I have spent a great deal of time this last week pondering, musing. Internal, quiet reflection about things that have happened in the past, how things are now and with that – bright flashes of epiphanies as I connect the mental dots and discover some “whys” when it comes to my idiosyncrasies. I’m left with feelings of my world having been rocked and yet, I also have a satisfaction at finally having discovered the source of things I’ve always considered to be quirks.
There is a great deal of relief in finding answers to questions you didn’t really have until life events come along. Do not worry, Dear Readers – I am quite happy with my discoveries and look forward to what I find in the future. That elusive and unknown future is always interesting. But first – the present.
This morning as breakfast baked, I sat at the dining table reading the March/April issue of Sierra Magazine (yes, I’m a member of the Sierra Club) and as I looked up and out the patio door to the woods and fields beyond, I saw what appeared to be a large bird of prey sitting in the middle of the field. It was perfectly framed between two tall oak trees and appeared to be sitting idle, watching the world at large. I mentioned this event to Mr. Muse who grabbed the binoculars and declared, “It’s a hawk.” Taking the glasses for myself, I peered out into the landscape and watched the hawk watch the world. It wasn’t feeding, merely sitting and watching. I’ve never seen a hawk sit on the ground and observe the world before. They usually circle overhead or perch high up in the oaks or the lone elm that border the road and fields.
Initially, I felt concern. Was the hawk injured? Would we need to call a raptor rescue? How long should I observe the hawk, unmoving from it’s present location, before I made the call to get it assistance? But then, reining in my imagination, I reminded myself that chances were good the hawk wasn’t injured – it appeared to be a large, female Red Tailed Hawk and with where she was in the field, she most likely had taken prey of some variety and was resting.
I set the binoculars down, pulled the now-finished breakfast out of the oven and served it up before taking my seat once again at the table. I looked up from time to time and she was still in her spot, swiveling her head to-and-fro, observing. I looked away for a moment to cut myself a bite of food and when I looked up – she was gone. Her survey of the land, or her need of rest, over, she took flight. We both shared moments, perhaps, of quiet reflection this week. Today.
I enjoy those moments, and hours, I carve out to ponder and muse upon the world at large. They allow me to discover more about myself and even about others. I also appreciate the humor in those moments when I discover that a few seconds of looking away for one thing means that I missed something else. As the adage says, “Life happens when you’re not looking.”
Here is hoping that wherever you are, whatever direction you are looking in, that you appreciate the Life that is going on right before your eyes; if you look away – you’ll miss it.
That sighting of the hawk is just the kind of thing which would enrich my day or week. Very well described if I may say so. My book, early for some reason, is out on Amazon now. Looking forward to your review
Peter, I’m very lucky where I live to have an abundance of wildlife. Mr. Muse spotted a red fox twice in the same field two mornings on our commute to work. I am always very grateful when creatures are spotted around our house.
I saw your post that your book was released early! Reading – and reviewing – it is on my list!
I had a bit closer interaction with a hawk when I was disassembling my wheelchair in the back seat of my car with the front door open one summer Saturday morning. Suddenly two birds came flying down out of the stand of trees nearby, one chasing the other. The prey being smaller was able to swoop over my car but the predator flew directly into the front seat and crashed into the passenger window. At first I feared it had been killed by the impact but some fluttering let me know it was alive. I feared opening the door myself because with my poor balance I could easily be knocked to the ground if it came flying out. I got the assistance of a neighbor who was a nature buff and he looked into the car, first thinking it might be a mourning dove, but one glance told him it was a hawk. I carried some thick ski gloves in the car so he donned those and reached in to capture the bird to determine if it were injured. “We need to check three areas; the beak. the legs and the wings,” he informed me. It was a simple task to realize the beak and legs were intact, He then pondered how we could determine if the wings were also uninjured. I made what I thought was an obvious suggestion, “Well, if you let it go and it goes up it must be okay, but if it falls to the ground it might have a problem.” He did and our new feathered friend flew off, probably to seek his meal in a less populated area. A later Internet search told us we had a close encounter with an adult male Sharp-shinned hawk. When I later recounted what had occurred I was able to quiet disbelievers since the hawk had littered my front seat with feathers and I could pull one out to prove my claim.
HA! I bet that was quite startling! We have a Sharp-Shinned who frequents our front yard, taking the occasional song bird. The cheeky fellow likes to perch atop one of the shepherds hooks from which hang my many feeders and survey the turf for any unwitting bird that chooses to take their chances in the high prairie.
The Sharp-shinned are pretty plentiful around here in season even though were just twenty miles from Boston and abut two reasonably decent sized municipalities. But Sudbury prides itself on its rural character and we get visits on the property from deer, rabbits, fox, coyote and last spring a visit from a black bear cub (lookin’ for love in all the wrong places was the explanation given). What I find most interesting is the songbirds and sparrows react in two ways to the presence of a hawk; if the hawk is in flight chasing after one or a flock, all of the others begin a frenzied cry somewhat similar to monkeys when they spy a predator, giving warning to all within hearing The other is similar to the perch on your feeders, if the hawk is sitting on a mid-level branch surveying the lay of the land the silence is such that…wait for it…you could hear a feather drop. I’m not sure if this is part of a waiting game to hopefully cause the hawk to think there’s nothing he’d be interested here but with the hawk’s superior vision I don’t see how a sound ruse would be all that effective.
Agreed! I know when a Sharp-Shinned is on the hunt, the flock scatters in all directions with a cry of alarm. The birds in my yard are very vocal, but even the chickens know to pay attention to what the smaller birds do.