Do you remember the first time you encountered a hawk? I do. DDT had just about wiped out our birds of prey so the world I emerged into was quieter than it should have been. My family and I moved to a rural corner of northern Illinois in 1974. On the one hand, it was grand~great stretches of open land were available for exploration. I had woods, fields and wetlands to play in. But even as a kid I could tell that something was wrong. There were a lot of thorns, a few big old oaks, a lot of one kind of grass, and no flowers to speak of. Still, I loved it all. And so it was out there in the field when I first heard that cry that stopped me in my tracks and lifted my eyes…a Red-tailed Hawk! Wow! How exciting. With DDT not used (here) anymore, their numbers have rebounded. Nature rewove a strand into her fabric, right before my eyes. Talk about wonder.
I’m still thrilled when I see one. I was hiking up along a ridge last fall when this one dropped right in front of me. I think he missed his mouse, but he paused long enough to allow me to admire him. Happy sigh.