wonder what I've gotten myself into but have renewed faith that things will work out. Thanks and keep it up!!! :-)

December 11, 2013 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Amzonie said...

Just finished One Woman Farm....a delightful and inspiring read. Just made a move to an old farmhouse and 5 acres at the end of May so I could really relate to so much of what you wrote. As I sit here in the dead of winter I sometimes wonder what I've gotten myself into but have renewed faith that things will work out. Thanks and keep it up!!! :-)

December 11, 2013 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Kira said...

Jenna,
If you've not read Serena by Ron Rash you might really enjoy it! Horses, hawks...

December 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Kira said...

Jenna,
If you've not read Serena by Ron Rash you might really enjoy it! Horses, hawks...

December 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Sylvan said...

Jenna, I am so impressed that progress with Italics seems to be happening quickly ( total novice here)!

I have thought for years that you need to write a novel, a work of fiction. A successful novel would move you beyond financial concerns.

Peace and Joy to you this holy day season!!

December 11, 2013 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Tessa~ said...

Beautiful photo...

Amazing post(s)...

Another world, to me. Thank you so much, for sharing.

Tessa~

December 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Hey Sylvan, Jenna is a fiction writer!

December 11, 2013 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

While confirming that my independent bookstore had One Woman Farm (so my mom could buy it for me for Christmas) I saw that you have another book for release in June 2014. I am excited!!

December 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
I don't know about handling birds of prey-so I have a question. Holding a hawk up on your arm so it is somewhat near your face or near your horse's face, would there be any concern that the hawk would be inclined to attack the face or eyes?
Thanks so much!
Lisa in Maine

December 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
I don't know anything about handling birds of prey-so I have a question.

Holding a hawk on one's arm so it is somewhat near your face or your horse's face, would there be any concern that the hawk would be inclined to attack the face or eyes?
thanks!
Lisa in Maine

December 11, 2013 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Dangerous Dreams Farm said...

How did you decide on the name Italics?

December 11, 2013 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Lisa, every bird is different but very few hawks use thier beaks to bite. Their power and instinct is all in their talons, which the falconer is holding on the fist with jesses. Italics has slapped by hands and fingers with his feet but never hurt me. He and Merlin started out A LOT farther apart than you see in this photo, too!

December 11, 2013 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I chose the name Italics because I'm a writer with a degree in graphic design. The slanted, sleek, font treatment seemed like a good name for a hawk. Especially a designer-cum-writer's hawk!

December 11, 2013 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I just want to remind you that Merlin may not do anything with the hawk in front of him....but it may not be that way with you on his back, holding the hawk. Horses are funny about that...they see things are scary and might shy.

December 11, 2013 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Kevin and Beth said...

So, Jenna, I have a question. What has to happen for a hawk to fly to a trainer. Does he become completely dependent on you for food, but then he wouldn't hunt for you would he...do you form a trust or a bond, like with a parrot or other pet bird? And what are the odds that some birds will fly off? Because I'm going to be so nervous when you give him the chance. I'm already obsessed with him and his chirps, sweetest sound ever.

December 12, 2013 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Kevin and Beth said...

I'm not sure if my comment went through so I'll ask again. What causes a hawk to come to you once you start hunting with it, do they become dependent on you for a food source, but if they did it seems like they wouldn't hunt anymore... or do they become like a parrot or any other tame bird, develop a trust and a bond with you? How often does it happen that a bird flys off because I'm already nervous thinking about the day you let him fly free. I'm already obsessed with Italics, I love his sweet chirps and amazing eyes. Can't wait to see him grow up with you.

December 12, 2013 at 7:13 AM  

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