Friday, July 20, 2007

Redhead Meets Red Tail

Last Friday--Friday, 13th, to be exact--I came face to face with a bird. But not just any bird; a really, really big bird. And not the typical sing-songing feathered friend you normally see flying above, or splashing around your backyard birdbath, but a bird of prey with thick talons, and a penchant for flesh.

Now, I don't know what goes on across the rest of the country, but it should come as no surprise to anyone who lives just outside of Manhattan, that the discovery of a fearless, eighteen-inch tall red-tailed hawk staring you down just outside your front door is, to say the least, somewhat shocking. My first reaction of course was to slam the door closed, but after a few moments I gathered my courage--and my camera--and cautiously opened it back up, revealing myself to the visitor who remained perched on the ledge, just inches away. We took a moment to size each other up for potential danger, and when none seemed imminent, we both relaxed. I spent the next 15 minutes in slack-jawed awe, snapping photos, my mind racing to come up with a reason for this seemingly mystical visit. Was this bird a harbinger? Was his visit an augury...or (acck!) an omen?

Whatever the reason for our Friday, 13th rendezvous, the sentimentalist in me likes to believe that that beautiful hawk appreciated our encounter as much as I did. But who knows? Perhaps he was simply sizing me up and wishing to the stars that I weighed one hundred and twenty pounds less; I'm sure it's not everyday that a potential meal presents itself so easily.

PS. From to Native American lore...
Be ever alert for a red tail flying near, for the Red Tailed Hawk will soar beside the Two-Legged whose own gift of vision is exceptionally acute. Yay! Mystery solved!!

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