Tag Archives: John Keats

Optimistic

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Juvenile Northern Goshawk on garden fence post with faded prayer flags

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!

from “To Hope” by John Keats

This post is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Optimitic. You can read Keat’s complete poem here. I’ve been observing birds at my garden for a long time. This immature Northern Goshawk has been a visitor for about a week. Winter is hard for wildlife. Consider the predator that must keep optimistic to spy and capture its meal.  A predator at my bird feeder is not necessarily a bad thing. An oportunist, it takes advantage when it can to locate food. Predators are a necessary part of the food chain, eliminating the weaker, slower, less alert prey and thereby strengthening the gene pool of the survivors and reducing their competition when scavenging their food. I root for the predator and I root for the prey. They teach me patience and hope.

(I’m not certain of this hawk’s identification but it’s the best I can do with the sitings and photos I’ve had available.)

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Telephoto lens make the hawk look like it’s closer to the feeder than it really is.
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Quail tracks in my garden. A covey lives beneath the mass of Elderberry and Wild Cherry and Wild Current bushes nearby.
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Quail are among several types of birds that are optimistic at my feeder. I use only black oil sunflower seeds.
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American Gold Finches rest in the Elderberry branches next to my garden, and very near the feeder.
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Look in the center near the pine trunk for the Red Breasted Nuthatch. I have only 1 pair of these just now, and I would intervene to save them. This daring little fool darted to the feeder for a seed even while the hawk was on the post. It brings one seed at a time back to the tree to eat.
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See the fox tracks trailing from the tree, around the snow mounded on the “giant hands chairs” and under the brush? Bigger tracks are probably from my dogs.

Last night a neighbor and my dogs alerted me to the likelihood a mountain lion or bob cat is prowling our neighborhood. I’ll see if I can find cat tracks today. The moon has been full for a few nights.

 

 

 

 

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