As I was walking in the driveway this afternoon, I came in under the sweeping shade of a large live oak. As usual, I was looking at the ground, trying to avoid fireants and stubbing my toes on chunks of rock left over from when the driveway had once been paved. I wear flip-flops most of the time, so my toes percieve those abrasive pieces of cement and shell as threats!
Anyways, as came into the shade with my eyes cast downwards, I had that odd feeling that someone was watching me, so I quickly looked up–and came eye to eye with a hawk that was sitting on a fence post, staring at me. I have seen him before, but this time he hadn’t flown away–he merely continued his cool observation of me. It is almost an ominous feeling to be studied by a bird of prey.
I stopped in my tracks to watch him back. I don’t know what kind of hawk he was, but his big black eyes blinked when he began looking around as I spoke to him. I talk to animals. Usually they don’t seem to mind–I often seem to get a moment of curiosity from them, or a split second of recognition, before they run away. This hawk stayed longer than most others as I stared back at him.
Then, as I continued speaking gently, I took a step towards the fence. Without warning, he lifted his wings–and he was gone–out of my sight, out from under the spreading oak, out from the shade of the waving moss.
I smiled, I am sure, as I looked at the empty fence post for a moment before I turned to continue my walk.