I was quietly listening to a friend’s report at a meeting when through the large paned window just beyond, a hawk flew into view and gracefully lifted her body to the limb above displaying those incredibly beautiful black and white feathers on her wings and tail. Before I knew it, I had leaped from my chair and was standing at the window looking at a gorgeous red-shouldered hawk.
Not more than a second passed before I realized the room had grown silent. I turned back to look into a dozen puzzled faces. Our hostess laughed, realizing what had happened and explained, “she must have seen one of our hawks”. A pair of red-shouldered hawks has been living and raising their young there for years. “Sorry”, I offered sheepishly, and returned to my seat, heart still pounding.
I left the meeting at its close, thirty minutes later, and began a slow descent down the drive, enjoying the early afternoon sun. Suddenly an ear-piercing call broke the stillness. I froze mid-stride and searched the trees in the direction of the sound. Nothing. And yet I knew she was right in front of me. I scanned once more and back again, and there she sat, amazingly camouflaged against winter’s neutrals. She was perched less than fifteen feet ahead of me on a low lying limb near the driveway. We stared at each other for a moment in silent contemplation.
After she flew, I continued to my car and just as I opened the door, her mate flew across the road in front of me to rejoin her. That was it for me. I was hooked.
This is the first of a series of posts about this pair of red-shouldered hawks. I have the good fortune of knowing some of the generous stewards of the wooded habitat in which these hawks make their home, a place where wildness meets suburbia and both thrive. They have been kind enough to allow me to observe these hawks and learn what they have to teach me. And as much as possible I will share my experience with you.
Part II: Our second meeting.
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.