Approaching solstice
Wednesday December 09th 2015, 12:02 am
Filed under: Life,Spinning,Wildlife

Yesterday I saw a flash of gray out of the far corner of my eye, heard a bang–and thought, no, please don’t tell me, it couldn’t be, they never… It had seemed too big for a dove.

If it were still there, it would be in the alcove part of the deck just to the left of my desk.

I waited a minute or so and then, seeing no sign of the hawk coming in after its prey (I didn’t want to disrupt it if it were), I stood up to see if anything might be there.

To my great surprise mixed with willful disbelief, crouching down a bit and looking up into my eyes was indeed a Cooper’s hawk–so yes, apparently he had hit it. That or a dove and he’d missed catching it, but then he wouldn’t have stayed put.

Which makes me think this was last year’s juvenile with his adult markings grown in rather than our long-time resident Coopernicus, who had studied every bit of that glass and knew exactly where it was, even coming to check it out after a window washing. Whatever, this one wasn’t comfortable with the combination of my movement and my staring at him from so close and he took off for the trees. Not at hunt speed, but at least now I knew he could fly okay. And hopefully he learned about glass barriers.

Today I kept going back to my new cashmere 4-ply I spun yesterday, willing that thick hank to dry faster, petting it again and again. SO soft.

The other reason I’d put it aside so long? I had gotten it for $10 lb plus shipping because it had been in a warehouse in the humid South where the roof had leaked. It takes some washing to get the (not strong) mildew smell out and I’m always afraid it will reek when wet after being knitted up for someone else. And yet–two rounds of soaking in hot laundry detergent and it seems okay. Or real close.

So did I order Colourmart’s uncontaminated, not-mildewed cobweb weight cashmere, 1100g for $35 ppd? When I can make hanks that feel like this with it and not have to worry when I gift someone after knitting it up? Oh honey you bet.

And then there was a Cooper’s hawk again this afternoon, perched this time on the center of the fence. If it was my old friend he’d grown in quite a few fresh feathers. Dressed in his finest.

He turned to look in every direction while making no effort to hide (and I thought, oh, right, we’re near winter solstice, it’s territory-claiming time.) He proclaimed MINE to the whole world–I couldn’t hear him but I could see him.

The sun was at its highest point for the day, making his feet glow yellow, surrounded by white fluff, his chest a soft orange.

He tucked a foot up and enjoyed his domain.

I silently thanked him for sharing the day with me. He was fine with that, too, my being there didn’t bother him a bit.

At last he took off across the top of the house and not a minute later a junco, then a Bewick’s wren, popped out of the tangle of the tomato cage in relief from just below where he’d been.

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