Hawk and Heron

There are three ways to get to our house from the paved road.  The longest of the drives passes our pond and winds through some woods.  We call that one “the pond road.”

Yesterday afternoon I took the pond road out.  Once I was out of sight of the house I disturbed a red tail hawk, which swooped down in front of me then soared away.  Hawks are fierce-looking predators and a danger to our chickens.  But they’re undeniably impressive and beautiful creatures.

A little further down the road I startled a great blue heron, fishing on the edge of our pond. These big birds are graceful in flight, but lift-off seems to require a lot of effort.  I smiled as I watched the heron’s launching.

I’m glad I saw these birds.  They reminded me that I’m given pleasures like that many times every day.  Nature, it seemed, was telling me to chill out.

I was driving down the pond road because I had to go buy more hay.  It was the third time this March I’ve had to do that, after having never bought hay before.

After a mild winter, this March has been unseasonably cold and wet.  On Monday it snowed.

The grass in the pastures isn’t growing.  We haven’t been able to plant most of our gardens and the things that we have been able to plant aren’t growing.  We’re probably going to have to delay the start of our CSA.  To say that it hasn’t been a good month for farming would be an understatement.

So I had plenty of reasons to be grumpy and dissatisfied.

But the hawk and the heron helped me remember that for every one of those reasons, I have hundreds of reasons to be joyful and content.

7 comments on “Hawk and Heron

  1. Nature has a way of always being there to remind us how beautiful the world really is. What a wonderful drive. The snow in the meadow is still impossibly high, so my walks are on a now icy/muddy road. I see a bit of grass peeking out here and there, telling me spring will arrive, but it is veeeerrry slow in doing so…


  2. thistledog says:

    I should write short blog posts like this of my encounters with the mystery and beauty of wildlife on my farm, too. They have the same effect on me: cause me to stop and smile and give a prayer of thanks for the remarkable opportunity I’m given to be here, among forest and field, pond and creek, and all the creatures that inhabit them. Thanks for sharing this.


  3. Bob Braxton says:

    our clay-based corner lot has been wet, too, and little sign of growing. We have been able to spread the 12 cu yd load of mulch using old-people-powered hand tools (shovel, fork, leaf rake, basket, gloves) over a period of about half the month of March. Looking good for hiding (Easter Bunny pleasure to do).


  4. shoreacres says:

    Your juxtaposition of the lack of hay with the heron and hawk remind me of a segment of T.S. Eliot’s “Burnt Norton”, part of the “Four Quartets”.

    Garlic and sapphires in the mud
    Clot the bedded axle-tree.
    The thrilling wire in the blood
    Sings below inveterate scars
    Appeasing long forgotten wars.
    The dance along the artery
    The circulation of the lymph
    Are figured in the drift of stars
    Ascend to summer in the tree
    We move above the moving tree
    In light upon the figured leaf
    And hear upon the sodden floor
    Below, the boarhound and the boar
    Pursue their pattern as before
    But reconciled among the stars.


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