White Water, California

White Water Ranch lies at the mouth of the Colorado Desert on acres created by unstable Santa Ana winds and set upon shaky San Andreas soil. I knew there was nothing constant about this place, but it had become increasingly difficult to find areas where a falcon could stretch his wings. My peregrine, Anakin, and I had lost ponds to housing tracts, open fields to Wal-Mart Super Centers. An army of wind turbines to the east had made the air too treacherous for most falconers, but I had learned to turn my face east to blow stray hair from my eyes, and Anakin had learned to pump his wings toward the sunrise for lift. For us, White Water was it, our bread and butter, the best place to hunt ducks.

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