Long days and short nights start to make a change at this time of year. It’s the summer solstice with a giant full moon. Here at Morro Rock the Native Americans of the Salinian Tribe are here to celebrate the Summer Solstice. With drums and flutes around a roaring fire, they watch as a few of them make the climb up to the top of Morro Rock, where they will light a small prayer fire. The rock to them and their ancestors has been a sacred and religious place. They make this pilgrimage twice a year, June 21st and December 21st. I have been to many of them over the years. Time changes things from year to year. Some of the old folks I don’t see much of any more, but new ones come to take their place.
Friends of the Peregrine Watch, Carl and Bebot Lea, both local falconers, brought a great horned owl to the pow wow and it was quite a hit, plus being a powerful symbol to the Tribe.
About 6:30 PM things are starting to roll and we are stacking firewood around the fire ring, which by way is under the falcon’s eyrie.
Immediately my attention was averted by falcon screams. I looked up and saw the tiercel with a fuzzy Western Gull chick in his talons with gull parents chasing desperately, but to no avail. He landed in the eyrie some 65 yards directly above me. This was the first real sign I had seen that there might be something alive in that hole and it might be hungry. I have seen it three more times since then. When the female brought prey to the eyrie, two people heard a commotion coming from the nest site.
Later that evening as the sounds subsided, the celebration of summer solstice came to a close around the roaring fire. Now only embers glow.
Happy trails, Bob