The Hawk Conundrum

I walked into the living room and wondered why I was there.  As I tried to retrace my steps in my befuddled head, I could sense someone watching me intently.  Turning around to look out the window, I spotted a beautiful red-tailed hawk sitting on the fence.  This one was fully grown with a white and brown knitted vest – very fashionable this year.  She was communing with me, as follows.

HAWK – Hello Squirrel Lady.

KERRY – Hello Magnificent Hunter of squirrels.

HAWK – May I have one of your squirrels?

KERRY – They are not available on demand but you can hunt them when I am not looking.

HAWK – Thank you.

Then it flew off, leaving me laughing.  I have started feeding the squirrels again as winter beckons and it is bloody freezing.  They are getting nice and fat at Kerry’s organic squirrel farm.  The hawk has been screeching and I wonder if there is a late born baby.  The weather has been very mild until now.  Now I listen for screeching and feed the squirrels under the chairs or bushes.  It’s a win-win.

It has been a strange week.  Today I have my first in person appointment with my psychiatrist in two years.  I was offered a job through Linked In last week but it was in Austin.  On Friday I have my first contract job since the Pandemic started – unless they cancel the flight because of the Omicron variant.  On Sunday Teddy drove off with a friend’s fully packed car and trailer to Washington State – he is currently in New Mexico or Utah.  You should have seen us physically move the trailer down our sloped drive to the awaiting car – fitter than we thought!

This is a throw back photo to a fabulous trip to Abu Dhabi where I held my first falcon. Pala was boarding at the most luxurious falcon resort until her owner went hunting with her again. Pala was worth considerably more than me… As a child and young woman I had a phobia about birds and would run screaming from a pigeon in a square. Exposure therapy really works.

The Scream

Mama – I need lunch !!!

This delightful young red-tailed hawk has been waking me up every morning, YELLING for breakfast.  It was such a lovely day seeing the baby close up – they have a huge nest in a pine tree behind our neighbor’s house.

Later that day, we set the night camera out and some squirrels came up to us looking for peanuts which we readily provided.  We looked out at them snacking on their peanuts on the top of the fence.  I turned away and Teddy, gasped “Oh no!”.  The enormous (4 foot wing span) Red Tailed Hawk mother snatched one of the wee squirrels off the fence.  I was distraught and convinced it was my fault although objectively I know it is just the circle of life.

We lived on a farm many years ago and woke up to dead sheep or cattle when they had died in the night.  The farmer would drag the carcass onto the drive next to our house so that the knacker man could pick it up.  It couldn’t go for human consumption.  I adapted to farm life but still grieved each loss as I knew them all personally and had named them (Pal, Ilford, Ermentrude, Toffee, Fudge and Moo were my favorites).  Eventually they all went to market anyway.

I struggled to sleep after the squirrel kill but laughingly realized that we have been running a small farm in our backyard.  The stock is fat and healthy – excellent food for a beautiful hawk.  I won’t put any more peanuts out until winter as they have plenty of food.  Someone else is eating every bud off my hibiscus plant…

Teddy took these fabulous shots of the juvenile, about 60 foot up, with his Canon camera that cost more than me – no dowry from a council house! He was offered many camels for me in Egypt, however, and very kindly turned them down.