Stil another quote

From Carlos Martinez  del Rio, a man with a serious library, a quote from Giacomo Leopardi, “… a wonderful Italian poet of the early 19th century” :

“Works of  ‘literary’ genius have the intrinsic quality, that even when they capture exactly the nothingness of things, or vividly reveal and make us feel life’s inevitable unhappiness, or express the most acute hopelessness… they are always a source of consolation and renewed enthusiasm.”



Paul has his old NM Gos back, a bird who might  have been his best. He has descendants, with Finnish genes, and if all goes well I may yet fly one.

Accipiter gentilis apache may or may or may not be a valid taxon, but Gila Goshawks are distinctive. First I ever saw was in the late 70’s, when rancher John showed me one he had caugh and tamed after it had killed a number of his game fowl. The story is in Q- the – book.

Black, silver, garnet red…

It is Christmas eve

..  and I haven’t gotten  to the computer until now. Nor is the time right for anything serious or heavy.

Tonight the music on the box ranges from Baroque to Loreena McKinnet to Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, the last performed by the choir at Albany’s Cathedral of all Saints back when Libby’s sister and her family were in it (everybody is in New Mexico now). We’ll give the Mongolian Death Metal, the songs of the Silk Road, the ambiguities of Prokofiev, and the snarls of Steve Earle a pass tonight, though we may play a little traditional country music– Merle’s “If we make it through December”, appropriate in these tough times, and his haunted “Kern River” would be fine.

 And some Border Music is in the stack, in honor of Tom Russell in Switzerland, feasting with Nadine’s family– hi Poppi!– before he begins a tour with his most ambitious work yet. Yes, I AM hinting, or rather as they say in the writing teaching biz,  foreshadowing…

So: on to Random Doggage! Jutta’s girls…

Carlos’s team, having a good year, not just in Wyoming:

Daniel’s Boone knows how to beg while keeping his hands off the table, as he was taught. He’s a GOOD boy.

 I am trying to knock off early, so I will have plenty of energy tomorrow, at least to eat. We are running a sort of open house for orphans of the storm, because the Lassez, who we usually share Christmas with, have family difficulties in France. I will  miss them– we have done Christmas with them, if not forever, for more than a decade. They’ll be back, and we have January plans, but tomorrow, with no Lassez and no kids, we are a bit adrift. Here are we are last year; photo of Lib with Catherine, and Jean- Louis and me being geeks at Muleshoe Ranch–I think the second was at Christmas.

Comic note. When asked about Jean Louis’ appearance by someone who had yet to meet him, Libby thought for a moment and said that he resembled a cross between the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Yosemite Sam. I muttered that he was a lot more Sam than saddhu considering his guns, a rather Hollywood- themed bunch back in the days when I first met him;  God, that would be almost 30 years ago. Here is one of him I have run before, with his paint by numbers Mondrian parody; regular readers know he will happily do worse, as in “More, and worse!”

He at least used to have a blue Smith 44 mag with a longish– 5 1/2 “?– barrel that I, with my boundlless appetite for blue S & W’s, lusted over.  “Zees eez Cleent Eastwood’s gun– ze one he used  een Dirty Harry!” No, he didn’t mean the original,   and he can talk a bit western these days if he wants to.

Then, last year, he was traveling in Nepal, and encountered (and bought for me) the only working man’s Kukri I have ever seen- plain, crude, sharp as a razor, buffalo horn handle  countered- may blog sometime. And he sat for and sent me this photo of him with two new friends’ more of the Maharishi persuasion:

Another and I will quit. A few years ago I was showing Catherine this fine old engraving of a Goshawk in John  Lockwood Kipling’s ( Rudyard’s father)  Man and Beast in India.

A few days later, she came up with this image that she had taken in the Khyber pass in the early seventies (?), when her uncle was in the French diplomatic service,  of  a local falconer and a nice male Gos. She has an eye..

Merry Christmas everyone, and see you tomorrow.