This majestic creature (now correctly identified by Lisa at Greenbow as a Red-shouldered hawk) sat outside my kitchen window yesterday. HH called to me from the great room where he could see him clearly from the French doors and windows along the back of the house. I snapped a few photos before the hawk caught sight of us and flew off, up over the treetops. I wonder if he was the same hawk I saw a week ago as I drove down the street into our neighborhood. That hawk had an unlucky squirrel in his clutches which must have been heavy because he swooped in low over the car and dropped the squirrel onto the street in front of me.
Such are the realities of my country life.
Although we are rural, we live in a neighborhood of two and a half to five acre tracts. We own seven and a half acres total. We and most of our neighbors are content to let the land lie fallow, which makes sense as it is heavily wooded with black jack and pin oaks, elms, hackberries, sumac and my nemesis, the Eastern redcedar.
There are two small spring-fed ponds in the neighborhood (my garden backs up to one), and the land is home to many species of plants, animals and insects. Undisturbed for the past ten years or so, our property across the street is always interesting. Once, while I was out playing with my camera, I scared up a huge deer who went bounding off into the woods.
My own garden is a mix of the cultured and the wild, a reflection of where we live, and I guess, ourselves. Yesterday, I made gluten free beef and noodles and cornbread, along with chocolate cake for my sister’s birthday. My mother, sister and I all eat gluten free, but I am also dairy free, so I’m often the baker. The beef and noodles were very much a country dish, but the chocolate cake and coffee were more sophisticated.
Between dinner and dessert, while the coffee brewed, I took my sister’s dear friend, Chanda, out into the garden. She reads about it on facebook and wanted to see it. She’s not a gardener, but someday might be, so as we walked, I pulled off the late roses and handed them to her, one by one. Pretty soon, her hands were full, but I noticed she arranged them facing upright so that the blooms co-mingled their beautiful colors (definitely a gardener or an artist). She seemed partial to apricots and yellows, the harder roses to grow here, unfortunately. Pinks are easiest as there are more cultivars from which to choose.
“This is ‘Abraham Darby,” I said, as I placed a tight bloom into her hand, “Smell it and then ‘About Face.’ Then, I handed her ‘Graham Thomas’.
I loved watching her eyes light up once she noticed how different their scents were. We brought all of the late blooms into the house and placed them into a vintage Blue Bubble glass bowl. There they sit today.
I almost apologized about the garden’s disheveled state. It’s starting to wane, and the frost damage here and there is more obvious, but there remain roses, and the hawks are now showing their faces. That is the juxtaposition of fall.
Can winter be far behind?