So, this is where the story began, at an old blog post. When I wrote this post I had no idea what was going to unfold over the next months. I only knew that I had met a rare and terrible beauty in a friend’s kitchen. Then I painted her.
Catherine Hyde and myself had a launch for Little Evie in the Dark Woods, and LuAnne Hedblom came, all the way from America, to visit the place where the White Cat Walks, to go out on a boat trip with Ffion, and to come to my studio to see what it was I was painting. She fell in love with the first picture, the Saltwater Queen of the Sky, but I said wait, there will be more, and sure enough I worked on more images, and later a book and even more.
Leanne came again and fell in love with the bird, whose story she had followed, because she loves peregrine. She had been out on the boat with Ffi, now she came back and chose the fluffed up brave bird. And then she waited. And waited. And I kept meaning to post her, but when the idea for the book came was glad I had kept her, and still she waited, until the other day, when I took the painting to the post office and sent the pilgrim bird off over the ocean on a wing and a prayer.
Now it was my turn to wait. The postal system isn’t what it used to be. It was trackable, thank goodness.
And then this evening a message. She had arrived. And I think perhaps as with everything about this story the timing was so very perfect. I hadn’t realised how worried I was until she landed.
So now here she is, in the USA. One of the few copies on the continent. In USA and Canada there are only 1 650 breeding pairs of peregrines. In the UK there are about 1 500. Never enough, and there are problems with this year’s chicks in the States. Nests are failing. Fewer than 36% of chicks survive past their first year.
I have so much to learn.
On Sunday Ffion and myself will be speaking about the bird, about the book at Hay Festival. There are still some tickets left. Do come if you can. She’s a beautiful bird, it’s a story of survival.
In the meantime, thanks LuAnne for your patience. I will try and send my bank details faster than I sent the painting!