A funny thing happened on my way to find a hawk this past week.
My journey started with a hospitalized father-in-law that triggered an unsettling time. My recipe for restoring equilibrium involved heading to the country in search of photogenic hawks.
Why hawks? I need a bird with moxie, preferably a predator, to get me excited. Some people can photograph all kinds of birds, faithfully researching and getting enthralled with each one. I envy the easy sense of wonderment though I truly understand no part of it.
As the kilometres slipped by, my hawk to bale ratio was becoming spectacularly unimpressive. The prairie landscape is spawning round bales this time of year – the perfect perch for a hungry hawk. Where were they?
After my unknown road narrowed to a trail between fields, my pace quickened as I spotted a hawk in the distance. I closed the gap and turned off the engine.
My equilibrium began improving as I watched and listened. The hawk spent an unusually long time on each bale, occasionally slicing the silence with a piercing cry. I waited, photographed, waited, missed opportunities and waited – content in good company.
After missing a flight to another bale, I looked around and noticed the gorgeous flowers lining both sides of my trail. Not surprisingly, I also need flowers with uncommon allure to photograph and these had it. I took a quick photo and returned to the hawk. When the hawk settled on a distant perch, I made some interesting flower photos. Though in hindsight, I missed the opportunity to show the broader landscape of endless flowers lining the trail.
Somehow I started out looking for hawks, ended up photographing flowers and missed a bigger picture. Perhaps it was a helpful life metaphor.