Tag Archives: prey

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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strike

Strike

Sudden blow     bundle of muscles and feathers

A swift  punch                   a severe and  unexpected calamity

How I wish to collide violently with myself

The shock of the strike                  the assault or unexpected injury

Impact with vehement feeling or expression

Shoved in my mouth

When an electric current passes through all or part of the body

a talon in the chest wall                 stammering heartbeat

to create strong internal stress

A claw in the heart          limp corpse in the hand

And what is myself without wings

A means or instrument of flight, travel, or progress

Will you collide violently with me

Will you inflict a harmful and obsessive influence on the mind

Shove my blood into your mouth

A bundle              unwrapped and uninvited

The shock            jar          impact                 

Collapse

Strong blow to the sense of decency

And I want to root for the Beast

For it must live by plunder

Taken by robbery, theft, or fraud

It knows no other way                   seized and devoured

 

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About this poem

This morning I heard a bird hit the window. I looked for it and saw this hawk tangled with its prey in the deer netting strung around my garden. My camera was upstairs in the loft. I got two quick shots, then ran downstairs to get closer. When it heard me on the deck it had recovered, was resting, and then alarmed by me it flew away into the pines with its prey. I can’t tell if it took a quail or jay until I snow shoe to the scene and look for feathers. A jay and a pair of nuthatches in the pine were telling me all about the excitement.

I opened my e-mail and read the Poem a Day sent from Poets.org. Today’s poem is a new format for me, it introduced me to invoking and intervening using dictionary definitions in the text. Definitions are set off in italics. The inspriration came to me from here.

The predator and the daily poem, they just seemed to belong together and so inspired me to create this composition.

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Look below the branch this nuthatch is on and left of the trunk. It’s mate is peeking out.