Tuesday Teaser/Opening ~ Equinox

Falconry is one of those topics that I started researching because I wanted to incorporate it into a story I was writing and then kept on reading about it because I found it fascinating. So this week, I'm rereading Equinox: Life, Love, and Birds of Prey by Dan O'Brien which is my favorite book on the topic.

The South Dakota winter gives a man time to think.  The subzero morning, as Dan O'Brien approaches his fiftieth year, the autumnal equinox of his life, he takes stock. Feeling a waning sense of purpose, he decides to devote himself entirely, for the first time in his life, to his greatest loves--falconry, his bird dogs, and the prairie he calls home.

That summer he obtains a remarkable falcon chick who immediately distinguishes herself with her ferocity. He names the bird Harley and trains her in the way of falconry. Harley's powers of flight are awe-inspiring, her hunting success astounding. Like a lover, she  captivates him. O'Brien hunts with her obsessively, reveling in her prowess and beauty. What he learns from her and from what happens one wind-driven day lead him to see fully things he had only just begun to glimpse.

We were into the core of a Great Plains winter and weather had driven most of us indoors. My wife, Kris, had been on call at the hospital the night before, so I'd spent the night at the ranch, where we keep the falcons, the dogs, a few horses, and a herd of cattle. In one corner of the old ranch house there is a room filled with books, and that is where I write. I try to get into that room and begin my work early, but that morning I sat in the kitchen sipping coffee, looking out the window, and checking the temperature every few minutes. For days the temperature had been lodged in the single digits below zero, but now, with the sky going a shade lighter, it was already four above.

Falcons can give the impression of just barely missing their quarry. They make it look look they are giving the chase everything they have and that only the quarry's last-minute, heroic maneuver saved its life. Sometimes this is true, but more likely the falcon is just playing

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! To see what others are sharing on the Teaser Tuesdays, check the comments at: http://adailyrhythm.com/

Share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you are reading. Here's the link: Bibliophile By The Sea


  1. I like how the intro sets the scene for his writing...I can picture that room filled with books. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  2. Oh I really like the sound of this -- I'd keep reading.

  3. I've always loved the idea of falconry, especially because falcons are stunning creatures! They're simply so elegant and beautiful! I might actually have to pick this one up because Harley has me fascinated as well! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  4. I would totally love this book. I love birds, and raptors in particular are fascinating. And, I like books about the western experience.

    Sounds like a winner. Enjoy the reread--I often find I like books even better the second time around :)

    1. This is my favorite falconry book. As good as most fiction IMHO.

  5. This sounds like a fascinating book. I like the author's description of the harsh winter on the Great Plains. I also enjoyed his observation about falcons intentionally missing their quarry. Sounds like the author must have a vast knowledge of falconry (or done a ton of research!)
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

    1. The author has an extensive background with falcons. And the falcon he's talking about in the teaser steals the show every time he's in the story.

  6. I can see why you liked this book! I think I would too. I am not too familiar with falconry, but it's something I am curious about. Thank you for sharing.