Tag: hawk

Greetings from May

The hawks are noisy this time of year. They circle and call, swoop past our house on their way to secret hawk functions. Yesterday there was more noise than usual as we walked up to the garage. We peered around the edge of the building and into the massive oak there. Look, my daughter said. It has another bird.

It did, though not at all the way I expected. I’m no stranger to the sexual antics of birds, but I’ve never before been privy to such a display by hawks. It makes me wonder where their nest is, whether I might find it if I go looking.

It’s an exceptional fertile spring around here. Our old wading pool has been adopted by both spotted salamanders and multiple varieties of frogs as a vernal pool. We meant to get rid of it, but they’ve returned year after year, in increasing numbers. I suppose the pool is much lighter on predators than the beaver pond, or perhaps it’s just closer. Tadpoles have begun to hatch, and they float, tail down, tired from the work of exiting the egg.

Even the old lady hens are laying up a storm. I’d assumed we were feeding and housing them in exchange for eggs past, but they’ve taken the increased light as a sign they should fill the coop (as much as three hens can manage).

My own creative output is sadly lacking, thanks to an endless cold and a surplus of life events. I did send out my first new short story in months, and I have a few more I’m working on. They feel much harder than the ones I’ve written in the past. I’m not sure if it’s because the older ones were completed during that flurry of amazement that I was writing at all, or if I’ve regressed in terms of dealing with the Infernal Editor, or if I’m simply writing a bit outside of my comfort zone these days.

The only response to any of those, of course, is to continue on. Surrounded by the buoyancy of life outside, I’ll do my best to follow its lead.

Of doves and death

Yesterday. I’m driving along a back road through the woods. I go around a curve and there’s a flurry of wings and something large falling to the ground in the opposite lane. As I’m coming to a stop, I’m recognizing size, shape…it’s a hawk, and something’s not right, there’s a wing twisted, and another car is coming the opposite direction, and I’m thinking about gloves and blankets and how to stop the other car before it reaches the hawk.

Then, once I’ve stopped completely, I understand. The hawk’s not injured at all. In its talons is a mourning dove. The dove’s wing is twisted, but it’s still alive. Alive and stunned, looking around it as if everything will clear soon, and it will return to flying on its way.

We all couldn’t have been stopped for more than thirty seconds. The other car, me, the hawk. The dove, trapped in those last moments between life and death, head up, wing broken. Then the hawk flew, and we continued on our way.

Being a writer means not just being a collector of details, but a curator of them. It means going into the archives of all the things you have experienced, and shaping an exhibit, exploring how a group fits together, choosing the lighting, the spacing, how best to share these things you’ve gathered, constantly searching for new pieces to add. It means looking at a dying dove in a hawk’s talons and being both in the moment, and cataloging the moment.