Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back to the Garden and a Hawk

Today my husband took the newly repaired lawn mower and cut down the butter bean wines.  They were no longer producing.  I dug around the furrow with the shovel, pulling up the roots, and added mulch from the compost pile.  For the time being, the compost will keep the top soil from blowing away and if it rains, the compost will keep the dirt in place.

I was feeling a twinge  for neglecting the Back Forty and the Park; consequently, I decided to go out and remedy the neglect.  I pulled on my garden gloves and ventured out to where the cedar trees are being overtaking by a diverse fauna.

Red shouldered hawk
I bent down down on my knees and started to pull the weeds only to get up to follow the Virginia Creeper to see how far up the cedar tree it went.  Oh, my gosh!

I found myself staring, eye to eye, at a red shouldered hawk.  The hawk wasn't particularly big; it must have been the male.  I understand that the female is the larger of the two. Whoa!  Big Boy!  Let me go in and get the camera, forget about this weeding, and hawk you stay put.  Sure enough, he did.  This is the best picture.

What a wing spread!  The hawks mate for life and come back to the same location.  They feed on mice, snakes, frogs, and other small critters.  They provide such an ecological balance to the Back Forty so they are most welcome.  This hawk has visited the Back Forty many times in the last few weeks. Hopefully he will stay now that he knows this is a wildlife sanctuary.

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