When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Northern Goshawk

Yes, still home sick again today (and for the rest of the week now too - I finally made the call). The coughing at night is atrocious even with codeine and the monkey has an ear infection. **sigh** life is GREAT!

Anyway, we were sitting in the big frumpy chair watching TV when I caught a flutter out of the corner of my eye. I almost killed myself getting out of the chair and to the window, and I realized it was a flock of about 20 Cedar Waxwings. I got all excited, I hadn't seen any so far this winter (I had two pairs nest in my big pine out back last summer) so I watched them with great interest. I realized that they seemed frenzied - in a panic, flying in weird patterns. Three broke off and made a wide circle back towards my back yard.

I grabbed my binoculars and ran to the back slider to try to figure out where they went - it all just seemed so odd. It was then that I saw a dark shadow out of the corner of my eye. As I watched, a hawk flew into a large Maple in the stand out back. Oh no - I thought - no wonder they scattered like they did! They knew he was on patrol! I grabbed my camera and slipped out the back door and across the back lawn (no Robin, I wasn't in my PJ's) to get a better look.

He was perched back to me and I couldn't figure out what would have such a solid gray back like that. I snapped a few pictures as he surveyed the far back, then he spun off his perch and swooped through the woods towards me as I frantically tried to get as many decent photos as I could, knowing I needed to identify him for what he was. He glided through the woods so easily and silently, not finding any prey (fortunately for the squirrels, but I muttered a darn-it-all) then slipped past me and over the high pines, disappearing from sight. I was in awe over how quiet everything was, including his wingbeats.

I came in the house and downloaded the pictures, and the monkey and I poured through our books trying to figure out what it was. I thought a Peregrine Falcon at first just based on the mustache, but it was the back that kept throwing me off. Then, I found it - a Northern Goshawk, once I saw a photograph of a back-to view, I knew what it was (and was happy to add him to my Life list!).

In all the excitement, I totally forgot about and never saw the Waxwings again. Hopefully they swing back into the neighborhood, minus the 'friend in tow'.

This picture is a dead giveaway, well  - if you can find him


Whoa! I thought he was coming to check ME out!

So graceful, so silent, so deadly


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