There’s a red-tailed hawk in the ravine, she built a nest midway up the radio tower on a platform climbing workers might pause to rest. And she sits there surveying the ravine below, the wide path where the rabbits gather at dusk, and the wetlands lower down. The red-wing blackbirds are in a state because of her and they heckle her when she flies the swath of ravine.
I know she’s a red-tailed hawk because there’s a sign in lower part of the ravine saying you might see a red-tailed hawk hereabouts. It’s a sign about the flora and fauna of the wetlands and it has pictures too. It’s possible that my hawk is a different kind of bird because the sign is of course not specifically about her, of course. But she’s the only hawk I’ve seen and it’s the only sign, so I think they must connect.
I brought out my camera one night to try and see her up close through the zoom lens, but she stayed in her nest and I only saw a wing stretch out. Still, I delighted in that stretch and the next morning when I woke and stretched my arm out of the bed, I thought of her.
At the foot of the radio tower, there’s a massing pile of fur. It must be from her kills. I see fewer rabbits and know she’s probably the reason. But I don’t blame her. She’s got a thing to do.
I think about what she sees and knows and how we could look at the same thing and see and know different things. I think about the hawk book I read this spring and try to imagine a hawk that could suck me away from life and grief and then I would snap back, changed and alright.
But my hawk isn't this. She's only something to look up for when I walk, and to anchor my season to.