Monday, July 27, 2009

Virgin births with Komodo Dragons

Like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, Komodo dragons are capable of giving birth without the aid of a mate. This is an older article from 60 Second Science, but interesting all the same.

Indonesian dragons can breed without the benefit of masculine companionship. Last week, researchers reported in Nature that the only two sexually mature female Komodo dragons in all of Europe laid viable eggs without insemination from a male. One Komodo, named Flora, lives at the Chester Zoo in England and has never been kept with a male; yet a few months ago she laid a clutch of 11 eggs, eight of which seem to be developing normally and may hatch as soon as January.

Read the rest here.

Do You Really Want to Become a Falconer?

What does it take to be a falconer? Why would someone want to do it. Isn't it easier just to pick squirrels off with a .22?

Falconry is not for everyone, of that there is no doubt. It takes considerable dedication to your birds and your sport. Falconry is one of the most highly regulated hunting sports out there, so taking it up cannot be taken lightly. But in the same breath, I will tell you that it is immensely frustrating but even more rewarding,

Like other field sports, it is important that all licensed falconers (and all falconers need to be licensed) practice their sport with the utmost integrity so that only good impressions are given to non falconers.

If it is something in which you are really interested, I recommend hooking up with your local falconry club. There are clubs and falconers in most states in the US, and simple Google searches will normally find them for you.

I'm reprinting a letter from the North Carolina Falconer's Guild. It takes time and consideration before someone can really do this.

Falconry is time consuming and it is a highly regulated sport. (see NCWRC and USFWS regulations)

The time spent in training a hunting bird is great. But this time factor pales in comparison to the daily time in providing for the hawk's comfort and care. Food must be of the most natural variety and is not something that you find at the local supermarket's pet section. Hunting birds must be handled, weighed, and looked after daily in order to be successful at catching game. The utmost attention must be paid towards their health and well being.

The legal aspects of becoming a licensed falconer would seem somewhat overwhelming to many. Because birds of prey are protected by Federal law, having one is highly regulated by both State and Federal regulations. These regulations were originally written in order to ensure that, by law, the birds would be adequately cared for and would indeed be hunted with and not merely a pet. Falconers feel very strongly about the regulations and their enforcement. New falconers are required to serve a two year apprenticeship under an experienced falconer, score 80% or better on a comprehensive test relating to falconry, raptor biology, and health care of the birds, and build housing (inspected by the state game officials) that meet set requirements.

This is not to say that becoming a falconer is impossible. But all of these difficult requirements help to insure that only people dedicated to practicing the sport in a quality way are likely to participate.

If after considering all of this, you still would like to learn more, click here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big News!

This just out from North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission!

Peregrine Falcon Permit Application Now Available

RALEIGH, N.C. (July 21)North Carolina resident and nonresident falconers can now apply for a permit for the live take of a peregrine falcon.

The application, which includes permit requirements and deadline information, can be downloaded here, or by visiting and clicking on the “Permit Hunting Opportunities on the right. Then scroll down to the "Peregrine Falcon-Migrant Permit Application" link. The application is also available for purchase by calling 1-888-248-6834. Falconers are required to provide their federal falconry permit number at the time of application.

The deadline for applications is Aug. 14, with the permit draw anticipated by Aug. 20, one month before the season opens. Two permits will be issued to North Carolina resident falconers, and one permit is open to both resident and nonresident falconers.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission approved the peregrine season earlier this month.

While I will not be applying for a permit, I hope to be part of the trapping team that will trap the first passage peregrines for falconry in decades.

Yeee- Haw


In the off season I spend a lot of time reading. Much of what I read has to do with falconry, some about terrier work, and of course I read some just for fun. many of my falconry books I will re-read sections, or the whole book just to remind myself of details or techniques. I don't have many people out here on the edge of the country that want to talk falconry, so reading is one way that I can keep myself satisfied.

I'm one of those people that reads more than one book simultaneously and right now I have about three books that I'm working on (plus others that I am reading bit s and pieces of). This does not even include the big, hardcover, Cabela's master catalog that I just got the other day.

I just finished Tales of a Rat-Hunting Man, by D. Brian Plummer. Plummer is famous in dog circles for his terrierwork, and the book was an exceptional read. It reveals what a character Plummer is. It reminds me in tone of T.H. Whites, The Goshawk.

I didn't realize it when I got the book, but the forward was written by Stephen Bodio of Querencia, proving again what a small world it is.

I recommend Tales of a Rat Hunting Man. It is a humorous read that reveals a darker, seedier side of a hunter and of Great Britain. A side that I would very much like to visit. It is about a hunter who loves his animals and goes to great lengths to hunt them in the way that he believes they were intended. His drive to hunt rats is impressive.

He writes:
"The hunting instinct is deeply ingrained in man's make-up. It took 200,000 years for man to develop his meat-tearing carnasial teeth and the corresponding mental attitude to go with them. It will take far more than a few Acts of Parliament to get rid of both teeth and mental attitude. Stifle the hunting instinct completely and, oh boy! watch out for sexual squalls. I often wonder what the more violently anti-blood-sport types get up to in their private lives...Suppress hunting at your peril; the world will become a much more violent (place)".

And contrary to what PeTA preaches, I think he may be right. Read the book.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


One of these guys is mine. I love the picture.

Stop Hurting the Sea Kittens!

All of you fishermen out there, you are the ones to blame for the mass slaughter of the cuddly Sea Kittens. PeTA has yet another brilliant campaign targeted at the only people that don't know any better than to respond to their propaganda. They have come to the enlightened conclusion that if fish were renamed something cuter, than people wouldn't want to eat them.

People don't seem to like fish. They're slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads—which is weird, to say the least. Plus, the small ones nibble at your feet when you're swimming, and the big ones—well, the big ones will bite your face off if Jaws is anything to go by.

Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy—stat. Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account and leave our scaly little friends alone. You've done enough damage, buddy. We've got it from here. And we're going to start by retiring the old name for good. When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head, it's time for a serious image makeover. And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?

I found my daughter playing a game on the computer that put her in the ocean helping the poor cuddly sea kittens.

She didn't understand that sea kittens were supposed to mean fish, but once I pointed it out to her, she laughed because it was so stupid (she's 10 and makes me proud).

What I did find a bit disturbing was that PeTA had embedded a letter writing campaign to USFWS to request they stop promoting fishing. Not that I expect it to be effective, I hate that PeTA has targeted my child and is underhandedly roping her into their campaign.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Field Trip

My younger son went with a friend to the Navy Bombing range near by to see the planes fly. He took some pictures and I thought I would share them. It sounds like he had a great time!

He saw planes and copters, and they even dropped bombs!

Seperation Anxiety

I've closed the doors. My mating season (actually my hawks mating season) is officially over. I've closed the door to their adjoining cages and have begun to feed them separately.

In a way, it is kind of exciting. The molt is about over, just a few more tail feathers to finish growing then we can begin cutting weight. I hope in the coming weeks to start socializing the dog with the hawks as I slowly bring their wight down to an acceptable level.

By the middle/ end of August Gonzo and Tess could be car hawking, and soon after, squirrel season begins.

So really, this is not the end of mating season, it is the beginning of the beginning of falconry season.
Things will probably be in a lull here for a bit, but it'll be picking up again soon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's so true

James Marchington made an astute observation at a recent falconry festival. You can read about it in his blog.

Here's something else I noticed about falconers. They look at the sky. Most people just walk about, looking at ground level. Falconers are constantly glancing up at the sky. This chap was posing for photos when something caught his eagle's eye, and he instantly followed its gaze. A moment later I looked too. Couldn't see a thing! Just blue stuff with clouds floating in it.
It happens to me all the time - something flies by. I catch it out of the corner of my eye, and time suspends while I stop everything and look, mid sentence, turkey leg half to my mouth. It drives my wife crazy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time to Step Up?

Hunters, as a general rule, care more about the environment than most groups in America. Historically, hunters have played a role in many of the nations major conservation efforts. Falconers have done the same, focusing especially on their birds and the environments which support their game species.

Cool Green Science writers believe that in the fight against climate change, there may be more that we can do.

... it’s heartening to see the Seasons’ End campaign, an effort by hunting and fishing organizations to find solutions to the climate change issue.

Supported by such respected sportsman-led conservation groups as Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and others, the coalition offers substantial information on how climate change will affect game and fish species, and by extension hunting and fishing opportunities.

I admit that there is more that I could be doing to effect change. I could give more, spend more time, spread the word so that the future of my sport is sound.

Photo from

Check out the Season's End campaign. I'll be doing some reading, and then seeing what my wallet can handle.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Worried about Hunting Dogs

During my morning ride today, one of the guys brought up his concern about the future of hunting dogs. He told me that I needed to be concerned too considering that I like to hunt with my dogs as well.

State Bill 460 has recently passed in the North Carolina senate. This bill does not effect me directly, but those of you who breed your pointers, hunt with beagles, belong to a hunt club that maintains dogs may want to take note.

This bill seems to be sponsored by the HSUS and regulates the number of dogs that breeders, hunters, and people who work with dogs are allowed to maintain on their property.

S 460 is yet another bill actively supported by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and intended to put dog breeders and kennel owners out of business. It would also likely have a dramatic impact on those who use dogs when hunting. The legislation is both dangerous and unnecessary, as existing laws are already available to address the cruel treatment of dogs. People who mistreat dogs can be, and are being, prosecuted under these laws. S 460 is simply a deeply flawed, unnecessary bill, which has at its heart the anti-hunting, anti-dog breeder agenda of HSUS.

More can be read here.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance also thinks that the bill is deeply flawed and voters need to take action.
Vague definitions in the legislation will entrap many people who raise
dogs as an avocation, serious hobbyists who do their own training and
handling, hunt clubs, hunting plantations, and professional trainers and
handlers who also raise a few litters of puppies.
I'm not a political guy, but the more time I spend hunting, being outside, I realize that there are forces out there that could really change the way that many of us choose as a way of life. It is important to be involved.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Birds around Town

Just a few pictures of some birds in the nest around town.

Purple martins

Robin sitting tight.

Some kind of swallow.

Osprey with young above the putt-putt course.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gordon Learns a Lesson

Gordon and I went up to Maryland to dig on some groundhogs with Patrick and his Jack Russel Terriers, Mountain and Pearl, the other day.

Gordon has never gone to ground, but he is a smart and gamey terrier, so we decided to give him a try.

We wandered the soy fields with the dogs gamboling at our heels. After the dogs investigated some truly mammoth holes ( these holes looked like they had actually housed mammoths at one time), the dogs took us into the middle of a rose thicket where Mountain had pinged on a hole.

We dug through what seemed like solid rock listening to the dog bay beneath our feet. It sounded like Mountain was facing off against a bear down there.

We ended up digging three holes in the hot sun to finally find the quarry. Gordon was tentative and not really sure what the whole big deal was. But he paid attention and lurked on the periphery, watching the whole time.

When we pulled the animal from the hole, it ended up being a normal sized groundhog, with the voice and bluster underground of a t-rex.

Gordon started putting the pieces together. He mouthed the groundhog, tasting the scent. Then we filled in our holes and moved on. We took the dogs down for a swim in the river, while Patrick and I cooled off watching them from the treeline.

We headed back up toward the field, and began marching through the soy. Gordon was gone. I called. Nothing. Patrick was heading up the hill when I heard the barking. It was soft, but not too far away. I waded through the underbrush and found Gordon underneath the trees, barking down the hole of a groundhog sett.

He had put it together.

We went on to bust fox, groundhog, and raccoon, all on the same day.

None of the digs were easy and the sun was hot. We were wiped out by lunchtime, but by the end, Gordon got it. This dog is the right size, has a good attitude, and brains to match. He is from an indistinguishable lineage (he's a working terrier). It is looking promising.

We'll be out again later this summer, putting the dogs in the ground. Thanks Patrick.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Time to call it a season

Well - apparently Tess and Gonzo are not feeling the love. We are halfway through the summer, and even if they decided to feel the magic now, the chicks would be born pretty late in the hunting season. So I'm calling it quits for this year.

I cannot tell you how disappointed that I am, but there is always next year. There are plenty of good breeders out there that are selling their hawks if you are looking for one. I love my harris', they are great birds.

I don't know that many breeders personally, but there are a few that I can recommend.

Tess comes from Wes Collins project. She is a great calm bird, and I believe as of this writing he had a few males left. Wes is out in Texas, but he will ship.

American Falconer is a project on the east coast in South Carolina. I flown my birds with some of these birds and they preformed spectacularly, and they are fairly large. You can read about some of his birds in a previous post. Or here.

Gonzo came to me by way of Dave Mancini's breeding project. His birds were going to someone else for breeding and a quick check of his website shows that it has not been updated in a long time. The emails and numbers may be valid though. I don't know. If anyone can help out with the status of Mancini's birds, I would appreciate it.

Gonzo is a great bird that has taken all kind of game. He is a good medium sized male that will preform whatever is asked of him.

Of course the Coulsons are breeding their birds, and there are a bunch of other breeders as you work your way west. Personally, I like to go out a nd see where the birds are coming from. But I realize that it is not always possible to do that. best luck if you are searching.

Don't forget - You must be a licensed falconer to purchase or house any bird of prey int the Untied States.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Future of the Spotted Owl is..well...Spotty

A recent report deduces that even with current efforts to help the species, the future of the spotted owl does not look promising.

The 2008 recovery plan for the northern spotted owl is not likely to help the iconic species recover. In fact, the plan could substantially increase threats to the bird, according to a new study in the journal Conservation Biology.

Read the rest of the report from 60 Second Science.

Painting with a Broad Brush

I must apologize. I realize when I wrote about hawks and pigeons, I painted pigeon fanciers with a mighty broad brush. I am sure that not all roller pigeon fanciers want hawks and falcons killed. Instead, many of the articles I read cited the ones committing these crimes as "rogue elements" or used some similar term.

Anti hunting types tend to use the same tactic - painting with a broad brush. I think it is a common thing to do across the board. It makes it easier to dislike those on the opposite side. So, Pigeon fanciers, I apologize.

But I also learned something. It only takes a few bad apples is an old saying that really holds true. Anytime a hunter, falconer, or sportsman, does something that looks bad in the public eye, it can be held up as an example of all hunters. The tactic is used often, and the nonhunting public doesn't know otherwise.

I found this on a blog the other day:

Despite what newspapers and hunters tell us, hunting is a potentially dangerous sport! Every year, about 100 people are killed by hunters in the U.S., and approximately 1,000 people are wounded. Hunters can and will shoot too close to houses, roads, hikers and campers. According to the International Hunter Education Association, in 1995, 1130 non-fatal hunting accidents occured, and 112 people were killed. In 1996, 957 humans were wounded and 91 humans were killed by hunters. Ted Nugent claims to kill every domestic cat that he sees, and you may read about his animal-killing insanity on my Antihunting Resource Site.

Pet owners who live near hunting areas may find their beloved pets dead or missing. Hunters typically hate predators - especially coyotes - but they also hate any number of animals based on arbitrary notions of what constitutes a "good" animal as opposed to a "bad" animal. This type of thinking opens up a whole can of worms. Stray cats and dogs - because they're feral - are perceived as fair game to some people. We'll never know how many domesticated animals have been shot by hunters; there is no record keeping on this matter.

From an ethical standpoint, hunting is very unimpressive. The hunting community is mainly composed of grown men (and some women) with nothing more intelligent to do than kill little birds and animals because it provides fun and excitement for people who need to feel potent. No matter how abysmally cruel or wasteful hunting is, it will always be defended by the hunting community.

Hunters fancy themselves as part of a natural cycle. Of course they are part of the cycle that kills and destroys, not the part that gives life or protects. The hunter only wants to be the hunting part of the cycle; even when stalking those relatively few species of animal capable of utilizing a human as prey, the sportsman is careful to overwhelmingly stack the deck in his favor through access to various forms of trickery augmented by heavy firepower.

But no less important to the sportsman than his high-tech killing toys is his (or her, but more often it's men who are sport hunters) unquestioned faith in a complex, shimmering, and fragile fabrication of myth, half-truths, self-delusion, and denials.
Notice the way that hunters are characterized. Does it describe you?

What is my point? Do your best to be a positive example. It is up to every one of us to be better than we have been. There is no room for error.

Don't give anti hunting groups any more ammunition. Follow the law, and if you know someone who doesn't, report it. Do the right thing even when no one is looking.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's a Bird Eat Bird World

Photo by Misty Bowers/Special to the Reporter-News
Rocky the Harris hawk is being used to rid the Howard Payne University campus of pesky birds.

It seems that more and more falconers out there are finding work using their birds and their falconry skills.

It may very well be a dog-eat-dog world out there, but at Howard Payne University this week, it was a bird-eat-bird world as hawks were released to thin the flocks upon flocks of grackles roosting in trees, littering sidewalks and just being a general nuisance.

Jack Brady, of Got Birds?, a bird abatement company from Stephenville, brought two Harris's hawks -- Rocky and Woody -- and one Cooper's hawk -- Morticia -- to the HPU campus Thursday night to do what they do best: hunt other animals.

So your falconers out there looking for something to do read the rest here. Get your birds out night hawking, and who knows where it will take you.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hawks and pigeons

When we trap in the fall, one of the irresistible lures for hawks and falcons is the pigeon. Don't get me wrong, I like pigeons. They are cool little birds. I have some homers in my loft out back. We just had two more hatch the other day. (I have pigeons coming out my ears, but those darn Harris' can't figure out the process).

I was reading and writing about Harris' hawks being used for bird abatement, and then there was a post by Falconer on the Edge that linked me here.

THIS year has been one of the worst on record for the persecution of peregrine falcons, conservationists said yesterday.
The RSPB called on the government to add peregrines to the list of species being prioritised in efforts to tackle wildlife crime, after dozens of reports of the birds being poisoned, trapped and shot, and chicks being taken from nests.

The people blamed for these crimes are egg collectors (A hobby I completely don't understand), as well as pigeon fanciers. They also mention falconer's. I don't know about how falconer's in the U.K. feel about the illegal seizing of raptors, but I tend to discount falconers as possible subjects, just because I know how we feel here in the states.

But pigeon fanciers?

There is some history here. Human's have been killing their competition since time began. The first settlers to our country set about killing every wolf, coyote, and bear that they could find leading to the eventual virtual extermination of many of these species. We did it in an effort to preserve our food supply.

If there were no wolves (or fox, or weasel, etc.) our chickens, our sheep, our newly birthed cattle, would be safe. It made sense to people back then. Even now, I admit to trapping raccoons that otherwise circumvent my defense systems and get into the chickens.

But, I don't breed chickens with a defective gene that makes them seize when they run. I also keep my chickens penned against predators. Pigeon fanciers, especially the roller pigeon owners, breed their birds for defect. They want their birds to seize in the air. It is probably pretty cool to watch.

As a falconer, I understand that every time I let my bird fly, there is the possibility of disaster. Just like I know, that when I get in my car, there is the possibility of an accident. You do what you can to minimize that risk, with the birds and in the car. What I don't do is kill anything that could possibly hurt my hawks. I also don't go out and shoot any motorist that could possibly run into my car. That would be crazy.

But in the past, pigeon fanciers have done the equivalent.

One article tells us about how an under cover agent met and befriended pigeon fanciers who were killing hawks as a matter of course.

Some of his new friends were millionaires, others bore gang tattoos. They all had a passion for roller pigeons, birds specially bred for a genetic disorder that causes them to have seizures and somersault backwards uncontrollably as they fly. Hobbyists compete to see who can make their flocks roll in unison most effectively.

What the pigeon men also had in common was a hatred for hawks and falcons, birds for whom the tumbling pigeons make attractive prey. So protective were these men of their pet pigeons, that Mr. Newcomer saw some of them trap and shoot birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Mr. Newcomer listened to tales of pigeon lovers spraying hawks’ eyes and beaks with a mixture of bleach and ammonia, creating a lethal gas. Another claimed he beat hawks to death with sticks. Another bragged about a five-gallon bucket full of talons he collected as trophies from his kills.
Now don't get me wrong. There have been some inadvertent kills made by my hawks, but I try to minimize those. I remember one year when I had a red tail that caught a bat. I quickly got it away from him and released it. I don't know if the bat made it, but I did my best to for the little mammel.

Last season, Gonzo was struck out of a tree by a bald eagle (there is a whole different saga). The eagle could have easily killed my hawk. Should I go out and kill all of the resident bald eagles? Obviously not.

But these fanciers in several western states thought that killing the predators was the solution. Birder's world reports:

An undercover investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has revealed that a pigeon breeder's club in California, Oregon, and other states has been killing thousands of hawks and falcons a year in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act -- and bragging about it.

Members of the group, called the National Birmingham Roller Club, keep a specially bred pigeon that they believe deserves protection because it is easy prey for hawks and falcons. According to the club, the roller "distinguishes itself by its ability to 'roll,' or summersault backwards in rapid, tight rotations" in flight. The action makes the pigeon appear sick or weak.

Club members trap birds of prey in large box-like structures with walls of wire mesh. Then they shoot or torture them to death.

So where am I going with all this? I guess it comes down to assumption of risk, and minimizing that risk. Falconers use telemetry to keep track of their birds. We don't fly near dangerous power lines, or highways. We fly birds that are strong and healthy, and we avoid eagles as much as possible. But we realize that there are risks in what we do. Just like the terrierman knows that skunks and snakes can kill, and the beagle hunter knows that coyotes are out there, pigeon people need to know that there are dangers. Flying a bird includes the assumption that something may happen to it.

Bnet writes in 2007:

Federal authorities charged seven Southern California men associated with "roller pigeon clubs on charges related to the fatal beatings and shootings of federally protected raptors.

The seven cases in Southern California, along with charges filed against defendants in Oregon and Texas, are part of a 14-month investigation by special agents with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. In California, a special agent infiltrated several roller pigeon clubs and learned about members' efforts to trap and kill raptors, specifically Cooper's hawks, red-tailed hawks and Peregrine falcons, according to court documents.

Killing the predators is not the answer.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Rufus the resident Harris Hawk keeps the courts pigeon free on Day Seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 29, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

This is from here.

Hazel the Harris Hawk goes on vermin patrol

Harris Hawks in the news. The London Evening Standard did a little fluff piece on Hazel. It was short but amusing.

ONE of London's oldest street markets is being patrolled by a trained hawk in an attempt to rid it of pigeons.

Islington council chiefs came up with the idea after traders and customers complained about the birds, commonly regarded as vermin, plaguing the area around Whitecross Street.

They were attracted from their nests in nearby roads by the thriving food market - held on Thursdays and Fridays. Hazel the Harris hawk, pictured with handler Karl Robertson, is now brought in twice a week and supervised by a handler.

Sounds like the perfect job to me. There is a bit more if you want to read it here.

Off the Beach

My oldest was at Boy Scout Camp for the last week. So I took the twins off the beach, just west of Richmond, Virginia to go camping. It was your basic pull your car in and set up your tent, type affair, but the kids loved it.

My boy is a bit of a pyro when it comes to campfires, but he harnesses it nicely. He did most of the fire tending and assisted in the cooking, while my daughter and I gathered fire wood, and took Gordon out to claim more trees as his own.

We spent some good time canoeing on the water. We fished and talked. We pulled the boat up and hiked for a bit. Again, we didn't catch many fish, but had a good time anyway.

I finally got to try out my new hammock, but the kids wouldn't let me sleep in it. They wanted me in the tent with them. They thought they had heard coyotes howling earlier.

The kids caught fireflies, then smeared the guts on each other's shirts to make them glow. They laughed until the sun had fled the sky and the bats swirled about our heads.

Of course we had marshmellows, and watched the fire burn down.

I picked up a copy of "Last Child in the Woods; Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder". It looks to be a good read. The back of the book reads:

"This is the first book to bring together a body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults."

It reads a lot like a text book, but there seems to be some interesting stuff in there.

It was a good weekend.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Summer is good for a lot of things. But we get about midway and I start getting all melancholy. I can only take so much hot weather. The woods and fields here on the coast are home to a host of tics and chiggers and the like, making hiking this time of year uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, I still sneak out here and there, but I don't spend much time in the woods.

I spent this morning looking through some old posts from last hunting season, and now I am pining for fall. Here are a few pictures. Think of it as something to look forward too for the coming season.

I'm getting off the beach for a few days. The kids need to run in the woods ( I need to run in the woods). So I'm going to be camping for a few days. I'll post pictures when we get back.