Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Idylls

We are in the lazy days of summer.  Actually, it has been rather cool of late.  Our Spring was long in arriving, and if the trend keeps up, our Autumn will quickly arrive.  Well, if it can hold off from snow, a long, cool Autumn is great for hawking!  Sassy has spent a goodly amount of her Summer time in her mews, because the bugs have been just awful.  There has been a break in the flies lately, so she is getting to spend some time outside now, weathering.  Her molt has been progressing quite nicely, and she has dropped all her tail feathers.  There are still some wing feathers to go, but I think she has mostly replaced all her body feathers.  The growth on her injured wing is looking really good.  I gave a talk at the Houston Nature Center this previous Saturday, and after a bate, she knocked out a blood quill from that right wing.  The whole feather and shaft came out, so did not bleed from the wing (always the danger with a blood quill).  Because all those missing feathers were growing back from the injured wing, it should just grow back.  She's lost tail feathers before, not during the molt, and they just come back.  Loosing a feather outside the regular molt sometimes may result in no feather growing back until the next molt season, or damage to the feather shaft and no growth back at all.  Time will tell.  
It was high time to get moving on the construction of the new chamber for the hawk shack.  In one month Rich and I will be driving down to New Mexico to hopefully trap a passage Harris Hawk.  I need an appropriate home for the hawk, should we be successful.  As a reminder to my audience, previously we had purchased this little job shack trailer and converted it to serve as a mews and storage for all my falconry gear.  Here is the link to the previous transformation.  The Hawk Shack has performed the job most excellently.  In the winter I'm able to keep it quite toasty . . . although the goal is to keep it at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  I'm also loving all the storage shelves between the two chambers to keep all my junk . . . and there is a lot of it!

Like the previous construction, the floor and one side have seen a lot of water damage.  Rich stripped away everything and completely reconstructed the frame and floor.  He will install new windows, and insulation.  One window and a hole that accommodated the air conditioner are being closed up.  He is getting the occasional help from his brother Brian, and his sister Deb also comes and helps.  My contribution is in funding the operation, and feeding the workers.  I appreciate the help of his siblings, as they have to drive a distance to come to our house now. 
When the job is all done, I'll post new pictures.  Eventually we will put a skirt or a fence or something on the bottom of this thing to make it look less like trailer trash.  We will also paint it.  That red color just needs to go away sometime.  One project at a time!

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