A recent comment clued me to the fact that I haven’t provided much background info on some of the things I do (and post on) – assuming that both people who read my blog are already in the know. Seems like I may have more than a handful of readers, so I’ll try to fill in some of the blanks.
I’m a falconer. Click here for a good definition of what falconry is. I have a six year old male Red-tailed Hawk and a sixteen week old female Peregrine Falcon. Brick, the Red-tail, hunts rabbits, snowshoe hare, squirrel and pheasant; I plan to fly Luz, the Peregrine, on ducks on the salt marsh. My falconry bullet point list:
- Falconry. Look at the word. Notice it does not contain the letter “d” or the letter “t”. I don’t know if it’s a local thing or not, but if I hear someone pronounce it falcundry one more time…
- Q: You let the bird go? A: Yes. Q: And it comes back? A: So far. Every time we go hunting there is the chance that – if I haven’t prepared properly – I could come home without the hawk. Lost birds are no joke – falconers try like hell to find them – but that risk is a necessary part of the sport.
- Q: So it’s a pet? A: NFW. I’m not all that sure what a pet is, to be honest with you. I have dogs – they work for/with me every fall when we go bird hunting and the rest of the year have duties around the house (basically, do as I ask) and are demo dogs when I teach dog obedience classes. There are periods each year when they are in charge – if they tell me there’s a woodcock in the alders I damn well believe them. Pets? I guess, but I don’t think of them that way. The birds? Definitely not. I make myself useful to the hawks when we’re out hunting; we strike a bargain – if the human produces slips (opportunities on game), then the hawk will stay interested.
- Q: It brings the game back? A: No. (We’ll put aside some of the things I’ve heard you can do with Merlins). Carrying (flying off with the game) is a vice – a bad thing. They stay put and allow you to approach them (it’s called ‘making in’).
- You may have gotten the sense already that falconry is a vocabulary-rich undertaking. True. Even better, much of the vocabulary has been essentially unchanged for hundreds of years – rich gravy for lovers of good words.
If you are interested in finding out more about the sport, permit me to recommend Stephen Bodio’s A Rage for Falcons. It’s a fantastic overview – not a how-to (those exist too), but a why-to.
Folks who don’t know from falconry, please understand that writing the paragraphs above was more than a little stress inducing. Folks who do know – if there’s something you don’t like, or that you’d like to add, please comment.
My nom-de-blog, Dr. Hypercube – what’s up with that? First, I’m neither an MD nor a PhD. Also, not multidimensional (beyond three + time). A year ago, as I was starting to blog, I was also setting up a test network. I needed a bunch of host names and rather than do something boring, I decided to use monster names. It was a decent sized net (VMWare rules!); I went to the Kaiju Big Battel web site to replenish my monster supply. From there, it was no leap at all to Dr. Cube – my first modification, Dr. Tesseract, was just too obscure. Hey, presto – Dr. H!
Hooray for Kaiju: professional wrasslin’ moves + crazy monster suits + cardboard buildings in the squared circle = hilarity.
On the subject of anonymity – I thought originally that it might be a good idea. As I did more and more blogging, I cared about anonymity less and less. At this point, if you want to know my real name it’s about four clicks away.
Update – ‘The squared circle’ is the way pro wrasslers refer to the ring. Real wrestling (no make-up, completely trashed ears) is done on a mat within a circle. The pro show is done in a (modified for bounce, I think) boxing ring- a square. Those two factoids plus high school geometry yield a great phrase for the likes of Mean Gene Okerlund.