I was sitting one morning on the patio thinking about how I needed to quit drinking my yerba maté. I know this because I try to take note when birds arrive, try to find a why. I heard a commotion from my House Sparrows and looked around. I found the Cooper’s Hawk sitting on the dead limb of the pine tree in my neighbor’s yard. It’s one of her regular perches, a place she lands when she has swooped past the tray feeder and failed to catch one of my birds. She sat on the branch, looking around, a bit like a cat, I thought, who pretends he wasn’t really trying for that bird he just missed, who doesn’t want to appear foolish or inept in case you are looking. The hawk just seemed above it all. (No pun intended.) She launched herself to a nearby branch, out of my line of sight, and I leaned forward in my chair to bring her back into view. She was alert, scanning her territory. When I leaned forward I saw what I overlooked on my morning walk, what was hidden from my spot on the patio–the waning moon, a big crescent, pale white in a pale blue sky, just visible beneath the arching limb of the pine, poised above the ridge of the mountain. I scrunched forward, looking at the moon, watching the hawk, humbled and grateful for the moment when I became part of it all, that moment when everything goes still, sharp, vibrant. I heard the tell-tale crunch of Sofia stealing Sable’s dry food and went inside to rescue her from it. When I came back out, the hawk was gone.
[This photo of a Cooper’s Hawk is from Wikipedia and has a Creative Commons license. Used with permission. You can find out more about the image here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Accipiter-cooperii-01.jpg.]