This time two years ago we packed our belongings, our books, and our tools and moved to the west of Ireland in search of a new life. There were no concrete plans, no connections, no jobs, just a sense of adventure and hopes, and a feeling that we might be just lucky. And we were. We were cradled with warmth and showered with love, we found our dream jobs, met fantastic people and created community around us. In short, Ireland has become our home.
I feel that by applying for a license to take a sparrowhawk from the wild we have committed ourselves to this land. Searching for this illusive raptor has given me reasons to roam around places where I would have not ventured otherwise. When I walk around the woods, I am not just strolling, not just passing by, I am really looking. Looking at each tree, the moss, the bumps and the ivy on the tree trunk, the ground and the rocks around it for signs and clues… I become a wild raptor, I think like a sparrowhawk.
Landscapes become meaningful when you are searching for something. A falconer standing on a remote bog watching her falcon above is intimately connected to the landscape. The bog becomes alive. She can read its signs, the place has a meaning. And beauty.
So to celebrate our connection to Ireland, we’ve started a podcast about falconry called Wild Take. It’ll be mostly about our adventures in falconry and, if we get a license to take a wild sparrowhawk, about us training it and hunting with the bird this summer. This is our first attempt in the podcast world and we are really excited which you’ll probably detect if you listen to the trailer here. You can subscribe to future episodes on iTunes and on Podcast addict.
Meanwhile here is me with my new toy — a wool winder! This wool is being turned into a Warriston jumper. Yes, a sturdy wooly item is absolutely a must for our cold and wet summers here.