Saturday, February 26, 2005

When the hawk sings

The moon looks bigger here and it seems to hang lower in the sky, I guess because I'm closer to the equator and there's not so many buildings in this little town. You can't see it that well for the trees from my front stoop but at the family homestead, which I've taken to calling "up on the hill," it's a impressive presence in the sky. Maybe it's the lack of snow, but it also seems brighter here, more fiery than the memory I have of pale white winter moons in New England.

Winter is a whole different word around here. I heard on the radio that they define it strict terms. It starts in December and it's officially over tomorrow. They appear to right. I find it almost incomprehensible that in February I discovered some kind of day lily coming up around the shed, along with some bonafide violets and a little patch of what appears to be trout lilies on the side of the house. The robins have disappeared and the geese are flying north. I think spring is here.

Bird encounters of the week were big. The storm window above my desk is open for some reason and I never closed it because there's this elaborate spider web in there and I never quite figured out how I want to deal with it. Besides, the birds perch on the ledge once in a while.

This afternoon, a wren flew onto the ledge and then spent some time inside the window deciding if he wanted to eat those old bugs or not. He picked at the web for a while. I was hoping he would sort of eat the whole thing and solve the problem but I don't think he liked the web part because he left after he tried the first bug.

Yesterday morning was the bigger event. I was standing at the end of the carport and the hawk suddenly materialized in my neighbor's yard. He was flying low and heading right for me. For a moment I thought he might either land on my shoulder or rip my face off. At the last second he lifted and landed in the branches directly above me. He couldn't have been more than 15 feet away. He looked big up close. He sat there for a long time and much to my wonderment, he began to sing. It was such a sweet high sound from such a fierce bird, musical and distinctive. I heard it later in the day from behind the house and knew it was him. I like that he's watching over the place. I hope he sticks around.


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