I know my little happies have tended to all be around the same theme--country living--lately. I guess you can tell where my contentment is coming from...and why I've been too busy to write.
A hawk perches on a white metal barn roof, white hot in the summer sun. Proud and tall, he surveys the surrounding fields, ready to take off in a perfect dive over the pasture. Wait, we take a closer look.
This hawk is newly fledged. It's almost full-sized, but it's tail-feathers are the long, striped training feathers that help a new hawk learn to fly, rather than a striking fan of red. This hawk isn't perched for flight, it's peeking nervously over the edge of the barn roof, flexing its wings, considering trying another test flight. Finally, it launches over the edge. No striking dive after a mouse. This hawk frantically flaps his wings, reaching, reaching, reaching for the nearest tree branch. Finally, awkwardly, he makes it.
We've been excited to have a nest of hawks in the trees on the edge of our property, and today, the first hawk fledged. We were lucky to watch his first flight!