The Morning Mail

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Gray Hawk Down

The arrival of the Sharp-Shinned Hawk at the Downey household created quite a stir.
The following day after sighting a hawk eating one of our songbirds, we found a dead hawk in our driveway. We aren't sure how the guy died, but it wasn't pretty.

When we checked again, something had carried him off. Nary a feather remained.

The laws of the forest prevail. I would believe that if we lived in a forest... the desert, I guess, also has its rules. The old adage, "Birds of a feather stick together.." only applies until the hawk appears.

We all experience hawk sightings in our lives. We run, but sometimes we can't hide.
We need to look the hawk in the eye and settle the score. I know, I know...the hawk is big and scary and has sharp talons... but we need to understand our fears and face them head on.

We study the hawk and learn his habits... particularly his feeding habits. Once we understand the hawk, we no longer fear him, we know him. Armed with this knowledge, we move forward living side by side with the hawk. We know who he feeds on and why. We don't make ourselves fodder for the nest. We are no longer victims of the hawk. He doesn't even give us a second glance. And for that matter, we don't even consider having him for lunch either!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hank the Hawk Visits El Paso

Meeting the Hawk Halfway

Yesterday my husband, Mike, saw a hawk in our backyard munching on a sparrow. We live in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains- the beginning (or the end) of the Rockies in the United States.

Thanks to our son-in-law, Scott, who lives in Alaska with our daughter, Rebecca, we learned that this is a Sharp-shinned Hawk. I plan to attach a photo of him with this post, but Mike took the picture through two panes of glass- hence it is not as crisp as we would like.

Having a Hawk for a neighbor- even just if it is until April when they head north- is daunting. I first thought, is our cat, OJ, safe?

Probably, because this Hawk- or a Sharpie- as they are called, is only about 15 inches long. Would you believe the female is larger than the male? Hawks and other predator
birds mate for life. So his lady love is not far away.

We must now accept the fact that our sparrows, finches, and wrens are at risk. I don't think he would take on our pair of morning doves. But who knows?

We must shake hands with the Hawk and let Mother Nature work. Even if it is hard to see the tiny little creatures being caught in midair. The laws of nature must be respected.

Perhaps I'll name him "Hank." It seems only appropriate since he has now become part of our family.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Secret Life of the "Foodie"

Lately I am hearing of more and more addictions to the Food Network. I thought my husband and I were the only ones who had given up watching the evening news for Emeril Live! Rachel Ray is on the fast track to mogulville with her three shows about food, her magazine and now a talk show.

What is this obsession with food? Since my husband has semi-retired, he has enjoyed preparing meals. We trade off on the food prep. Chopping and slicing delivers a sense of control. At least we have control over this one act, today. Neither of us may not be able to end war and solve the problem of world hunger, but we can saute and grill with the best of them.

Cooking is a creative act. It is necessary to concentrate on the tasks at hand, less one cuts a finger or burns an arm. Cooking forces one to concentrate on food and to imagine the end result as one of great pleasure.

As Emeril once said, " Who knew that we could create a whole network around food?"

We need outlets on this planet that in the simple act of 'doing' actually restores us to wholeness and sanity.

Try your hand in the kitchen. Invent a new recipe and submit it here!