I remember going to friends’ houses when I was a kid. One of the side benefits was getting an inside look at how other families functioned. I felt a little like that last Friday evening with hawks.
It all seemed pretty peaceful under a warm evening sun. Hawks lounged on bales, drifted over to different bales and occasionally floated overhead. As the only visitor, I got some sideways glances but felt mostly accepted on that glorious prairie evening.
As time passed, some cracks appeared in hawk paradise. The hawks began beaking off to each other from different bales and then it got louder and more awkward. Even as they circled above me, they didn’t seem to mind that I not only heard their entire argument but photographed it. One of the hawks left in a huff.
Then it got personal. I carefully set up my equipment so I could catch a hawk in the air when it left a closer bale. I knew from experience it would fly left. While other bale visits were relatively short, this one lasted forever – I could tell it was mocking me. I resigned myself to missing the shot since it’s hard to stay concentrated for that long.
Then the hawk took a step to the left and I was ready. It shot me a sly look, then wheeled around and unexpectedly flew right – almost immediately out of my lens. Missed it. I hadn’t received that kind of rude treatment since dealing with camera-shy relatives!
With time marching to sunset, I had to leave. Despite the brushoff, I thoroughly enjoyed my inside look at the hawks world – just like when I stayed at my friends’ houses. I probably told my parents what went on there too.