28 March 2008

Sweat, Stress, Hawks

I'm eagerly awaiting the end of tax season. For the past couple weeks, I've woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, thinking about the work I have yet to do. I'm exhausted and edgy and sometimes I have to remind myself to be nice to the clients. But I'm getting it done; one by one, the returns are going out the door; in the next couple weeks, the last one will leave my desk and I'll do a little happy dance. The Under-eye Circles of Death will fade away; the kettle won't be always on the boil; I'll have time to do normal things like garden and go shopping and just stare out of the kitchen windows and watch the hawks building their nest while I eat my cereal.

There is a pair of hawks nesting a little ways from the house; they have a nest built high in a little oak tree. In the morning they swoop around the stream and hop around the marsh and glide out over the fields. The other day I watched one of them scoop up a length of baling twine (leftover from seeding and strawing the lawn) and carry it up to their tree -- the twine caught the morning sunlight as it trailed behind, twisted in the wind as it hung fifty feet in the air, secured between landed talons and branch. Together, the hawks worked it into their nest. I hope we have... what's the word for baby hawks? Hawslings isnt' a word. Hawklings is too awkward to say. Chicks? I like Hawslings best. Like goslings, but with less webs, more talons; less paddle-around-the-lake and more hunty-bitey-rippy action.

Hawks make me think of falconing. Have you ever gone falconing? I think it would be a lot of fun. If I were to keep a bird, I would want a gyrfalcon. A white morph gyrfalcon. It would be an awesome pet. Since they're raptors, and semi-wild, it would be on the same scale of awesomeness as having a pet tiger. There's a morbid fascination in keeping a pet that could seriously injure you -- but you have to do it right. Anybody can abuse a dog until it becomes a mean, vicious attack dog. Very few people can actually keep a tiger, which could hurt you no matter how well you treat it. Somewhere in between there is the freakin' falcon -- dangerous, noble, and terribly, terribly cool.

I'm beginning to wonder whether I was a medieval knight in a past life: I have this lovely image of me riding out on my Friesian horse with a falcon on my arm. And I'm thinking about taking a fencing class this summer (after all, why not?). If I had a past life, it's more likely that I was one of the poor medieval peasants, covered in mud and shit, wishing I were a knight.

I've been a really good girl these past few millenia, so now I get to have the charger and maybe even the cool bird, and learn how to wield a sword, too. And, uh, spend my time markedly not covered in shit. Although I don't mind the mud, and I have been known on several occasions to... yeah, probably best to leave that one locked up in the annals of Things That Happened in College history.

Speaking of history, here's a visit from one of my old leather-bound books (remember? bibliophile!):

"The Temple of Karnac," from The Museum of Antiquity, 1882.

I am halfway through the short-row toe on Nutkin #1. After dinner I chugged steadily through the last inch of the foot before starting the toe, and I worked my way until the part where you start decreasing on your YOs... and I just couldn't knit any more tonight. I'm hoping by tomorrow to have one sock completed -- and to have bought batteries, so I can show you how awesome these socks (er... technically, this sock, but it will eventually be plural) are.

This episode of "Love, Life and Knitting" brought to you by: Holy Four-Letter Word, I Haven't Slept in a Long Time!

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