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?
Your roses are gorgeous, Dee. I spent 5 hours! with the curator of the Peggy Rockefeller at the New York Botanical Garden on Friday, looking at roses, smelling roses and talking about roses. He even plucked a few as we walked which made other people look at me askance, but it was a day! You’ll be able to read about it beginning Monday. I learned that the Knock out roses have the Griffith Buck Carefree Beauty in their lineage. I have both so was very pleased. I’m so jealous that you apparently don’t have any trouble growing those beautiful Austin roses.
.-= commonweeder´s last blog ..City Flowers – November =-.
Dee, thanks for dropping by and leaving your comments. My little 5 acre farm is south of Tulsa. I am looking forward to reading more about your roses and chickens! Have a great weekend!
Hi Dee, I love the new look too. The shot of the hawk is incredible, it looks like he was close enought to touch! You are the perfect mentor to introduce someone to gardening, handing them roses so lovingly. Who can resist such beauties?
.-= Frances´s last blog ..Dying Well-Aging Attractively =-.
Dee, what a lovely post! Thank you for sharing your life with us. Co-existing with nature isn’t always pretty or easy but it is always fascinating.
.-= Cindy, MCOK´s last blog ..B(R)ainstorm =-.
Dee, That was so lovely…It felt like I was walking in the garden with you! ~~~Sorry to say;), but I am rooting for the hawk…I wish they would catch the rodents that are misbehaving here! gail
.-= Gail´s last blog ..Autumn Scenes For The Fall Color Project =-.
You got a great photo of the red shouldered hawk. He looks so majestic sitting in the tree. Still so many roses blooming. How wonderful!
.-= Mary Delle´s last blog ..Honestly, Scrap Me, If You Must =-.
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening
I love living out in the country, but hawks like chickens as well as squirrels. How protected are your birds from above?
.-= Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening´s last blog ..Lady-Slipper Seed Pods =-.
I am so happy to see a picture of a Red Hawk. I have been to many of our AAA baseball games, The Oklahoma City Red Hawks. It’s nice to see what the mascot actually looks like.
It’s awful how long it has been since last I was here – so it is the first time I am seeing the new look to your blog. Isn’t it sophisticated? Lovely! Really, really nice.
It’s lovely too, when different kinds of livng mix in the way you describe.
And the hawk! The hawk!
.-= Lucy Corrander´s last blog ..THEY DO NOT LABOUR, NEITHER DO THEY SPIN =-.
Nice scene from the fall garden. Now I’m wondering if I should collect blue bubble glassware!
Oh, yes, Eliz, you should. It is inexpensive and very delicate. I am enabling you the way you enable me with hyacinth vases. 🙂 ~~Dee
Yes, Dee, Lisa at Greenbow is also a great birder – it’s definitely a red-shouldered. Their primary habitat is woodlands – they are easy to spot at Lake Arcadia – and I think you probably have a similar terrain. Squirrels are one of their main prey sources. They are much less common then red-tailed hawks – so congratulations!
.-= TR´s last blog ..Riot on Scott Mountain =-.
Tim, thank goodness for you and Lisa. I’m glad you identified my beautiful hawk. It appears to want to stay. I heard it all afternoon while I planted late things in the garden. God is good.~~Dee
We had a hawk swoop down last week, and pick a wren off the Lady Banks Rose bush. He pulled off the feathers before eating. I was shocked to see it happen right in front of me.
Your roses are lovely. It seems they save their best blooms for last.
Yes, my friends set up a window bird feeder one winter, and a hawk began picking off the smaller birds one by one. They didn’t know until one was eaten right in front of them. Nature is lovely, but cruel sometimes. Thank you for the kind comments about my roses.~~Dee
A beautiful essay, Dee.
Send that hawk down here–I could use some squirrel pruning. Actually, we often see red tails in the ‘hood, as well as sharp-tailed and Cooper’s hawk when the feeders are in play. It’s a nice reminder that no matter how “civilized” the neighborhood gets, there’s always some wildness around.
.-= Susan Tomlinson´s last blog ..Gardener Discovers Overalls. Happiness Ensues. =-.
Susan, I have a confession. I really hate squirrels. LOL!~~Dee
Lisa at Greenbow
I do envy you your garden’s location, in the country. To have all that wilderness around you must be marvelous. I wanted to tell you that this hawk is really a Red-shouldered Hawk though. A beauty. To tell the difference in this position is that the Red tailed would have a white breast with just a belly band.
Lisa, thanks for identifying my hawk. I’m no bird watcher. Yes, living in the country is rather nice. When you come to Oklahoma, you must visit.~~Dee
Thanks for the link to the Juniper article you wrote. WOW, who know one of my favorite native trees was such an issue. Here it is well behaved growing where other plants can’t, like in areas that see occasional salt water flooding, or in recently cleared and exhausted soils. The cedar apple rust is an issue, particularly in the western part of the state where there is a large apple industry. Here in Tidewater it is the traditional Christmas tree, and it was also used to line the driveways of old homes and plantations. Many around here are ancient and have 3-4′ wide trunks with high canopies. Your article was well written and informative, but was like finding out one of your children was not the same little darling you know, when they were away from home.
Hi Les, I’m so sorry to say such bad things about a favorite. In Oklahoma, Eastern redcedars were not a problem until we enforced burning laws. Now, they are completely out of control (along with thistles and other pests). They are a beautiful green in an otherwise brown winter landscape though. 🙂 ~~Dee
Susan aka Miss R
I too love red tailed hawks. I often day dream when I see them catching an updraft soaring and gliding–going where the wind takes them.
.-= Susan aka Miss R´s last blog ..In Praise of Craftsmanship =-.
Beautifully said Susan.~~Dee
Such a nice shot of the hawk. It does indeed sound like fall is here. I just wish my rose bushes had a few more blooms to share (it was not a good fall for the roses here!).
.-= Jean´s last blog ..Catching Up with the Weather and Fun Things =-.
Sorry, your weather did not cooperate with your roses. There’s always next spring. Ah, spring.~~Dee
I enjoyed this post very much. And that photo of the Hawk — so arrogrant and gorgeous.
As for roses, I’m not surprised to find you an admirer of David Austin Roses. I don’t have much room for them here, but in Texas, I cared for over fifty rose bushes — a mix between David Austin and Antiques. The Antique Rose Emporium was just a little too close to my back door for me to have much resistance!
Here in Mesta Park, with so little space, I have only a few English & Antiques in my backyard — plus a fence line full of Knock-outs by the driveway. But I imagine with seven plus acres, you have no need to resist. And no need to count either!
I always,get lost in the beauty of your photography….
.-= Janell West´s last blog ..Civil War Daffodils =-.
Well, Janell, I must confess that I don’t love the Austin’s as I should. I wrote before that I would no longer plant them because in my climate, they only have a few weeks of bloom in the spring and fall. Blackspot and hot temps are too much for them. However, when they bloom, I want to take all my criticisms back and apologize for they are very beautiful. Thank you for all of your kind words. I do love taking pictures.~~Dee
Lovely, Dee. Happy fall!
.-= Pam/Digging´s last blog ..Perfect fall afternoon =-.
Happy fall to you too my friend.~~Dee
This was certainly written from the heart. You have the gardening keen touch that my great aunt had and that is the grandest of all things I can say to you.
Anna, you flatter me.~~Dee
Must be something in the air right now. My antique roses are putting on a show and we saw a beautiful red tailed hawk on our bike ride this afternoon. Love how she arranged the roses.
Deb, I think you must be right.~~Dee
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
You are a wonderful garden mentor. She’ll be hooked in no time.
The hawk is such a welcome sight, especially when it has caught a squirrel.
.-= Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog ..Do They Know Something, or Are They Just Confused? =-.
Thanks MMD. I hope she’ll get her own house soon. I’m going to suggest that she start a container garden at her apartment in the spring.~~Dee
How lovely, Dee! (Yesterday was Young Son’s 27th birthday with 13 dinner guests … so we were both busy in the kitchen). Love the new look of your blog 🙂 Happy Golden November!
.-= joey´s last blog ..WELCOME NOVEMBER (AUTUMN LEAVES / GARDEN BLOGGERS’ MUSE DAY / FALL COLOR PROJECT ) =-.
Happy Golden November to you too Joey, and a happy birthday to your son.~~Dee
Carol, May Dreams Gardens
That was just lovely! The beauty of the hawk contrasted with the late season roses, mix in family and friends, and it is quite a pretty picture.
.-= Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog ..A Gardener’s Guide to "Distance" =-.
Thank you my friend.~~Dee