An Artist's Quest

The Meaning of May: a study in two places

This week I was not blessed with another sighting of the Red-tailed Hawks that share this piece of earth with me at The Bishop’s Ranch.  They’re there, I heard them call, but I never caught sight of them.  The hawks may not have shown themselves but other harbingers of this moment, in this place, did.  The Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, the Douglas Iris, and of course the grasses still green but hinting at the golden yellow that will come, as it always does, with the hot days of summer.  This week is a moment unique.  The forces of nature have converged to create a landscape of flora and fauna that while cyclical is not precisely the same as ever before and will never be exactly the same again.  The rains and temperature fluctuations create a unique moment.   Butterflies break loose from their chrysalis; eyases (hawk chicks) emerge from their shells, the native Douglas Iris, push through the soil and burst forth in bloom, green grasses reach to the sky and begin to tilt their heads laden with seed.  This week like no other but connected in a never-ending spiral to every other spring before and every other spring to come.  I am grateful to witness it’s passing and wait and wonder at how the puzzle pieces of nature will combine, mix and mingle to reveal a slightly different landscape next year on the one-hundred-thirty-third day of 2012.

My week was spent bifurcated, part of me here in this patch of heaven along side 350 acres of land that we strive to keep as natural as possible, and the other part of me riveted to the Hawk Cam in a very different place, the ledge on the 14th floor of a building in New York City (http://www.livestream.com/nytnestcam ).  On this ledge a pair of Hawks, dubbed Violet and Bobby, have hatched an eyases (baby hawk).  They are diligently feeding their offspring doing what parents do.  But most of the chatter on the site has been about Violet.  Violet has a metal identification band on her leg that seems to be causing her great pain and swelling.  A rescue attempt is being hatched (pardon the pun) but they are not sure they will be able to release Violet immediately and if not then what about the chick!  Oh, what a tangled web we humans weave!  Without the Hawk Cam we wouldn’t know about Violet’s swollen leg to save her, without the metal band Violet wouldn’t have a swollen leg so we wouldn’t have to save her…you get my drift, ah me, since humans are the most invasive species on earth we have a responsibility to nurture the rest of the species’ we have elbowed to the ledge… but what to do?  Keep working, preserving, educating and this week throw in a little prayer for Violet and Bobby and their chick, maybe we humans can get this one right.


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