In the Zone
Tuesday April 12th 2011, 8:56 pm
Filed under: LYS,Wildlife

I’m on a tight knitting deadline and had done thousands of stitches on one of my shawl patterns today when I stopped to give my hands a break and just gaze out the window a little while.

My jaw was suddenly…  My stars.  (!) We are not in Cooper’s town anymore.

Cooper’s? 31″ wingspan. And no sign of them all day.

This immense black hawk swooped low across the yard, rising up at the last and landing on the translucent awning over the patio. I watched its shadow from below as it walked noisily across up there, going left, then right. It leaned over the awning to give me a good look at its face–it was looking at the birdfeeder and within a dozen feet of where I was sitting just inside the window. Definitely a hawk, but black? And since when do hawks come that huge?

It was checking out the menu, I guess; squirrels would make a tasty appetizer. (And guess which one was the only thing that stayed put?)

And then, as I followed every move, just waiting to see it clearly again for more details, it took off and swooped back the way it had come, those immense black wings spread wide. WOW.

A Zone-tailed Hawk (the one on the right, definitely). By the book, it’s 51″ tip to tip–it could reach every note on my piano and then some.

They are rare enough and very rare here but there it was, tail and coloring confirming. Sibley’s western guide, again, says that in flight they apparently can be mistaken by other birds for turkey vultures–no worries, just the local garbage collector on cleanup duty, when suddenly *stoop*! It’s a hawk! And as a woman who raised four teenagers and one of them grew to 6’9″, I can only imagine what it takes to feed that thing.  Well, (being helpful) I do have a plethora of squirrels, and a particular one seems happy to step up to the plate or anything else you want to eat him on. Just stay put there a moment, he’ll come challenge anything with wings.

My friend Sandi once told me that one of the cool things about running a yarn store is that every single day, someone new comes in that she’s never seen before: she gets to meet new friends and knitters every day as well as enjoying the regulars, it’s always interesting.

(Okay, sudden visual image of stick out your talons for me a moment so I can wind this yarn on them, will ya? Don’t let the silk snag. Thanks.)

I so want to see this one again!

10 Comments so far
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God and Nature sure are blessing you with the “special” effects this spring! Perhaps your reward for your continued dedication to wildlife, except that darned squirrel 😉

Comment by Cathy 04.12.11 @ 10:29 pm

Thanks for including the hawk link. Impressive!

Comment by LynnM 04.13.11 @ 12:16 am

And after he’s done helping you wind your yarn, he could dust my shelves.

Comment by Lynn 04.13.11 @ 4:01 am

I saw a hawk circling the field across the road yesterday. Reminded me of how vulnerable I felt Gretchen was as a baby when a hawk circled EVERY morning when I took her out to go potty!

Comment by Channon 04.13.11 @ 7:20 am

Wow! I sometimes think that when one’s world is relatively small, (in the neighborhood, the yard, etc.) there are so many more fascinating things that we can see! That hawk is something else. I once saw an enormous owl in our backyard in North Carolina at dusk. It was a sight I will never forget!

Comment by Joanne 04.13.11 @ 8:00 am

If he liked the menu, he will be back! Just a little reward for your faithfulness.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 04.13.11 @ 8:08 am

51 inch wingspan? Holy Cow! And how is Mr. Aggressive Squirrel these days?

Comment by Don Meyer 04.13.11 @ 9:18 am

wow and WOW — sounds like the Cooper’s called in reinforcements to handle that little squirrel issue!

Comment by Bev 04.13.11 @ 11:09 am

So wonderful!!!!
The house I grew up in was way out in the country, and had a great snowy owl who came to visit.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 04.13.11 @ 3:35 pm

Fabulous. Just fabulous.

Comment by twinsetellen 04.14.11 @ 7:22 pm

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