While driving on a country road in Cheatham County, west of Nashville, TN, I spotted a kestrel perched on a post at eye level as I passed. Completely surrounded by fields and not another soul in sight, I quickly made a U turn and headed back, pulling off onto a barely-there shoulder of mud and grass. To my delight a second kestrel joined the first and after a brief aerial display, the pair landed on a nearby wire and copulated.
Just as I reached for my camera, I noticed that an older gentleman in a truck had pulled off the road in front of me and was backing up. As I mumbled to myself, “okay, what is he doing?”, he opened his door, placed one foot on the ground and shouted back over his shoulder, “you got trouble?” After a couple of repetitions of, “no, I’m just watching the birds,” he understood and went on his way. And as he did, I watched my beautiful kestrels fly over the rise in the field and disappear from view, my camera still untouched on the seat beside me. --Oh, me. You've gotta' just love the country.
The American Kestrel is a falcon, about the size of a jay, with a rufous back and tail. Kestrels are known for their ability to hover in mid-air on rapidly beating wings while hunting prey, a feat that is spectacular to witness. Breeding season has begun. Eggs are laid in nesting cavities from late March to mid-April and both sexes participate in incubation.
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.