Got my hawking gauntlet last week! Nice brown calfskin, full-cuff. Northwoods shipped it rather unceremoniously in a plastic bag within the box. I say "unceremoniously" because this strikes me as a rather noble item, symbolic of an ancient art and way of life... but however it got here, it is here now, and I get a small rush every time I put it on, imagining a big red-tail or Harris hawk perched on my gauntleted arm.
It was with that and much else in mind that I cleaned out the shed today, making it ready for the mews. In my head it is no longer "the shed" now, but "the mews." Next I'll need to purchase a bow perch. But the mews, excepting making the small shelf area into an enclosed cabinet, is essentially hawk-worthy.
When I was in my tweens I was often taken by my mom and stepfather to his parents' home near Knoxville, Tennessee. We usually went during spring break, so it was usually on the cool side in those Appalachian foothills, and the land was still mostly somber greys and browns. One morning, beginning our drive east towards Great Smoky Mountain National Park, we passed on one of those twisting country roads a tall man, who carried a huge hawk on one arm. Now I'm sure my mental image of that hawk has increased in size somewhat in the 20+ years since then, making it eagle-sized; but there can be little doubt as I look back that it was a big female RT. I've always dreamed about being a falconer since then. Now, at long last, that dream is slowly coming to fruition.