Abis the Hawk

We are seeing more hawks this season than usual.

Meaning, we are aware of more hawks. It could be the same number as always, we’re simply recognizing them.

Doubtful, that.

If we’re blithely ignorant, other Old Ones are not. Most birds and small mammals scatter, hide. Except for turkeys who won’t scatter, instead cloistering to protect their young.

Abis is new to us. I didn’t know her name at first. Took a few encounters before she’d share.

Hawks tend to be guarded creatures. Not wary so much as watchful, waiting, wanting to make sure things are safe. For them.

Most predators are that way, wanting to make sure things are safe for them before they act.

I can’t imagine it’s a happy existence, being a predator. The Laws of Equilibrium dictate that if you are a predator then you must be something else’s prey. Even apex predators are prey, although their nemeses are often the tiniest of things (think HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds), those and old age, death, who comes to us all at some point in time.

But then, as Borges said, “To be immortal is commonplace; except for man, all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death.”


Turkeys Between the Holidays

Safety and Rest

Ever wonder what turkeys do between the holidays?

Well, you shouldn’t.

Two-leggers have holidays. The Wild doesn’t do holidays.

But imagine what a holiday would be like?

No predators.

Or ample prey.

Or ample seeds. Whatever your chosen food source, it’s abundant to the point there’s no confrontations over it.

If you’re female, males only approach when you want them to, not when they decide to.

(translation: males get smart)

If you’re male, females don’t say no.

(translation: sexual selection is gone)

It’s warm or cold. It’s whatever temperature you’re best designed for.

And you can rest.

That’s the big one, because sleep as modern, western civilization humans understand it doesn’t exist in The Wild. Your pet sleeping beside you can get into such a deep sleep it’s possible they dream, possibly woof, tweet, meow, or whatever in their sleep.

Do that in The Wild and you’ve revealed your resting location, ie, you’ve become food. Even apex predators don’t sleep as modern humans do. Far too dangerous.

But here are some turkeys, safe between the holidays.

Not sleeping, although we do make sure there’s plenty of seed for them.

Happy Holidays (after the fact), all.


A Possible Agnes Sighting?

The Old Girl’s Still Got It

I wrote in Safe for Another Year that we had not seen Agnes for a while.

We may have been premature.

True, we had not seen that glorious hen in a bit. Perhaps she rested. Perhaps she attended to to her matronly duties.

One can never be sure with matron hens.

But then we saw her. We think we saw her. In all her matronly glory. We’re pretty sure it’s her from her markings and more so because she’s standing where we often put seed for her, where she first performed her Chippie War Dance, and is staring at me, basically saying “Come on, Two-Legs! Gimme some!”

We’re glad.

We like to be with our friends for as long as we can.

And the Old Ones…they are the truest of friends.


Safe for Another Year

A little over a year ago I wrote Thankful Turkeys Celebrate – Turkey Day of Infamy 2018.

You’ll be thrilled to know they made it through another remembrance of avian holocaust.

We waited to publish this year’s turkey celebration until all holidays had past.

Safer for them, safer for us.

Sometimes I’ll go out and commune with them. Don’t want to be mistaken for a turkey, me.

You’ll note that Agnes is not in attendance.

We’re concerned, as we miss our friends even though we know they wait for us.

That is The Old Ones promise handed down since before Two-Legs walked on two legs; “We’ll wait for you.”

They have no sense of worlds beyond their own (or at least they’re not telling. I mean, would you? And ruin the neighborhood?) and, as Borges said, “To be immortal is commonplace; except for man, all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death.”

So we ask those that move on to wait for us.

Or they tell us they will.

There is no hurry.

All things return.


Ghosts in the Night (Mel and Janice, really)

A rustling woke us to beauty

One recent night, quite late, we heard a rustling.

No, not reindeer.

Mel and Janice, two mated Coyote, come to visit.

Coyote come at night most often. We’ve seen one or two during the day and we know there’s too much activity for them to stick around. We had a family of beautiful gray fox years ago that came often during daylight, probably because we made sure there was food available.

We still have fox, although also at night.

Smart Old Ones, they.

The frequency we see of Mel and Janice tells us they either have pups or soon will. It can’t be too soon because it is now winter and few Old Ones litter in the bitter cold. Late Winter, early Spring is best. Little ones have a chance to grow through the summer and prepare for a possible scarce winter ahead.

We are careful not to be our Old Ones primary food source.

Sometimes it is challenging, when you see a weak one, a runt. Our hearts tear but that is Nature’s way of keeping the line clean.

Sometimes I wonder why humanity gave up such practices.

But then I also know I would not have survived. Born blind, I would be too much a burden for a tribe to bear, any other talents I possess may have appeared too late to ameliorate the burden.

A friend once said I was probably the smartest person she knew. I laughed. Her husband is a skilled carpenter. He can go from tree to house given enough time.

“People will always ask Mike for help. He knows how to do things. I’ve never had anyone come to me and say, ‘Joseph, I desperately need this double-differential calculated!’,” I said.

We all laughed.

But outside, the Old Ones dined and kept their ways, too wise for us, their teachings only shared when properly asked.