On the way to church this morning, I told my husband, “Someday, I’m going to get a picture of a hawk with blue sky in the background. All my hawk pictures have been on cloudy days.”

On the way home, we stopped so I could try for a better picture of some forsythia I saw at Brick Pond the other day. (It’s a spring flower, yet I’m almost positive that’s what it is.) It was 16 degrees this morning so it’s wilted, but still yellow.

I remembered something Thornton Burgess said in his autobiography about finding a particular plant blooming out of season in the dead of winter. He found it when he was a boy, rambling in the Cape Cod woods. Even as an 86-year-old man writing his autobiography, he remembered it and told of it as something significant — one of the details worth recounting in his life story. He pointed out that nature is full of surprises and exceptions to the rules we make. If this is truly forsythia, maybe I’ll be writing about it when I’m 86.

Some things are somewhat predictable, though — like the territories of red-tailed hawks. The girls and I saw one on the way to the pond on Friday, getting harassed by crows. So going home, I had my camera ready to see it again, and got a picture. Today I had my camera ready again, and the sky was blue this time.

My husband turned the car around and crept along the shoulder while I snapped some photos. Don’t I have good sports for a husband and daughters?

Hawks look so motionless when we blow past them on the highway, but this one was intent on hunting, turning its head and hunching its shoulders and shifting its grip on the branch. It’s not like a human hunter who has to be still. It just has to be high above its prey, sharp-eyed, and quick on the dive.

It was neat to see. When we got home, though, I was reminded that not everyone is happy about hawks.

6 thoughts on “Hawk Stalking

  1. My family has stopped like that for me so I could take pictures, but my pictures don’t turn out as amazingly as yours do, that’s for sure.

  2. Hawks are such fierce predators, yet I always have an awareness of their struggle for existence when I see one.

    I’m a very amateur photographer, but it’s become quite addictive! I am still trying to figure out my camera so that I can get a photo of a bird flying that’s not just a ghostly blur…

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