Jelly, jelly so fine

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Empty Nest

My neighbor called last night. He left a message that he had seen the perfect picture yesterday driving by the tall sycamore tree. Our hawks had indeed left our lives, maybe never to reappear. But they had left small tufts of feathers in the dead tree where they liked to perch while they were getting their wings.

We have lived in the valley for several decades but this year was new for all of us. Never before had we all been so attuned to the bird life in the valley. Never before did we have so many raptors appear in the spring. Coopers, Swainsons, Red Tails, Red Shouldered, all manners of hawks on every wire and telephone pole and now poof, they seem to have disappeared and the valley has taken on an eerie quiet. Once in the early 90's, we were visited by thousands of wayward Canadian geese one spring, that squawked for three days, only to leave and never return.

Perhaps one of the hawks will come back next year and rear it's own young in the nest... I feel fortunate to have been able to record their quick cycle from infancy to independence. Life will be different for me for a little while. I keep hoping to see one perched on a branch but something tells me that the final hawk chapter this year may have been written.

Postscript: My eloquent essay on the hawk's departure notwithstanding, a call from a neighbor has alerted me to the fact that they have just moved to another dead tree. Found the new spot this afternoon and got within 15 feet of one of them, the closest I have come.  So expect more pictures...

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