February 1st

Friday, February 1st, 2019

Well, I learned a valuable lesson today.

Our resident pheasants were all out again today, soaking up the twenty degree weather. You know they’re hungry, because even when I walk outside they duck down but don’t retreat to the safety of the tall grass. They evaluate the threat of my presence instead of instantly fleeing like they normally do.

So this afternoon around one o’clock, I let the girls out of the coop to soak up the sun and warmer temperatures. Even when their run door is open, I have to let them out the front onto our cement pad in front of our garage, because they refuse to go through the snow. They happily preened their feathers, and napped in the sun. I came back inside and went about my day.

Around three o’clock is when my lesson was learned.

I was standing in the kitchen, watching out the front window. A large bird such as an eagle or hawk was circling the lake in front of out house, so I was watching him, hoping he was finding a meal under all this new snow.

Then he tucked in his wings and flew in the direction of our house.

And he just kept coming. And coming. And coming.

Until he was in our front yard. A Red Tailed Hawk.

He was zoned in, and with very little regard for our house, must’ve flown only feet over our propane tank, 20 feet from the side of our house. I ran from the front of our house to the back, and made it seconds before he went for a rooster pheasant only feet from our garden in our backyard.

The rooster flushed and made it to safety, but I stood there with my mouth hanging open for at least thirty seconds.

It was truly incredible to watch – you don’t realize just how big they are until they’re literally in your backyard. He zeroed in on that rooster from a half mile away, and I had never seen anything like that in person.

Then I realized my chickens were outside.

I barely got shoes on before flying out my front door. They all heard the door and came over; I did a head count and had all six.

Relieved, I went back inside for my camera. Came back out, walked around our house, and sure enough there he was sitting in a tree (probably eyeing up my girls), and was able to snap a couple photos as he flew away.

Lesson being that all of the things I’ve read about raptors stealing and eating chickens are not over exaggerations. Had my girls been out in the yard instead of snugged up next to our garage door, he probably would’ve gone for them.

I’m sure at this time of year with the weather we’ve had he’s going after larger birds solely out of his desperation for a meal, as mice and smaller varmints make for an easier catch but they’re harder to find in the snow.

Either way, lesson learned!

August 31st

Friday, August 31st, 2018

The rodents must be moving around more with the cooler temperatures overnight.

This Red Tailed Hawk has stopped by every evening for the past few days, and I haven’t seen him since spring.

It’s interesting how routines change for all beings during seasonal shifts.

January 30th

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

One of my favorite parts of Sara Hagerty’s book Unseen is all of chapter 5.

Titled “Uncovered: Becoming Vulnerable,” Sara reflects on stepping down from a powerful ministry team to do a smaller, more humble job. At the time she wasn’t sure where her life was going, and it was a particularly vulnerable season of her life. She felt like she wasn’t accomplishing enough, being impactful enough, and that people thought less of her because of it.

However, in this season, it taught her that “We tend to be a people of quick glances,” and that “[…] hidden seasons invite us to slow down, to notice the beauty too often blurred by hurry.” Through our own earthly vulnerability, it pushes us to “Invite God there,” and to be “less accomplished, more present.”

Two of the most powerful lines in this book for me?

“When we approach God with an open, mindful, hungry heart, we position ourselves to not only see His beauty, but to let it change us.”

And:

“His love notes are stashed everywhere.”

The second is so simple, but has really resonated with me, and stuck with me when I find myself hurrying. This morning was a great example of this.

Due to living in different states, and the lack of connection we’ve been feeling from the digital aspect of life, a good friend and I recently decided to become good, old fashioned pen pals. She also owns her own photography business, so not only are we fostering our friendship, but being business accountability partners. We bounce ideas off of one another, encourage each other, and talk life.

So this morning, I had a letter that I wanted to get in the mail today. Our postal service varies from day to day what time they actually stop at our mailbox, so if I have something I want mailed, I try and get it down to our mailbox as early as possible. Let it be known that our driveway is about 1/3 of a mile long, so this isn’t as simple as it sounds – especially when the temperature is in the single digits.

So anyway, I hopped in my car at 7:15 this morning to run it down there. In a hurry, fueled by the cold. Out of habit, I took my camera. I made it about halfway when I felt something watching me (this is not paranoia – I have a pretty good sense of when an animal is around). Sure enough, I looked up, and there was our resident Red Tailed Hawk taking advantage of being hidden in the low light. Silhouetted by the beautiful sunrise no less!

I featured either this one or it’s partner a couple weeks ago on the blog, and ever since then I’ve noticed them around. About 90% of the time I see them, they are in this tree on that branch.

At the time, only one was perched, but about an hour later I looked out my office window and they were both there.

Love notes. Today it was stashed on the branch of a dormant tree, painted by God’s promise of another day.

December 28th

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Taking a break from personal images today to bring you one Mr. Red Tailed Hawk.

He was absolutely beautiful sitting in a tree in the farm today, but I couldn’t get close enough in time.

Still beautiful, still fun to see. I had forgotten just how big they are until I spotted him. He stood out from the trees, even from hundreds of feet away.

Maybe he’ll stick around and I’ll catch him another time. Just another reason to always keep my camera on me. 🙂