Something large flapped in the oak tree behind John’s head as we ate breakfast on the porch yesterday. We’d never seen any bird that large in our tree and thought it could be an owl, an eagle, or a hawk. It was hard to see its features because the sun was behind it. Three times it moved to a different branch until finally I saw the head and knew it was a hawk. When it stretched, I saw the feathers that looked like pantaloons around the legs. The pattern of dark feathers across its breast was distinctive, and I knew I was looking at a red tailed hawk. My photo, zoomed and taken through a screen, was not good at all, but I was proud of it.
There is a really good photo of the hawk in a similar pose in the Cornell Lab Merlin bird app for smart phones – http://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/download/. The app is free. It takes a lot of space, though, because the information is saved on the phone. You can use it where there is no cell connection. The lab is working on a computer version.
This morning John might have persuaded me to skip the walk because of weather, if he had not gone to the train club. I heard his NY radio station drifting about the house at 5 am and the rattle of ice at 5:45. The sleeping was good again until my alarm went off at 7. The weather radar map showed the rain had moved away, only it hadn’t. I was halfway to Connie’s house when it began to sprinkle. There was no guarantee the rain would stop, so I dragged my damp self home. Inside, the clock whispered that Logan might have missed the bus. If I had known for sure there was not a school holiday, I would have called.