With rain in the forecast, yesterday morning was a good time to get down and dirty in the garden–both mine and my sister-in-law’s. Living in a somewhat arid climate, I take advantage of the wet stuff from the sky to dig and plant. For my garden, it was about clearing out some Barbados cherry, Malpighia glabra, which colonizes with verve, and for my sister-in-law’s garden, it was transplanting those rogue bits of shrub-with-root to a new home: to grow, be beautiful, and provide cover and fruit for birds, and nectar and pollen for pollinators.
I was out early, not too long after sunup, mulling the day ahead, when I spotted our neighborhood Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis, high up in a winter-bared tree.
The tree sits on a property belonging to the street adjacent to mine; I don’t know whether it’s a front or back garden tree, but it’s at some distance from my front garden. For this once, I wish my camera owned just a little more scope moxie.
Still, it’s not a bad shot.
As I aimed my lens at the hawk, a gaggle of Great-tailed Grackles, Quiscalus mexicanus, fluttered onto another set of branches. Grackles are chatty and gregarious; perhaps they wanted to keep the hawk company on this grey morning? Or maybe they wanted to share tips on the best places for breakfast?
My guess? They wanted to watch her–like a hawk!
I soon got to work: back and forth from my garden to my SIL’s, I excised the mini-shrubs, checking the roots’ viability, then chucking those which passed the test into the bin. I dragged that bin to SIL’s garden, where I proceeded to dig and plant, allowing new starts to this valuable native plant. As I moved from her garden to my own, I noticed that the hawk kept sentry in the tree, sometimes with company, sometimes alone. She moved a couple of times, but mostly preened and observed, feathers ruffling in the morning breeze, intelligent eyes watchful.
Eventually, a Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata, settled in, just below the hawk. The hawk and the jay hung out. What do two birds talk about? Did you sleep okay last night? What did you have for breakfast? Do you have any friends or relatives I can eat?
After about two hours of my work and the hawk’s perch, she was gone from the tree when I finished.
As far as I am aware, no bird ate breakfast and no bird was breakfast.
Please check out Anna’s at Flutter and Hum for garden–and other–musings.