Dirty Windows and Such

December 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Considering Ideas, Photography | Leave a comment
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This December we are missing the sharp, frosty intensity of a California mountain winter. There were gray moody skies last week, but promised heavy rain pathetically sputtered and spit. I’m still watering plants, filling birdbaths, and turning sprinklers on a small patch of lawn, hopping around jackrabbit droppings from three that still visit every morning.

Boots and sweaters are hiding in the closet from all of this bright sun. There is a particular quality to such winter light, cool air yet clear, putting a keen edge on objects, casting color a little deeper.

I’ve spent more time observing, recording in drawings, looking, looking; there was even an urge for clean windows when looking out from the living room. Then sinking stomach regrets with the first thump of a bird attempting a fly through, panicked whirring of wings, then another thud. Investigating outside I found two dying quail, a male and female, on the front deck and the resident Coopers hawk gazing down from the gray pine. Wait, this is a repeat scene. Has the hawk figured out? … He frequently strafes the driveway low, toward the house, rousting gathered birds. Now the dilemma, how to retrieve kill next to that reflecting glass door?

It waits, watches, the birds cool. I wait inside, conflicted, don’t interfere… but it would be such a waste … more wait, but eventually limp feathered bodies lie at the end of the driveway. The hawk held its position 20’ above as I walked out. Then more waiting behind the shiny window while watching that thin, twisting, angling neck up there. Two ravens fly in and are attentive. Come on hawk, poster child for excellent eyesight, the deck is empty now. Minutes, many minutes go by.

Finally deciding in a swift, determined, don’t turn your head or you’ll miss my Coopers’ move, it swoops, snatches, and zooms off heavily laden. “Wow, it’s almost as big as you are!”

In an unusual departure from my more abstract images, there’s now a raptor painting in progress in the studio; but then it’s an unusual month. Oh, and the windows are dirtying up again.

Coopers Hawk2012 by Joan Desmond

©2012, Joan Desmond, Coopers Hawk.

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