Have I mentioned recently that my husband is a falconer?
He is. Ya know, one of those guys you see carrying birds around on gloves in medieval-set movies?
He needs these crazy birds in order to be happy it seems :)
From about September to March of each year, his head goes into the clouds. And somewhere in the blue or grey, he sees this little speck that is a falcon he trained, zooming out of the sky and smacking into a monster sage grouse, dropping it straight to the ground... This is the hobby he loves and over the years has made some great friends in the process.
The friends we make while doing what we love are
a big part of the reason to keep doing and loving, eh? :)
It's not too often that I venture out into the middle of nowhere with Stephen to watch his flights, but I do really enjoy traveling with him to the Utah Sky Trials near Lehi. He has been met with more than his share of heartache relative to this crazy competition, but the friends we get to see and laugh with while we're there make it worth it :) In this pic above, he's about to walk out into the field with his bird, Rizor, for his chance to let the bird show it's stuff.
Meanwhile we sit in our lawn chairs or lean against each other's vehicles, with our necks craned, helping each other keep track of this tiny speck in the sky, waiting for Stephen to be happy enough with the bird's pitch to tell the judges to release two racing pigeons, hoping Rizor will put on a show trying to catch one of them. It probably sounds dumb, but it really is pretty cool! It's fun to see what the falcon will do trying to catch the pigeons and the fancy maneuvers the birds pull off!
Stephen is allowed to take two partners into the field with him and took Taron and Keaton with him Friday. He was a happy man walking back in after Friday's flight that ended up putting him in fourth place. Only the top ten flights get to fly again on Saturday.
Friday night we went to Wingers with a huge group of falconry friends. I love these people- this group is truly comfortable to be around and keeps me laughing for sure! We piled into three different booths to accommodate our 30-person group!
In other highlights for this year: I totally got stuck going out to meet Stephen on Friday! He had to be out in the dessert at 8 a.m. and I'm not so much up for that, neither are the little boys, so he rode with a friend and I took the truck out later on. Anyhow, I tried to pull over for a van that was leaving to get by me on the road and got sucked into the drifted snow! Stephen and our friend Jason had to come tow me out! :P
He headed out to the field on Saturday with a good luck kiss from little Ry :) During this flight, Rizor got up really, really high, but somehow paid the pigeons hardly any mind, preferring instead to just fly around for the fun of it in the warm air. So, Stephen had to use a live pigeon to get him down and was disqualified... still, my awesome husband came back in with a smile. I so love that his personality is even keel. Even when he's frustrated or disappointed, he still stays pretty happy too. He just loves flying, good or bad, successful or less than, he just loves seeing his bird up in the heavens :)
I brought some small spray bottles and food coloring so the kids could color spray the snow while we were out there- they really enjoyed this and it gave them something to do for a bit! You'd think they would be miserable out in the desert, but they really aren't! They love looking at all the birds, finding other kids to run around with, and just being outside. I love that the people we are with out there make it so I'm not fried over where there are and what they're doing the whole time!
Another fun time in the name of the Utah Sky Trials and my addicted husband! :)