Goshawk

moon phase Week of 08/26/2007 Best days to make sauerkraut, can, or pickle.

Early this morning was a good time to do the dishes and a few other chores around the house. It's a quiet time of the day and the morning breeze is always refreshing especially when there's some sunshine coming through the windows. I've been putting off the housework for about a week; those cloudy, rainy days always make me sluggish when I'm indoors. Today I'm inspired by the weather to clean up this place. I like it quiet in the morning and don't have the radio on. The songs of the birds are a pleasant way to start a day and help to set your mood.

Goshawk

While sweeping the floor, I noticed the bird songs had changed from happy and carefree to agitated and alarmed. I stopped what I was doing and stepped outside to investigate. That's when I smelled cat spray. There was a cat in the yard and had marked the porch with his urine. It's bad enough that he has all the birds terrorized but he has to leave his smelling calling card as well. Outside cats aren't welcome here and if the bird's attitude is the same tomorrow I'll have to set out a live-trap.

The agitated calls of the wild birds is always a sign that something is upsetting them and keeping them uneasy about being in the yard. Over the years I've learned from the birds when there's a cat around.

It was only yesterday that the alarm calls went out from the blue jays and I sensed there was a hawk nearby. I looked outside the window just in time to see two mourning doves fly past and a chickadee dive for cover. An instant later, a large fast, blue-gray hawk sailed by the bird feeder and landed on a dead limb some 50 feet away. A beautiful male goshawk sat there in plain view. This is the reason I keep a pair of binoculars near the window. The hawk sat for about 20 seconds while I got a rare look at him close-up. Goshawks usually make their homes further to the north here in Wisconsin and are only seen during their migration. I suspect this bold fellow was just passing through and I never would have seen him if the little birds hadn't let me know he was there. Then again, if I had the radio turned up while doing housework I may not have heard the jay's alarm.

When asked if I ever get tired of coming up with something to write every week I replied, "I guess not, I've been doing it for 35 years and still enjoy doing it. In all that time, never once, was I at a loss for something to write about. The truth is, often as not, there are so many interesting things to observe each day, that it may be hard to choose which to use for a topic. My choice usually comes off the end of my drawing pencils. What I draw is most often what inspires me the most. Hopefully what I have trouble conveying with words will be appreciated more visually."

Naturally yours,

Dan

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