Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Captive Wild Animal

Joe, working his way up a tree to get nestlings.

When my studly boyfriend Joe first mentioned me to his friends (before we started dating and fell maddeningly in love) he described me as a wild animal that he was going to trap and domesticate. He said this based on a single and very brief encounter that we had had days earlier. One of his friends followed up by suggesting that the trapped animal was, indeed, Joe himself and that I had lured him in there with me to watch the world from my perspective. So, if ever you feel sorry for Joe and wonder how on earth he puts up with me, just remember that he knew exactly what he was getting into.
That delightful narrative wasn’t a preface to my most recent midnight caper that Joe had to get me out of—I just wanted to share.
I'm holding a red-tailed hawk, but, more importantly, look at
how wavy my hair is in Wisconsin. I love it!
This week we’re in Steven’s Point, WI learning about birds. Well, I’m learning, Joe is teaching. So far I’ve held a lot of cool raptors, climbed a tree using spikes and a harness, taken blood from a pigeon, aced a recognition test, and put a leg band on a raptor. As a student I’ve found that I’m only really interested in the “hands-on” elements of the class. While waiting in the grass for a hawk to fly into the trap, everyone else is staring intensely into their binoculars ready for action. Me, the first time I looked into my binocs was when some power-walkers zipped by and I became personally invested in their progress. As for the hawk, when it was captured I was certainly excited to hold it and take measurements, but I draw the line at feigning interest in being patient.

Blissfully unaware of whatever they're all looking at.

Given that most of the class involves some amount of sitting-and-waiting for the big exciting moments, you may be wondering what I spend those seemingly endless afternoons doing. Well, I’m glad you asked, here are a few examples:

Kestel Haiku:
Kestrel sees the mouse
Wait, she will lunge; almost; wait
Alas, not today

Chord progression for Jim Croce’s “I’ll have to say I love you in a song”:
I   iii7   ii   V
I   iii7   ii   V
IV   vii°7/V   iii   vi   IV
I   iii   ii   I

Band idea:
Joe—interpretive dancer 1
Gene—interpretive dancer2

Releasing the hawk after impatiently waiting for him.

Though it may not seem possible, I’m learning a ton and enjoying this course tremendously. The other instructor and the other students are all absolutely wonderful and we’re all, it would seem, having a blast. Tonight we did a little singing and dancing after a full day of material and an evening of pigging out on pizza. Tomorrow is the last day, but it should be a good one. Weather providing, we’re going to trap four different types of birds which will take up just about the entire day. Then, to truly finish this trip off on a high note, we’re going to visit my most marvelous friend Tiffany who lives down in Milwaukee, nary a morning's drive away. 
Baby Kestrel

1 comment:

Carol said...

I love the pic of Baby Kestre! I've always wanted to go to Milwaukee, so lucky you.