Jackson Canyon is so wild you are never surprised to see an eagle come floating over the ridge that separates most of the canyon from our valley. The surprise is that the floating creature is not a pterodactyl.
So when the turkeys up the ridge from where I was working began talking, it was quite predictable to see the eagle sailing above the tree tops. “You accuse me of looking for a turkey dinner?” seemed to be its attitude as it peacefully sailed back over the ridge and out of sight. But the turkeys weren’t buying the nonchalant act. They continued their alarm talk and stayed put.
They were still undercover when “old nonchalance” reappeared above the trees. Had they been spooked into flight, two of them would have been eaten. No sooner had the eagle reappeared to check on the turkeys than a second creature came flying so fast that the “whoosh” of its feathers could be heard for some distance. No, not my expected pterodactyl, I realized, just a prairie falcon hoping to piggyback on the eagle’s hunting.
Later, musing on these incidents while snatching a little time to do some turning, I realized that in some sense I was like the turkeys. Right now, the majority of my time is taken up with getting our winter’s supply of firewood from the dead fall on the ridge. The turning I get to do is gratifying but not very exciting. Take for example the Russian olive case I turned for the Bic refill my son found. It turned a piece of trash into a nice pen to write with.
Other people are turning out some great stuff, such as Yaakov’s Osage orange vessel. But for me, right now it is better to run with the turkeys than to soar with the eagle!
Ellis Hein, author of The Woodturner’s Project Book