Thursday, December 6, 2007

After a soft snow

For a few months there have been so few words here - images have spoken for themselves. I am sure they will again.

This morning as I walked near my home to the train I thought about how important music and art are to me - intimate to my being. Just then I saw about twenty feet up in the air a large bird flying across the street - it was an accipiter hawk, measured flap and its round wings and long rudder like tail. A hawk built to hunt other birds recklessly on the wing flying past and avoiding all the branches of a temperate forest. It is estimated nine out of ten Cooper's hawks die before adulthood learning to hunt or migrating poorly.

I walked over to a parking lot and looked in the direction it had been flying. I found the hawk perched mid high in a tree between a small outdoor nursery and a store. My first impression due to size was that it was a Cooper's hawk, female. It is a relatively rare bird on Long Island and my identification was largely confirmed by seeing the size of perched bird and the wide white band on its tail. No binoculars. A great song was on my iPod. It was perfect.

A minute later the bird flew. As I continued to walk I noticed some ornamental cabbages covered a trace of soft powdery snow. In bright sunlight - magical and ephemeral. No binoculars, no camera. Just eyes that need glasses for close and far away. Alas.

Click here for a flying Cooper's.

Here also is a picture of another hawk - an amazing photograph of a Northern Harrier in a New Jersey marsh. Click here, please. This is why I love to be in a marsh at sunrise, sunset- okay even at noon with a couple of nasty mosquitoes.

One learns to see through camera lenses and to see in a stopped motion and also to be inspired by the magic in a wing beat or a slight gentle smile.

Music, art and birds.....

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