Falconer on the Edge: A Man, his Birds, and the Vanishing Landscape of the American West
It’s a funny thing to hold a book you’ve written in your hands for the first time. You examine the cover closely and feel the heft of the book. As you open it and you smell that new book smell, you start to wonder about typos and grammatical errors and all the things that can slip past the many sets of eyes that look at your manuscript as it goes through the editing process. And then, as you read a chapter or two, you can’t help but think — Did I write that?
And you try to imagine where it will sit on the shelf in the bookstore — what books will it sit next to — and you hope that the spine and title will make people want to pull it out from between the books.
This story popped up on my Google alerts. A falconer who is also a superior court judge in North Carolina brings his birds to court with him. Here’s the story.
- John “Joe” Craig III and his hawk, Roxanne
(photo credit: Michael McQueen, News-Record)
I went hunting with Tim right after Christmas. He drives to a pond several miles from our house where he hunts ducks. We’d had a recent thaw and there was quite a bit of open water on the pond so he was hopeful that would draw in some ducks. It’s tough to see how many ducks might be on the pond from the road — as they tend to hide in the reeds along the edges — so it’s a bit of a crapshoot when you put your bird up.
Tim was acting as both falconer and bird dog that day. After he put his peregrine Macduff into the air, he snuck up to the pond by approaching it from the side where there’s a high berm. He spied several mallards on the far edge so he kept his eye on his bird and when he was in position high overhead, Tim rose from behind the berm and yelled and clapped his hands like a madman. The mallards took off low and hard, and although Macduff had a wonderful stoop at them, he was not successful in hitting any that morning.