Saturday, January 2, 2010

Beautiful Days in the Neighborhood

Happy New Year, everyone!

We've had a peaceful week with a mix of lovely, clear weather and interesting clouds. Just about every day we take a walk around the neighborhood. Above are some of our four-legged neighbors. The view is looking east, in the direction of Pioneertown. On a clear day, as in the photo at the right, we can see the snow-covered peak of Mt. San Gorgonio as we make our loop.

The view above, taken from the hill behind our house, shows the view looking east. The smaller photo at the right shows a bit of the southern view, which borders on Joshua Tree National Park.

Recently we had a very unusual event at our house. I was talking on the phone when there was a loud crash. Assuming yet another bird (most likely a dove) had flown into a window, I went out to the sunroom to investigate--and there was a hawk lying unconscious on the ground!

Here he is. He did recover and fly away. The poem below tells the story.

Doves, Not Hawks

It’s doves, not hawks
that fly into our windows.
But on a clear morning
in December, a juvenile Cooper’s
proved otherwise.
There was the crash,
the dark shape falling fast,
fifteen feet to the ground.
He lay supine on the gravel
and came to slowly, quivering.
The desert held back,
let him move his head,
find his feet, stand stiffly
and test one wing, then the other.
He stayed, tail feathers spread,
until his yellow eye turned resolute.
Then he flew to the low branches
of a juniper, intact, as though nothing
had happened. Later I found
two ghost prints on the glass,
where he fell, and at another window.
If he could err twice and be forgiven,
this inscrutable world
may be kinder than we know.