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Take the opportunity of a lifetime to photograph, up-close and personal, trained birds of prey with professional instruction.
Offered once per month ONLY! Begins July 3, 2021. This package includes expert instruction by David Duplessis at https://tennesseephotographs.com. He is a wildlife photographer, one of the top nature photographers in TN. You will have opportunities to take pictures of at least 5 of our raptors (hawks, falcons and owls) both static/tethered and in flight, with instruction on both. We hope you will let us use some of your photos afterwards! And of course, you can take a few photos of yourself with one of our exotic raptors on your fist. The day starts with some instruction, then a brief talk describing some of the magic of these raptors while you can take pics static, and then approximately one hour of photography with the birds in flight.
Wing Blade Falconry is the evolution of my search for the deepest connection between my self/soul and the rest of the World. I spent years chasing people, places and things outside my self, thinking I would somehow feel whole and therefore happy, when I obtained them. I went from investment banking to my greatest worldly success in music as a songwriter/singer/producer to spiritual practices to property development and now over the last 4 years, birds, particularly birds of prey. I like to think it’s nature’s little joke on me. As a vegetarian and lover of all animals, I fell in love with eagles. I watched them in the wild on webcams breeding, raising chics that then fledged and became parents eventually, through tragedy and comedy and triumph. As a student of Vedanta (Hindu philosophy from sacred Sanskrit texts) and a certified Kundalini yoga instructor and meditator, I had long realized that what I thought I was seeking externally was really internal. They have a saying tat tvam asi “I am That”, that which I seek. Through watching the eagles, which turned into watching falcons and hawks, I began to realize that they are always in the present moment, and that was my biggest problem, always thinking about the past or future and not really being present in the Present. I also found an incredible sense of connection to that Force which underlies everything visible and invisible whenever I watched the Beauty of life and flight alongside the Tragedy of death and destruction that it really is all One Thing. I decided to learn falconry because I wanted to get involved in raptor rehabilitation. And the more I learned, the more I had to have a relationship with my own bird of prey, to train it, to hunt with it successfully, to develop a partnership at the edge of that Beauty and Tragedy all rolled up into one. The more time I spent around these beings, the more I realized how close to the Supreme they are. It’s no accident that in almost every culture the greatest symbols of power, prestige, wisdom, battle, bravery, are always birds of prey, from Ancient Egypt to modern countries as symbolized by the American Bald Eagle of the US. The more I learned about the biology and evolution of raptors and lived it on a daily basis, learning how not to get hurt, learning how to earn their trust, learning how to be their hunting partner and even, in the case of imprints, their mother or mate, the more I felt these are the REAL SUPERHEROES of the past, present and future. All the powers we project onto cartoon characters actually exist in the birds. They have sight that goes beyond anything man can comprehend, hearing in some species beyond anything man is capable of, smell in some species that makes them useful to police in finding corpses, strength well into the 1000’s of pounds per square inch in their feet and talons, the pressure of a rotweiller in their beaks, and last but not least, the ability to fly, to soar up to the heavens and speak to God, whatever God may be for you. They are the messengers to the Gods and the messengers from the Gods. And then there is the ancient Art of Falconry, practiced for thousands of years, an incredibly successful if done properly with care and ethics way to feed your family and your hunting partner as well. So Wing Blade Falconry is my soul child and with the help of a few of my local falconer friends and mentors I decided to create some unique experiences for people interested in learning more about these fantastic creatures, actually getting the opportunity to handle them and fly them and maybe even to understand them a little better as well as our role in protecting their essential place in the ecosystem. If you’ve ever wanted to fly a rocket ship, parachute or parasail, learn to fly a raptor. They’re the ultimate machine!