The Winter of The Hawk
When I moved to the country with a big ten acre yard everything was new because I was basically a city slicker. I needed books to learn about habitat, because all I knew was neon lighted signs, and streets that went shiny when it rained. The reflections of neon on the pavement were a thing of beauty to me.
After moving to the country, this perception of beauty changed dramatically and new things, quieter events became awesome. I once got so caught up in looking at the blue eyed grass as I wandered through our acreage. Only looking down, I almost bonked into an apple tree branch. (Those things can hurt you, bad.)
Just as I looked up and began the detour around the orchard, I came face to face with a deer who was partaking in a treat of some granny smith apples. We were both stunned to find ourselves face to face. I did a spin around, and so did the young buck. We both ran away from each other.
So these kinds of events were the nuances that led me on to read about the surrounding habitat. My library is full of miscellaneous books I gathered while learning about my new environment. I couldn’t believe there were as many bird species as those who lived around our pine tree groves and neighboring woods.
There was one winter that we had a predatory bird in our midst. Other winters showed dark on white contrast with flitting visitations of many types of sparrows. They were a welcome site, and I think I need to be thankful for surrounding neighbors who left out bird feeders. I also learned some good reasons to do so.
In this year’s wintry event, I suddenly noticed a strange silence around the house. Formerly, the music of the sparrows and other birds that wintered there would bring a sense of happiness. But during this particularly snowy winter there was a bleak setting across the snow drifted plains. Though beautiful, it was overpowering in its stillness.
Then one day I saw a really big bird whose colorful markings caught my eye. He was so powerful in his flight. So superior in the knowledge that he soared above the rest of us, it seemed. I went to my bird book and found it to be a Cooper’s hawk.
The distinctly striated markings on his wings and back side formed a zigzag pattern of beige and brown and black. He’d perch on the phone poles around the neighborhood, and didn’t seem to mind being seen.
In the bird books, he was described as a destructive bird, and I soon saw evidence of this. When I’d get out for a walk, I’d see a circular pattern full of little feathers that remained after a kill. Then, in turn, it explained why the winter was extra bleak and silent. The Cooper Hawk had been busy at work.
If there were any small birds around, they were in hiding. I suppose everything in nature has its place, but I hated that damned hawk. Without the happy sounds of my bird friends, that winter turned out to be quite depressing.