After a slightly exhausting week, the much – postponed party finally straggled in to Reid and Connie’s country manse in Parker CO  on Saturday. Not every one could make it (Smokey Paul and Lynne met us at a Santa Fe highway exit to hand over a pistol for Carlos —  we still live in a free country where a poet can hand a handgun to a writer to pass to an ornithologist, and pass it through three states, all legally!)

I am not sure what the “Theme” of the party might have been– probably NOT blogging, though it had brought some of us together. But only Reid, Arthur, and me met primarily that way. Andy Wilson has known Libby from Outward Bound days, 40 years and more. Many of the others were members of what Carlos  and the (absent ) Gerry Cox facetiously call the  “Sewing Circle”, a bunch of writers, academics and artists fascinated with fine guns. Guy Boyd, who is holding the iconic Purdey, came down from Fort Collins; our first contact was through birds I think, as he flies a pursuit Gyr named Darwin, but I have also worked editing his yet unsold thriller ms. Chas Clifton blogs at Nature Blog, but we have known each other forever; he went to Reed College with Tom McIntyre, is a retired professor of English literature and comparative religion,  knew “Seasonal” writer Ed Engle (who once remarked after a hike in the San Mateos that we had seen a redtail catch a squirrel, but “if it had been twenty yeas ago, we might have seen Mescalito!”, and, if memory serves me right, first read me in the rather odd venue of Chronicles, in a nature- themed issue put together by Chilton Williamson and his legendary damned Patagonian conures!

Themes were guns, books, ideas, and food, plus a standing desk of splendid oak for me (thanks to Laramie based novelist Brad Watson); horses (Akhal Tekes) and dogs (Aussies- ours had stayed home) and a little mostly Chihuahua named Rainbow. And GRILLED MEAT– thanks especially to Carlos, and to Arthur for bringing lovely chile- flavored booze for a marinade.

And of course the Purdey, which is exquisite, not just the finest for its price but one of the finest hammer Purdeys I have ever handled. But, contrary to what everyone seems to think, despite my trade goods and its relatively good price, I do NOT have the full price yet. Perhaps, as the Nature Conservancy’s Matt Miller suggests, I should swallow my pride, and try a little crowdfunding– it looks like now or never… ideas, please!

This set all by Andy W:

Chas sights Broomie with Steve & Carlos in enthusiastic discussion behind

The younger set–Arthur and gunsmith Adam (not in this set, brother Oliver)

Novelist Brad Watson (check his new book on Amazon), Carlos, Steve

Reid with MEAT

We do love our food– and guns …

A Vet Bleg

A good blog friend, the pseudonymously named “Max” of Life Beyond Falconry, has a request for a good friend in dire straits. For many reasons Max and I share a lot of info on active people with dire health problems (an instance: Max lost a spouse to Cystic Fibrosis, which I have a heterozygous gene for), so I have been aware of Laura’s ongoing health situation for a while. What is more, she is not only a falconer– she is a writer (on car racing), with all the uncertainties the writer’s life brings nowadays plus. Here’s Max:

“Laura Culley has flown her red tailed hawk Mariah FOREVER (15 years). If you don’t know her — she is an amazing woman who has fought a crippling arthritis to get out there every day and hunt with the bird she has loved since she was an apprentice.

“Two days ago Mariah was chasing a bunny full speed and crashed through a window. She has head trauma but it looks like she’ll live. There is a fair amount of soft tissue damage, which will heal, but it remains to be seen if there is permanent damage to her right eye.

“Laura has not gotten much work in the past year, and her financial situation has forced her to move in with friends (goshawk breeders Richard and Becky Brunotte).

“I’m asking people here on Querencia to consider making a donation to help Laura with vet bills.

“If you wish to help, please make a check out to Richard Brunotte (Laura’s bank is in Wyoming, messiness) and send it to:

Laura Culley
7060 Garden Lane
Commerce City, CO 80022

With many thanks,

“Max the Vax”

Steve again— this is straight stuff, and I will vouch for “Max” & co. I know you have helped me– dig in a bit for Laura? I sometimes think vet bills will bankrupt us before medical ones…

Check in later for an easier dedicated pay site I hope.

Update: here it is.