Friday, April 22, 2011

If I were a mouse, I'd be dead

I'm on a hunt.

Not an Easter egg hunt.

I'm hunting for wascally wabbits.

Just kidding. Really I'm hunting for my hawks' nest. A pair of what I think are Cooper's hawks are flying all around the trees in my back yard and I'm certain their nest is in one of them. There is one tree cluster I see them flying in and out of through the corner of my eye while I'm on my computer and I think the nest might be there.

This morning after catching that fleeting glimpse of a shadow, I decided to hunt them down. Grabbing my binoculars, I ran upstairs. Our house is built into the hillside, so our upper story is quite high relative to the pine trees in our back yard. I figured the hall bathroom window might give me a good view.

Peering up towards the tops of the pine trees, I scanned with no luck. Disappointed, I dropped my eyes and was beginning to move away, when I realized that the elusive hawk was right across from the window, gazing at me. That gaze held me captive, so fierce and beautiful. Its breast was snowy white with burnt sienna speckles, but it was the gaze that paralyzed me. Have you ever felt like a mouse?

While on hikes, I've often wondered how many eyes are trained on me as I crash and blunder my way through the forest. Quiet, fierce, wild eyes that watch me and then move on.

Aware of me but I am oblivious.

P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, I did not take this photo. I had an even better shot lined up, but my predator friend apparently did not want to be the prey, even if the shooting was only with a camera. I thought you might like to see what my visitors look like.

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