A Little Redemption…

A little voice said, “Martha, go out there. Go out to Heaven RIGHT NOW!” That little voice, of course, was canine telepathy. Mosts of the time I listen and I think there is MORE to those little voices than dogs.

As we were on our way, I watched a golden eagle hunt above a pasture and when we arrived, a Northern Harrier took to the air in front of me. He was a very, very beautiful hawk. I’ve learned this evening that the males are white; the female rufus or reddish-brown so I might not have identified females or confused them with other hawks. Binoculars are a challenge for me as my hands are full of dog leashes almost every time I’m out there. The birds have to be familiar or come close for me to identify them. While this hawk apparently is pretty common all over America, I didn’t see him until I moved here.

A little later I watched a red-tailed hawk evading some small bird parents protecting their nest. I’m always amazed at the small birds — could have been anything from a blackbird to a sparrow to a marsh wren, no way for me to know as they were up quite high — protecting their young against a predator so many times larger. Today’s red-tail finally evaded them by flying low (thank you!) then soaring very high until he was a dark speck in the clouds.

Hawks have their predators, too, sometimes human. Long ago I found myself driving with two baby redtails on my arm, safely covered by my cowboy hat. Some idiot had caught them somehow and put them in a cardboard box under his car while he went off and did whatever. The boys I hung out with — the BMX boys — found the box and were sure I would know what to do. Not knowing what had happened to put them on the ground, I didn’t know what to do. I just thought of the local wildlife rescue with whom we worked at Mission Trails Regional Park. SO… the boys and I very carefully drove the birds to the emergency vet hoping he’d have somewhere safe for them until the local wildlife rescue (Project Wildlife) could intervene. Of course, we took shit from the vet for having the birds at all, but by then, having hung out with a bunch of rough looking teenage boys for a while, I expected we’d get shit anywhere we went. Mikey, the youngest, 12, tried to explain to the doctor who wasn’t interested. The vet was surprised when I told him who to call.

Here’s what I saw during the walk, and, toward the end, the wind got cold and wet and we were pelted with graupel. I have chosen to understand THAT as a promise for a better winter next year. ❄️

However fucked up our world gets (and it blows me away the potential it has for that, potential it too often realizes) I just have to get out there to remember that none of us is really in charge.


Sources for Northern Harrier photos: https://www.birdzilla.com/birds/northern-harrier/multimedia.html, https://www.featheredphotography.com/blog/2013/11/03/a-menacing-look-from-a-male-northern-harrier/, https://tonystakes.com

13 thoughts on “A Little Redemption…

  1. yes, we are merely short-term visitors, finding our way through as best we can. good to go out where you get to experience the best of this time

  2. The hawks are wonderful animals. But my favorite photos are the ones you took of the clouds in motion and the changes in the sky! I think the animals have a closer and perhaps purer connection with the Creator than most humans… listen to the dogs!!

    • I think so, too. Animals and plants are all part and parcel of the creation and just participate in it. I’ve been planting beans outside and a couple times I dug up a bean I planted a month or so ago. It was very upsetting. They were doing their bean thing, roots, a tiny leaf ready to come out and I messed with that. I put them back and I think they’ll be OK but I thought of what it means to be human and how we just can’t let things be. ❤

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