Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bad Day All Around...

My sister is coming this weekend; on Saturday we're driving south to visit the mothership for her birthday.  I have many chores to accomplish leading up to Friday afternoon when she arrives and the cork comes out of a nice chilled bottle of vino.

The heat is escalating, yesterday, 82*, today 88*...tomorrow 94*.  I got up very early this morning to get to the park--Ozzy is having trouble breathing in the heat because of his heart issues--then I had to bring them back up the mountain, drop them off, and go back down to town for shopping and errands.  Summer mode begins.

At last, everything done, it's a bit after 1:00 when I get home again.

Digression: Because I have way too much outside work to do and I'm only one person, I borrowed my neighbor's gardener. His name is Jack, he's a very nice guy and is supposed to show up to do some serious weed-eating just about the time I fly up the driveway.

I'm on the last round of unloading my groceries, having already made several sweat-inducing jogs up and down two flights of stairs, when I hear this ear-piercing shriek overhead from a hawk. I was just closing the back hatch of the Blazer and almost dropped my bags, it was so loud and startling.

Digression Two: If you live around hawks long enough, you come to recognize what their sounds mean.  I know when the female is scolding her mate; when the male is hunting and has spotted dinner; when the pair are...ah...making babies.

This was a screech of pure fury.  And it was really scary.

I step out of the garage to look up, to see what's going on...just as the bloody, gnarled body of a quail splats at my feet.

Oh man.  If the poor thing hadn't been killed by the hawk, the splat would have done it.

I stare, blood runs, the hawk circles, screams again.  I don't know what made him drop his prey--I could actually see the claw marks in the quail's breast--but drop it he did.  And he was one pissed off guy.  I wasn't too happy either.

I decided to take the rest of the groceries upstairs, maybe give the hawk a chance to reclaim his bounty, save me from having to deal.  I put away all the groceries, gave the boys their lunch, dawdled.

Just as I'm going back downstairs, Jack showed up.  I met him in the driveway and we both stare at the corpse...and the tiny rivulet of blood drying on the concrete. Thankfully Jack offered to get rid of the bird for me.  I told him I thought the hawk would've come back for it, but Jack said that's why he was so angry, it wasn't fresh kill once he'd dropped it.

Well crap.  It looked pretty fresh to me.

So.  Bad day all around.  For the hawk losing dinner for his new babies, bad day for me having to see the mangled remains, but wow, really bad day for the poor unfortunate quail...

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