Monday, February 26, 2007

Hawk vs. Squirrel

I've spent the last week doing all sorts of stuff that has shifted my attention away from the blog--some interesting, some less so. But the as-yet-secretly-named second novel has been tugging at me a bit, and for a time it was too impossible to try to do both. The language was too fragile to start working here, too. So I just didn't.

Among those other strange behaviors--not writing, that is--were: digging my van out of the snow piled up around the front end by the city's plows; writing letters to illustrious photographers hoping they'll donate something for the upcoming Circus Amok benefit performance; building a database for VUE, watching those Oscars, and riding the B61 back and forth from Brooklyn to Queens, listening to the polish women talk about whatever it is they talk about after doing their shopping.

At the market on Saturday, a hawk was having face-off with a squirrel--and after a good 15 minutes of everyone staring up at the drama in the trees, fifty or so photographers clammoring up lampposts to get a better shot, and more cell phone cameras pointed at the pair than should be allowed, they simply decided to go their separate ways, and no blood was rendered. Another farmer reminded me that those Discovery Channel nature shows take days to shoot, and include hours and hours and hours of that kind of interaction--nothing. The money shot is harder to come by. So to speak.

1 comment:

SmokyMtnMander said...

I spent almost a year observing a pair of bald eagles and their nest full of two not-so-small babies for the US Fish and Wildlife Service while some construction was occuring along a road in very close proximity to their nest. The idea was to observe stress-related behaviors and, if required, stop any construction activities until whatever it was that was causing the birds to act unusually no longer was bothering them. I spent day after day sitting under a longleaf pine tree in my folder chair with binoculars, a camera, notepad, and cell phone at the ready.

The birds watched the trucks, me, flew around, fed their babies fish, birds, and once...even a very small alligator. I know because I took pictures of the carcass once it was thrown "overvboard". The entire time, jackhammers were hammering, bulldozers were dozering, and trucks of all shapes and sizes were hurdling down this quasi-rural road in Polk County, Florida.

Not once did the birds seem to even notice the comotion. They raised two healthy chicks to young eagles (still brown-headed until they reach sexual maturity) that eventually left the nest. Thus, ending my need for being there. I remember thinking....nature will persevere. It will take all things in stride and survive. Even if it means not getting a moments privacy while some guy ogles you all day with his binoculars. Could we say the same thing about ourselves?