Some Habits Of A Sleepless Writer
Last Update March 9th, 2014
Mastering Night Sherrida Woodley 2014
The Boise Connection
Boise, Idaho, has figured prominently in the background of the novel-in-progress. Though I might
not have found The World Center for Birds of Prey as quickly as I did were it not for those who told
me to check in with falconers that frequented the Archives of Falconry there, to visit Condor Cliffs,
and to make contact with one of the founders of The Peregrine Fund, Dr. Tom Cade, I’m sure sooner
or later I’d have arrived. But, fortunately, Dr. Cade invited me in a little over two years ago, and over
time, we’ve corresponded and met several times. Each time I’ve learned more from him and from the
dedicated effort at the World Center for endangered birds, large birds, swift of wing and often
naturally aggressive. The reason I’ve gotten as far in this novel as I have is because of the perseverance
of those who work so hard to keep the California Condor safe and thriving. There is more than one
nucleus of study of these birds—Boise is one of them.
On March 1, 2014, I attended the Seventh Annual Spring Rendezvous brought together by the
Archives of Falconry to commemorate falconers recently deceased. It was the first time I’d actually
been in the Archives section of the World Center. The experience will stay with me. Thirteen
falconers were remembered, each by friends, family, and often someone from The Peregrine Fund.
The museum of falconry now holds their names and their histories as part of its treasured Wall and
Book of Remembrance. Recollections of their birds, moments of spirited flight, and ceaseless
accomplishments will remain long after the rest of us have gone back home. This, then, will be the
place each one of these men and women and the birds that touched their lives will continue to gather
ongoing admiration and where we can visit them as they would like us to remember.
I thank The Peregrine Fund and the World Center for Birds of Prey for devoting so much to the
safekeeping of falconry, an ancient and honored pursuit between humans and birds. Much has been
lost of the historical record, due mostly to its widespread presence throughout much of the world,
rising with kings, then falling out of favor after them. The Archives of Falconry in Boise, Idaho, is
changing all that, bringing a worldwide collection together for perhaps the first time. I’m forever in
their debt. The condor, though not a falconer’s bird, is linked with the ageless realm of intelligent,
high-flying predators that continue to remain threatened in our modern world. Once again, I’ve been
reminded of how cherished it truly is.