Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Band of brothers

Or maybe sisters - with hawks, who can tell? (OK, I'm sure wildlife people can tell, but I can't.)

This summer we've been treated to a hawk family making our trees their nesting place. I first spotted an adult this spring and I was hoping they would choose our trees. (I felt a little bit like Linus and his pumpkin patch - hoping that the Great Pumpkin would choose HIS pumpkin patch.) All was silent for awhile and I came to the conclusion that they had chosen accommodations elsewhere.

WRONG, I am happy to say! The absence of crow activity should have alerted me to the fact that the hawks were indeed neighbors. I have happily watched four juveniles literally testing their wings and I've noticed a couple of interesting things:
  • These magnificently created, aerodynamic, birds of prey are incredibly BAD at flying - at least right now. They hop a lot - from branch to branch, anything to keep from actually flying. When they do fly, as can be expected, the landings give them problems. It's quite comical to watch them knock their brother off a branch because of a missed landing. They sound like small children fighting when this happens.

How encouraging! Even hawks must work very hard at what they were BORN to do. They must stumble, keep practicing, fail a little, keep practicing, look incompetent - even silly, keep practicing, eventually becoming proficient.

  • They stick together. Even though they knock each other off the branches sometimes, they stay close to each other. It's so helpful to be around others of your own kind who are facing the same challenges, struggles, and failures.

Watching these beautiful creatures has been such a blessing. I don't know why I pay for cable television (OK, I know...winter).

On a totally different note, I have exciting news from the trail. My favorite trail wildflower, which I named "Chocolate Pearls", is in bloom! I noticed them at the end of last summer, when they were at the end of their time and I painted them. It was a challenge to incorporate all of the structural details of these plants in one painting. Their sword shaped leaves, what I call the chocolate pearls, the purple/pink buds, and the beautiful flowers are each stunning in and of themselves, but because the plant is quite tall, it is hard to help a viewer to see it all of these details. How wonderful to seem them when they are in their full glory.

Flowers The whole plant


I hope you are having a great week.


  1. Beautiful (both the hawks and the flowers)! I love your observations.

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