Debian: Using nvidia-settings to Add a Monitor

Since I just spent several hours trying to get my Dell 2405FPW monitor working with a Debian laptop I’ll post the successful formula in the hopes of getting someone else through it faster. I found a ton of bad information on this issue on the net. Some of it was old, some was just wrong. If you have Debian and a working nVidia binary driver installation, then I think this process is sure to work for you. If you have some other distro it probably will work since it’s all X configuration anyway.


The key to all happiness: use the nvidia-settings utility. Really, the biggest problem with the advice you find on the net is that most posts are half-right. They get close to the variable names and values that you need in the conf file, but none of the posts I read were even close on the sections. In many cases I’m sure this is because there are multiple ways to do it, and nVidia, whose drivers are proprietary binaries, knows how to make their own GPU work. Anyway, my advice is to use it. But first a few other things.

  • Move /etc/X11/xorg.conf off to a backup somewhere. Call it xorg.conf.old or whatever. You don’t have to move it, but we’re going to overwrite it later anyway, so at least back it up.
  • Make sure the external monitor is plugged in to the laptop’s VGA port (or DVI I suppose).
  • Run the nvidia-settings utility.

The nvidia-settings utility can be run from the shell if you know the parameters, but it’s easier to run it from the K-menu, in Debian > Applications > Tools. Once it is going click on the “X Server Display Configuration” menu item in the left-hand navbar. The right-hand window is where you edit the display config, and it is divided horizontally into two parts. The top part has icons depicting the actual displays. You click an icon to select a display to edit. When you start into it one of these will probably be disabled, and if you’re doing a laptop like I was they won’t be the same size. The bottom part of the page has the actual properties and sports two tabs, one for “Display” and one for “X Screen.” You start off in the “Display” tab, which is fine.

First thing to do is decide how you want the panels to work together. X gives you a lot of flexibility in this regard. You can have one virtual desktop spanning both screens; or an individual X desktop on each. You can also make the desktop bigger than the panels, but we’ll get to that in a sec. Click the icon for the display that is disabled, and then click the “Configure” button. Either select “TwinView” for one virtual desktop, or “Separate X Screen” for individual desktops. The utility will set the other display(s) appropriately based on your choice, at least when you have two monitors.

So far we’ve been working in the “Display” tab. Click the “X Screen” tab next to it. About halfway down in that page you’ll see “Position” with a drop-down list next to it, and then an edit box next to that. This is where we decide how the panels will be positioned in the desktop world. Regardless of whether you’re using TwinView or separate X sessions the system has to know which physical panel is where in order to flow the mouse across. You’re going to give one of them an absolute position, and the other a relative position. Since screen coordinates go from left to right, give the left display an absolute position of 0,0, and the right display a relative position of “RightOf.” Other combinations are possible, but this will be what most people want.

Click the “Display” tab to get back to the display configuration. If you chose “Separate X Screens” in the configuration you can skip this part. If you have two panels the exact same size you can also skip this part. One of the challenges in setting up dual monitors on a laptop is that almost certainly the monitors are not the same size. If you have a separate desktop on each, then this is no big deal. If you have a single virtual desktop then that desktop is going to encompass both the larger and smaller panel, and since the virtual desktop is rectangular there is going to be some extra space in the neighborhood of the smaller panel.

On the “Display” tab click the “Advanced” button. This will display the “Panning” settings for either display. It’s a strange name, since it’s really the size of the virtual desktop for that display. Let’s say you have a 1600 x 1200 LCD, and a laptop with a 1280 x 800 LCD. You can leave the Panning x,y values at 1600 x 1200 for the first display, and 1280 x 800 for the second, and it will work fine. But because X will allocate enough rectangular desktop to encompass the height of the tallest screen, and the width of both, there is an area that the little laptop screen can’t cover. It’s not tall enough. If instead you set the Panning value for the laptop display to 1280 x 1200, it will take up the full width, and you will be able to pan an 800 row window over the full 1200 rows of the virtual desktop. Of course you can make the virtual desktop larger than both screens, and pan them both. It’s up to you.

Once you have these set click “Save to X Configuration File” at the bottom of the dialog. In the save file dialogue uncheck “Merge with existing file.” If you have custom settings in your existing xorg.conf file and you want to try the automatic merge, then you can leave this box checked and try to save into /etc/X11/xorg.conf. You’ll need sufficient permissions to do that, usually meaning root. If, like me, you prefer to have the new file written elsewhere so you can look it over before installing it, then I suggest saving it to your home directory as xorg.conf.nvidia. The utility will generate a complete xorg.conf, including the input devices, server layout, and any monitors that it detects. For most systems this generated config will work fine. As mentioned above if you have customized xorg.conf you’ll need to manually merge at this point. In my case I simply replaced the existing xorg.conf file with the one nvidia-settings generated, and it worked right off. I initially used TwinView, but decided that separate X screens would be better. Now when logging in I get the log-in box on the big Dell, while the laptop screen remains blank. As soon as I log in both panels show a complete X desktop.

Once you have merged any custom settings copy the resulting xorg.conf.nvidia (or whatever) file to /etc/X11/xorg.conf, hit ctrl-alt-backspace to kill X, and then if necessary log in at the terminal and type startx. You should have both panels configured and working. That’s the walkthrough. If you’re interested in the details of the generated .conf files follow the link. Continue reading

WordPress 2.6 Follow-up

I figured out that the little balloon with the number “2” in it that appeared next to the “Plugins” menu choice in the admin screen meant that WordPress thought there were two plugins that required upgrading. I’m not sure why it thought that, as there was really just one. But that one didn’t show up right after upgrading to 2.6. It showed up the next day. Once I upgraded Sociable the tooltip disappeared.

The Dying of Old Roads

It comes up occasionally, among antiquarians and history buffs, and those given to poking around in ruins and old documents: what sort of fingerprints our great civilization would leave on the land if it were suddenly to disappear, as so many civilizations of the past seem in retrospect to have done. How long would the traces remain? Some believe that our massive buildings, dams, and bridges would be the last of our works to stand, but I’m inclined to think that long after they have finally crumbled into dust a determined archaeologist with access to orbital views of the planet would be able to trace any modest country lane on its way from one place to another.

And yet, as long lasting as the impression of a road may be, whether in the gap between trees, a discolored strip of cropland, or a cut along the side of a hill, any owner of a driveway knows that at the time a new roadway is layed down it experiences its finest hour. As soon as the spreaders are packed back on their trailers, the trucks have pulled away, and the lines are painted it begins. Water starts to seep under the fresh, oily pavement, where it will lie until winter and then heave up at the first freeze with incredible force. Thousands of tires press down upon it with weights of 500 to 3,750 pounds apiece. At the edges of the road the roots of tiny grasses start feeling their way along, looking for gaps. The earth itself shifts as if to shrug off the unnatural hard coat she’s been given. By the end of a season, or two, the maintenance crews are out with fresh asphalt; patching cracks and potholes.

In New Jersey we have a number of places where the state or county has abandoned an old road to nature. The reasons are varied. Sometimes the road is simply not needed anymore. It may have been made redundant by the construction of a newer, safer way. In other cases different levels of government feud over which is responsible for the costs of maintenance, town against county, county against state, and the road languishes while the matter is resolved, if it ever is. In these cases a road is sometimes closed off, while in others, to the great delight of people like myself, the officials merely throw a sign up saying, in effect, “This road is in disrepair, so the risk of travel is yours.” Not that it isn’t ordinarily anyway. Government is well-insulated from the liability for bad things that happen on roadways.

Not long ago I visited two such roads whose history is a little different from the average transportation maintenance problem in the state. Forty-five years or so ago the Army Corps of Engineers began acquiring land in the Delaware Water Gap region to accomodate a proposed dam and National Park. The area was thickly settled by families who had been on the land for generations, and the story of their eviction and the subsequent fate of their properties is rich with incompetence and tragedy, and should be told in full some day. The area was well seamed with two-lane country roads. Nearly all of them, save a few main arteries, ceased to be maintained as roads when the Corps handed over control of the area to the National Park Service. You can find them on old maps, but when you visit them today you find they have been gated off, and given park-like trail names.

Most of these roads have truly become trails, their pavement having long ago crumbled, leaving just a few chunks of asphalt on the edges here and there to testify to busier days. Others, of course, were never paved at all. And then there are those, like Sand Pond Road in Warren County, and Old Dingmans Road in Sussex, that were maintained longer, but eventually suffered the identical fate. The traveller on either of these roads today finds the route in the middle of a long death, with faded lines still visible, along with large chunks of original pavement. But on Sand Pond especially the effects of water washing down the hill toward Hardwick have gouged great furrows from the road surface. Sand Pond is not a road to travel in a vehicle with little ground clearance.

If you do travel these roads today, and have a sharp eye, you may see from time to time the paneless windows of ancient farmsteads now abandoned, staring out from the wild growth of vegetation like so many dead and sightless eyes. Once these roads were witness to the daily passage of wagons heaped with grain and seed, Model T’s with their truck bed conversions putting to market and back, and the tramp of weary schoolchildren on their way back up the mountain after lessons. Now they slowly return to their earlier state, when they were nothing more than a gap between the trees where wagon wheels made a kind of track, and in time even that will fade as the trees and heavy brush reclaim the path. But even then the traces will be there, in faint lines and disturbances in the forest and meadows, for many generations to come.

WordPress 2.6

Well I got around to upgrading this evening. I’m not sure whether I would ever go through this if it weren’t for the pale yellow nag bar that appears in the admin screen whenever there’s a new version. That’s a pretty effective device. Everything went smoothly, though it took a few minutes longer because I decided to actually follow advice this time and grab a database backup and a copy of the existing files. One little wierdness: since upgrading one of those little “tool tip balloons” appears next to “plugins” in the admin menu. It has the number “2” in it. Apparently there are two plugins that want… something. I understand when comments want to be admin’d, but I’m not sure what these two plugins want, or which plugins it is that want something. Clicking the balloon just goes to the plugin admin screen. Other than that I haven’t noticed any difference, which I’ll take as a good thing. Well, the nag bar did go away, and I guess that’s good too.

Sentence Structure for Geeks

Do you have difficulty communicating with your colleagues? Are you often misunderstood? Did the last girl you asked out sort of look at you strangely, then walk off? Was the first George Bush in office the last time you were asked to present to management? If any of these statements apply to you, then you may be suffering from ASS. Abbreviated Sentence Syndrome is a serious disorder affecting thousands of people in the system support and software development fields. In order to call attention to this growing problem we have put together a short list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) that may help you determine whether you, too, have ASS.

Q. Do I have ASS?

A. You may. Can you imagine yourself in the following conversation?

Manager: Bill, we seem to have a load problem on db21. It’s lost 20% of its throughput at peak trading hours over the last three days. What should we do to get a handle on this?

You: Power supply.

One can easily imagine the manager’s consternation at this reply. Does Bill mean that the problem might be caused by the power supply; or that we can use a power supply to debug it; or that he is working on a power supply and needs to finish before he can assist with the load problem? There’s just no way to know! (LOL).

Still not sure? How about this interaction?

Coworker: I keep getting a linker error on this library, and I’ve checked the exports three times. You wrote this module, right? Have you seen this problem?

You: Set build variable.

Coworker, unsure of himself and in fear of appearing to be an idiot, wanders off, nodding. (LMAO).

If either of these scenarios sound like you, then you may indeed be suffering from ASS. An ASS sufferer is unable to communicate with others by articulating full and complete thoughts. In most cases the afflicted person just manages to squeeze out the two or three most important words, devoid of all context.

Q. If I have ASS, what can I do?

A. A daily regimen of sentence structure drills will help you learn to formulate full and complete thoughts, with all the nuance and context that the average thinking human expects. It’s not easy, but if you are determined to cure your ASS then we are determined to help. Working together we can change:

Link through Trades table.


Security and Amount both have foreign keys into the Trades table.

It’s not an easy path, but with every day you’ll be speaking and writing more clearly, as your confidence and abilities grow.

Q. Who discovered ASS?

A. ASS has been known for many years. There were outbreaks in the 1960’s and 1970’s in the United States, and even earlier in Europe, however it was thought to have been controlled by modern medicines, including bourbon. The most recent outbreak surprised researchers when it emerged in the early 1990’s, beginning first in Finland, and then spreading westward. It is not known who first used the term ASS to describe the syndrome. Most linguists feel it probably emerged spontaneously in the aftermath of a conversation with a sufferer.

Q. I don’t like to practice things. Is there a pharmaceutical treatment?

A. Some ASS sufferers find the condition improves with alcohol consumption, however the effects are difficult to quantify and control, and oftentimes the swing is so pronounced in the opposite direction that the sufferer simply appears to others to be a bigger ASS.

Q. Do you think ASS is harming my career development?

A. Yes. People afflicted with ASS tend to stall on the lower rungs of a technical organization. Take for example this tragic exchange:

Boss: Steve, we have an opening in Architecture. Are you interested, or would you rather stay on the implementation side?

Steve: Good.

Steve’s boss never raised the subject with him again, and he learned later that month that some guy from the call center had joined the Architecture Group.

Q. Does ASS affect writing as well as speaking?

A. Yes, although there are individual differences. In fact some people who suffer from verbal ASS write very eloquently, and the opposite is also true. In the following example Tom was asked a question during a meeting. After the meeting he explained his answer to his boss this way:

It’s a simple matter of consolidating servers. Our servers draw about 400 watts each, and so you can see that a 20% reduction in the number of boxes is a significant savings.

Later he also explained himself to another colleague in an email:

U cut boxes. More powr? No way.

As you can see, compelling communications skills do not always extend across media boundaries.

Q. And I care why? I’m smart. They need me here.

A. We agree that this is a compelling line of reasoning. However, consider this: you won’t always be smart. Yes, you may think you can keep up with technology and stay on top of the game for the next thirty years of your career, but you’re wrong. Younger people with no kids and no responsibilities will have hours and hours more time to master the latest acronym than you will. Once this happens you will need to be able to communicate well in order to justify your continued employment. Imagine this email conversation:

Big boss: Ed, the new developers write twice as much code as you, and now your manager tells me you need six weeks of training on FLIM.FLAM. You’ve known for a long time how important FLIM.FLAM is to us, and yet you’ve made no progress. I’m starting to rethink our relationship with you.


What are Ed’s chances of getting the gold watch at this firm? Not very good, as we think you’ll agree.

ASS should be taken seriously, and if nothing else we hope this FAQ and guide have shown others what a burden ASS can be. Those suffering from it deserve our empathy and assistance, and that’s what our mission here at the Betz Institute for Grammar and Abbreviated Sentence Syndrome is all about.

Buried in Brambles: The Vancampen Cemetery

At the worst of it I found myself nearly immobile. Vines stretched tightly across my chest, thorns dug into my forearms with every move, and my feet, down somewhere in the invisible nightmare below the foamy ocean of green in which I swam, were in the tangled clutches of evil flora with long, sinuous tentacles. I had no idea what they were, and no intention of looking. I had been struggling to find a way out of this place for almost forty-five minutes. My breath was laboured, my jeans and shirt ripped and bloody, my forearms dripping red. Movement was only to be had by throwing one leg or the other up and over the closest thorny mass and trying to press it down. Success got you a foot forward, while more commonly failure left you dangerously off balance and ready to tumble into the darkness. At one point I seriously pondered the potential ignominy of calling the rangers and asking them to cut me out… never a serious option, but I could see how it might become one. I had a nice chunk of stone nearby. I might have gotten up on it to try and see a way out, but I couldn’t do it. The words on the front of the stone said “Sherman Vancampen,” and I didn’t think he would appreciate me climbing on his grave.

It began two months earlier with some lines on a relatively recent topographical map, and the abbreviation “Cem.” The lines were in the form of a rectangle not far north of an old farm that had once been one of the homesteads of the Vancampen family. A check of various sources turned up references to a “Vancampen cemetery,” and I was intrigued. I had visited the nearby graveyard of the Depues, and thought that was all the mortuary evidence that the vanished town of Calno had to offer. But here were hints of another, where I would find the headstones of the patriarchs and matriarchs of one of New Jersey’s original pioneer families. I made two trips to the location, searching the deep woods to the north where I thought the map pointed, to no avail. On my third trip I had simply happened to look in the right direction, at the right time, while passing up the narrow lane to the farm. There were two newish-looking headstones, resting in a little niche that had been carved out of the undergrowth, on a rise maybe 200 feet north of the road. It was the work of a few minutes to reach these graves, the last resting places of George and Mary Vancampen, and Walter Vancampen and Mallie Sutton.

The stones were in good shape and more recent, the latest one dating from 1954; recent enough to still have living nuclear family around to keep the gravesite as tidy as possible. Beyond I saw hints of other stones deep in the greenery. The brush was simply fearsome: as bad as anything I have been in. Thick thorn bushes and vines were everywhere. However someone had pushed a slight path onward and deeper into the thicket, whether animal or human, and it was this I determined to follow. This had not originally been a bushwhacking trip, and I was not prepared for deep stuff. They call it “bushwhacking” for a simple reason: to get through you need to get a big knife and whack bushes. With no cutters or even a knife on hand, no thick gloves, and short sleeves I was not equipped to move forward. But the site of older stones deeper in got the better of me. I could just follow this older gap, and come back out the same way. Foolproof!

Against the average fool, perhaps. For twenty or thirty minutes I worked my way forward. Each group of stones revealed interesting names and dates, some that I knew from earlier research. I took as many pictures as I could, from as many angles as the brush would allow. Each group also yielded another dim view of yet another group of stones off a little ways in the bramble, reachable if I would just go a little farther, which inevitably I did. When I finally arrived at what I thought was the northern edge of the plot, and turned to come back, there was no path. It was like the bramble had closed in behind me. It was just me, the thorns, some tombstones, a lot of bugs, and not much else. I tried a number of times to find the “easy” route by which I had come; the one that had now been pressed down by at least three passages of something sizeable, but it was simply invisible. The brush was over my head in most places by at least a foot, and although I retained a strong and reliable sense of where the road was, I could not place myself in the plot itself, in relation to the elusive path out.

Not to over-dramatize this. The area I was in is remote by New Jersey standards, and at 7:30 in the evening there are very few people on the nearby roads. However I had a cel phone, and at times a bar of signal strength. I could call for help if I really, really needed to. As it turned out I did find a way, not by struggling in the direction of the road, but by turning east toward the deeper forest. I emerged very cut up, with ruined clothes and trembling with exhaustion. At no time was I lost in the strict sense of the word. But I was in brush so thick and thorny that movement became very, very difficult, and so it didn’t matter that I knew where I wanted to go. I am sure furthermore that this is not the worst the brush can throw at you. There are briar patches out there you can definitely die in, though perhaps this was just the kind you can get really frustrated in.

The question that emerges from this adventure, for me, is why the hell a graveyard full of historic markers is in such dismal condition? I travel often in this area, which is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, and I have photographed dozens of abandoned structures that have been left to decay and fall down. Some of them are examples of colonial-era hand-built construction techniques. Pictures of many of them are on this site. Yet I don’t feel moved to beat up on the NPS, because I know they don’t have a lot of money, and they have saved and helped NGOs to preserve a number of structures in the area. Still, how much money and effort does it take to keep the brush down at a small, historic burial ground? There must be more to this, and I plan to contact them to find out why they are pursuing this policy of neglect. The Vancampens and others buried here were among the pioneers of our state. When the Federal Government acquired this land they acquired the responsibility to care for the historic places on it, and that responsibility is clearly not being discharged.

  • If you’re interested, there is a list of burials in the Vancampen (or Calno) Cemetery that was compiled by a contractor during the Tocks Island dam project in the 1970’s.

Hawk News

I left a message this morning at The Raptor Trust inquiring as to the progress of the young Broadwing Hawk we brought them last week, something they encourage people to do through an option on their voicemail system. Not all animal welfare organizations will provide progress updates to the people who rescue wildlife, so my daughters and I very much appreciate this aspect of their operation. A short time later I received a call from Donna who told me that the bird was doing well, and that she had been in an outdoor aviary since the 6th of July. They were unable to find any medical problem, however Donna noted that she is a young bird and that, to paraphrase her comments, fledgelings often get into trouble. Whether she was just confused and lost, or had been sideswiped by a car without sustaining serious injury we’ll never know, but at least she is well now, and we can look forward to her release back into the skies of Northern New Jersey. I can’t say enough about the professionalism and care that the folks at the Trust have displayed, and I encourage anyone who finds an injured raptor to contact them.

Broadwing Update

The princess was feeling quite a bit better when I went out to check the cage this morning. We tried to give her a restful night, but of course the girls and I couldn’t help peeking in from time to time. When I went up about 2 AM she was standing in the corner with her head tucked under her wing. A blanket covered the cage to darken it. When I lifted the blanket first thing this morning she was standing there looking at me, beak half open. She didn’t touch any of the chicken the kids provided for her, and I don’t know if she drank any of the water, but she did crap in the cage, as well as outside of it (thus settling the age-old debate about whether bird poop just drops out or has actual velocity), so at least that end of her is working. If you don’t know to whom I refer here, check out the post immediately below this one.

I ran out and picked up a pair of thick work gloves, and about 10:30 AM we transferred her from the wire cage to a cardboard box that would be safer for travelling. She didn’t appreciate the effort we were going to on her behalf, and just about put her talons through the gloves. About 11:15 AM we arrived at The Raptor Trust in Millington, New Jersey, on the edge of the Great Swamp wildlife refuge. The Trust just celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary, and they have quite a compound there. After a young lady took the box from us we walked around and viewed the collection of raptors. Among the permanent residents are Great Snowy Owls, Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Vultures, Peregrine Falcons, and three or four kinds of hawks. It’s really quite a place.

Eventually we want back to the office to collect our box and towel. The volunteer who accepted the hawk from us told us she was a Broadwing, not a Red-tailed. She said that after the bird had calmed down they would be giving her a complete medical examination including x-rays, after which they would know what actions to take. If possible she will be returned to the wild. We’d like to think that’s what will happen. I feel pretty good about her chances after having her talons wrapped around my gloved fingers this morning. The staff at the Trust think she was probably hit by a car and stunned, and if she can’t fly it might indicate a broken shoulder bone. I’ll try to find out what happens to her and post an update down the road.

A Grounded Broadwing

This evening I spent an hour driving around with a cup of coffee, looking for some photographic opportunities. On my way home, coming across the bridge on Flocktown Road where it crosses Stony Brook Creek, I noticed a small hawk standing by the shoulder. It was about 8:30 PM, rapidly growing dark, but the little silhouette was unmistakable as a raptor. It was just standing there, virtually on the white line, staring at the truck as I passed.

I see hawks in flight all the time over Northwestern New Jersey, and down in the pinelands to the south as well. But I had never seen one standing by the side of the road. I taught the kids over the years that any time they see an animal that doesn’t run away, they should fear it. Flight is more or less the normal behavior for almost any creature we’re likely to encounter in the U.S., except under certain circumstances. That bird should not have been there, and my immediate fear was that it would be hit. That part of Flocktown is very dark, and the bridge is somewhat narrower than the main roadway.

I wheeled the truck around and came back by it. It didn’t move one inch from where it was seemingly rooted. I went up and turned around again, and came back down and pulled off near the creek, popping the blinkers. With the FJ in the way, the bird was as safe from cars as it was going to get without flying. I grabbed the camera and slowly approached the bird. It still didn’t move, though it opened its beak and lifted its wings, in a clear warning that it was obviously too weak to make good on. I worked my way up slowly and got quite close, snapping the picture you see above. I was afraid of scaring the bird out into the road, but if it had taken flight that would have been fine with me.

She didn’t. I think of her as “she” because hawks seem female to me, though I couldn’t tell you from any anatomical clue whether she is. If an egg popped out, then I would know. I stopped about five feet away and crouched as I looked her over. Cars passed, slowed, nobody curious enough to stop. She was fully fledged, and definitely looked to be a red-tail, but quite young. There was no evident injury. Her claws and legs looked good. She partially stretched her wings and I didn’t see any damage to either. She stood straight and with her head up, eyes alert. And yet she was in evident distress, and I had no idea what to do.

I placed a cel call to the Washington Township police, but they had to put me on hold and I lost the call. I had planned to ask if they knew of a rescue organization or state agency that would come get her. After all, hawks are a protected species, and this one needed protecting. I called home and my daughter Emily looked up a state agency online for me, and I called them. The young man at the action line said that there was nothing the state would do, but that he needed to take a report from me anyway. Mercifully, I lost the call.

A car came by about this time and she flapped about two feet off into the brush, out of immediate danger, and sat there. Yes, I admit, as she lay there in her misery I took her picture. I’m not proud of it, but there you are. I got back in the truck and went home. She was off the road, and there didn’t seem to be anything I could immediately do to help. She’s a small bird, but you ought to see those talons. I didn’t intend to just wade in and grab her. Too much chance of injury to one or the other party. Back at the house my daughter Olivia looked at the pictures and demanded that we save the hawk. I searched a bit and found a story of a guy who had rescued one by taking it up gently with a towel. We grabbed an old hand towel and climbed back in the truck.

Back out on Flocktown Road by the bridge, we shined a flashlight into the brush, but the hawk was gone. I was certain she had not flown off (otherwise she certainly would have done so back when some goon was leaning over taking her picture). The road drops off into a gully that contains the creek at that point, and I hoped she had not flapped her way down in there. The ticks are ferocious this year. I moved the light around, and suddenly there she was, stuck about two feet up in a shrub, kind of wedged in like she had attempted to fly, and hadn’t been able to do it.

I have never captured a wild hawk before, of any size, so I have no idea whether what I did was right or wrong. I basically walked up and wrapped the towel gently around her wings, and took ahold of her legs, equally gently. She flapped, but made no sound and really was not able to resist much. We got her home and made a place for her in our dog’s cage, which is quite large, and for the moment she seems content. I called The Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ, and they called me back at 10:20 PM. We’re scheduled to speak again in the morning, and then either we will transport the princess to Millington, or they will have a volunteer come get her. If it weren’t for the folks at the trust I’m not sure what we would have done with her.

I still don’t know what’s wrong with her; only that something is. Hopefully some people who know what they’re doing will be able to sort her out. I’d like to think she’ll survive, but honestly I’d be more hopeful if I could see some injury that I know will heal. I’ll try to follow-up and post an update on her condition as things progress.