Someday, when I can afford one, I plan to get a digital camera, and learn how to transfer my own photographs onto my blog.  Because these hawks are something to see!  I’ve never seen so many hawks in my life–they’re more active than ever before.  They obviously love my lawn, probably because it’s covered with live oaks (I used to have fourteen before that damned Hurricane Ivan hit here, but I still have ten–five in the front yard, five in the backyard)–which serve as excellent hunting cover for them.  They eat squirrels (I hate squirrels) and rats.  They also eat songbirds.  I like songbirds, but hawks have to eat, and songbirds aren’t in any danger of extinction.  And though adult dogs and cats are probably too heavy for the hawks, they’d almost certainly eat puppies and kittens.  I get very few stray dogs in my yard, but stray cats love it.  And I like cats, especially because they also kill squirrels–so they find my lawn a haven too.  I mentioned this in one of my music-impression poems, but a year or two ago, some stray cats birthed kittens in my front yard.  And I was appalled at the actions of the mother and father cats–when I walked out the front door, they abandoned their kittens!  They had no reason to fear me, of course, though they didn’t know that.  Still, I don’t think a mother dog would ever abandon her puppies!  As I say, I like cats, but I love dogs.  Anyway, these abandoned kittens would have definitely been eaten by the hawks.  So I ended up taking five kittens (there may have been more, but this was all I discovered) to a local “cat orphanage” for protection.  Problem solved. 

The only thing the hawks do that annoys me is shit on my car–but I can definitely live with that!  They are such magnificent creatures!  And how I envy them–being able to fly!  The other day, I witnessed them on my deck again.  There were three–one flew off as I moved toward the sliding-glass door (they have reason to fear humans, of course, but I wish they knew I was no threat).  One that remained was perched on the rail of my deck, eating a rat.  Another, just a few feet away, was obviously waiting for its turn.  A short while later, I noticed that the “alpha” hawk had taken off, leaving no trace of the rat carcass for the smaller, waiting hawk.  The smaller hawk sat one rung below the rail, looking around, as if if bewildered that it had waited in vain.  And I felt sorry for it.  But it will grow larger–eventually replacing the current “alpha” hawk.  Such is the beauty of creation.  Creation is perfectly balanced–it is only we humans that disturb this balance.  Yet this is obviously our right, as the apex predators of the world–the most advanced animals (though with rights come responsibilities, of course).  And if/when we go extinct before this world truly ends in five to ten billion years, another animal may take our place.  I know the chimpanzees would be the first contenders, but this isn’t certain.  Wouldn’t it be cool if dogs took our place–evolved into the sentient beings we are?  They’re not as intelligent as chimps, but they more closely resemble us in many ways, because they’ve been our best friends for so long. 

Or maybe it will be the hawks!

2 Responses to “HAWKS, HOW I LOVE ‘EM!”

  1. 1 Abby July 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Well, I wish you had that camera so we could see your hawks! I’m glad you saved those kittens and yes, what was up with their parents?? Druggies?Nature is such a wonder. I remember watching a PBS show about the intelligence and organization and diligence of certain bugs. The show ended with a human spraying the whole colony with a hose.

    • 2 solosocial July 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      The man who runs the cat orphanage with his wife was not surprised when I told him about that. He said the reason a mother cat will abandon her kittens is that cats can’t count. He explained that, as a mother cat moves, she takes her kittens with her, one by one, holding them with her teeth. But because she can’t count, she often forgets the remaining kittens.

      However, this was not the problem here. In each case, the mother clearly wasn’t moving. And she was right there with one kitten. She simply took off when she saw me, leaving the kitten behind.

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