Friday, March 14, 2008

Take a moment when you can

This afternoon I walked over a few doors down to the bank to deposit some checks. As I came back into the parking lot of my building, I saw a raptor of some type or another alight on a branch nearby. I have a short day today, with little pressing to do at work; just a lot of catch up. So I decided to see what was up with the bird, and see if I could ID it.

I'm not so great with birds of prey. The ones I most easily ID around here are red-tailed hawks and bald eagles. But the problem is that there's another hawk, the red-shouldered hawk, that looks enough like a red-tailed (in repose and from below) that at this point I don't try to distinguish them anymore unless I have binoculars on me.

Which I didn't this afternoon.

Luckily, Mrs. Red-tailed Hawk (which is what I eventually decided she was) sat patiently in a big old willow oak, letting the jays swarm her. They were really quite ruthless and daring. As Mrs. RTH sat there, one jay after another would dive-bomb her back and peck her. She didn't budge.

I stood there for at least 10 minutes (time flies when you bird), walking around to the south side of the tree to get the best light on her. The jays squawked and buzzed around her. We were all just doing our thing.

And then I came in and wrote this, trying not to scratch my arms, face, neck, ears and face where the 3-month old rottweiler a board member brought by to visit licked me all over earlier. I know that dog spit is likely to do this to me, but rolling around on the floor and holding a baby puppy with puppy breath and sweet soft fur who likes to bite my hair and rip my earrings out of my ears apparently trumps any other need I have not to have a blotchy red countenance. If I don't scratch, hopefully the hives will just chill out and not swell. (Yes, I've doped up)

What a great afternoon.