- Marshall Tucker Band
That's mostly what's been going on here on the High Plains. It is DRY. We haven't had any measurable precipitation since I reported it in my blog back on, what, June 4th? Last year by this time we'd had 3"+ of rain. Currently, we've had 1/2". On the upside, storm clouds are beginning to build but on the downside, they're just bringing lightning. Last night there were 4 lightning strikes in a single area and me and B2 got called out on our first jobs as new Volunteer Fire Department members. I have trouble with the radio so I'm a grunt, which is fine with me. I ended up manning our water tanker. Field trucks come by and fill up and what I did was basically just hook them up to our hose. It was a cool job, literally, as I ended up getting pretty wet from spilling hoses. We started about 5 pm and I got home around 10 pm. B2 was still in the field and spent the night at a neighbor's house.
|The VFD is all about team-work.|
|Fire on the mounta...err... sagebrush.|
|B2 awaits action|
|Portrait of the Artist as a VFD Member|
|Hooded and Sleeping|
|Falcons are easy to keep|
The idea of this kind of hood training is to only remove the hood when the falcon is going to be fed. Everytime she sees the falconer, it's a positive thing. You can leave them un-hooded on a perch, but then the falcon risks unpleasant experiences and is basically tied down against its will. They come to resent that. When they're hooded, they just shut off and the result is a much calmer bird. Again, every time the hood comes off, there's a feeding opportunity and a pleasant experience that benefits the falcon. After awhile, after we're flying and hunting, she can be left unhooded more and more, but by that time she'll be well-trained. Right now, we're training.
The peregrine chick is doing fine, too. He's much smaller and younger and his training is different. While I'm trying to tame and calm the prairie, the key with the peregrine is to not let him get too tame. If that happens, he'll look to me as the source of food and start screaming and food begging. He has to be taught to tolerate my presence but to search out food on his own. His training will be me giving him opportunities to feed instead of me feeding him. Therefore, what I do with him is provide him with a bowl of food at all times. He feeds when hungry and seeks that food out. It's almost like you need to make the chick wild and then tame it. The older prairie is already wild and my job is just to tame her, or more correctly, create positive experiences for her. When the peregrine gets older and starts flying, I'll take him to the field and create feeding opportunities for him using a lure and later on, pigeons. In this way, he'll become a hunter and aerial predator instead of a bird looking to me to feed him.
|The Peregrine Ledge|
|In the box|
The peregrine lives on this ledge during the day. It's filled with gravel and he has a little box he can hide in to get away from stuff. There's a bowl of chopped quail on the ledge and he eats whenever he wants. He'll go into the box for awhile and then sit out on the ledge for awhile. Not much else going on with him- just feeding and some casual handling. He'll start getting hooded before too long.
And finally, even though I haven't had many pictures of it, I do work on guitars quite a bit. I just sent an early 60's D-18 home after some renovation and I'm finishing up a 50's 0-18 that got a neck reset and new nut. The little guitar is a lot of fun to play and is just great for hybrid (pick and fingers) playing, swing chords, stuff like that.
|Original Martin bridge w/ my saddle|