You Think You’re Cold?

A friend showed up today in our tree today and asked why we were complaining about the cold with, “You should be out here!”

Lesson: Do Not Budge From Where You Are

This afternoon a very prolonged and vocal confrontation on the shore of Lake Monona took place as a hawk simply would not budge for the loud mean-spirited crows. Here are a few pics of what lasted for over an hour. 3

Hawk Hunting Near Lake Monona Shoreline On Madison Isthmus

James yells from the living room, “You have to see this!’  So with camera in hand I get into sandals and catch some awesome photos of what I believe is a Cooper’s Hawk. I love when they hunt along the Lake Monona shoreline.

Right Outside My Window–Red Tail Hawk

hawk

Photos Of My Magnificent Friend

For the second year in a row I feel privileged to have the opportunity to follow around a fixture in our neighborhood. Last year I jokingly referred to myself as the hawk’s official photographer.  This year I am taking the task more seriously.  Today I was awestruck by the beauty and majesty of this bird of prey as it hunted for food.   It was as if the hawk was posing and trying to assist in my framing the shot.

I hope the images captured today inspires others to walk and search for the best shows that Mother Nature is constantly providing.

Cooper Hawk Starts Sunday With Big Smile

This morning James and I  awoke to a Cooper Hawk sitting on our lawn chair.  It then flew to the iron railing on our front stoop.  The power and grace of these birds are known to all, but to see one first thing in the morning as a welcoming to the day is quite a gift.  It reminds me again that being rich should never be measured in money alone.

I grew up in Hancock, Wisconsin with lots of rural land where animals could roam and live.  There were wild turkeys in the field and countless deer.  Every now and then a racoon would be seen up in one of the large oaks in the back yard. But in all the years of growing up the animals were always at a distance.

It has only been during the last three years in Madison I now have a more close proximity to animals.  From the red tail hawk that hunts in the tree right out the window, the eagles that ‘fish’ on the lake, or the loons in the spring and coots in the fall, I am awed by the beauty of Mother Nature.

So it was again this morning. 

By the time I grabbed my baseball cap and camera and slipped into shoes…no time for a coat in spite of the cold air….I was able to follow the hawk as it lifted silently off the railing in search of food.   Down the street it went.  I actually lost it for a time and only when I looked back over my shoulder and up into some trees did I spot it.

Perched.  Waiting.   Hoping. 

The hawk was facing into the wind and you can see the wind ruffle his feathers.  (This was when I wished I had my coat!)  In the picture below the end of the tail feathers reach below the tree branch.  A large and amazing bird.

At some point when I was about frozen in the wind the wonderful bird lifted off for another perch to look for food.  I was able to capture it in flight just after it lifted off the branch.

When the hawk had moved on I looked down at my feet for the first time in about twenty minutes.  There at my left shoe on this gray, cold, and cloudy morning, was the color of happiness that I felt inside.  What a great day!