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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, December 22, 2005

hawk Christmas

One of the domestic tasks that usually falls my lot is to keep the refrigerator cleaned out of leftover and/or spoiled food. This is because I happen to possess the stronger of the two stomachs in the house. It’s not that we have a lot of these uneaten things, but sometimes things are forgotten or hidden behind something else and neither of us cares to eat things that have fuzzy stuff growing on them, even though I know how penicillin was discovered.

There was a ham bone encased in plastic with a fair amount of meat remaining thereupon that was left from Thanksgiving and we had every intention of doing something with it, like making a pot of soup or something. But we had some illness in the family and this just kept getting put off. This was from a smoked ham and may have had a longer shelf life than I could imagine but I was tired of looking at it.

There are three destinations for these way-past-leftover foods. First is the mulch/humus/organic matter pile for spoiled produce or fruit – most anything uncooked. Then there is the burn pile where cooked stuff with the fuzzy growths finds a final resting place. Finally there is the overgrown slope behind the house and this is where I toss cooked meat to be consumed by some stray or wild varmint. See, I do have a heart.

Anyway, down the slope is where the ham bone got tossed back at the first of the week. At the bottom of this slope there is a short semi-level stretch and then it becomes the bank of a pond belonging to my in-laws. This pond is about 3 acres in size and much wildlife has been observed around its waters. Cranes, kingfishers, ducks, geese and turtles have been seen in addition to the fish that are therein contained.

A day or so later I was gazing absent-mindedly out the window – as I am wont to do – and I saw a large bird down near the pond. Finding my telescope, I began to spy on the bird. I recognized it right away as a hawk and a large one at that. Even though it seemed full grown, some of its coloration caused me to think that it was still young – maybe not quite a year old.

Being largely amazed by having this magnificent creature of flight within a hundred and fifty feet or so of the house, I convinced the spice of my life to come take a look. She was not nearly so astounded as I and I sought others to be agape as well. We happened to be sitting for the daughter and had two of her young sons in house, so I held them up the magnifying piece. They were somewhat impressed, but they knew hardly anything about the honor of this sighting – they are 3 ½ and 2.

The hawk was eating something and it took a minute or so for it to move around enough for me to identify what the food was. It was the ham bone! My observations went on for about 10 minutes with the hawk calmly pulling the meat off the bone and gulping it down. It would stop and look around in a natural alertness but my imagination brought to my mind that he/she was probably thinking – wow, I thought Christmas was on Sunday, this must be an early present!

Babysitting chores pulled me away from the window and when I returned, the bird had departed. Occasionally I would still walk by the window and glance to see if it had come back. One of these rechecks caused me to espy another, even larger, bird. I knew right away that it was a buzzard (turkey vulture) but I focused the telescope on it to get more detail.

This species is not particularly attractive but has its place in the scheme of life – and death. The bird was enjoying whatever the hawk had left, and immensely, or so it seemed. Again my imagination heard what the bird was thinking – “oh man, this is great, I haven’t eaten this good since that cow up on . . .” oops, I shouldn’t have listened in on that – anyway, it was glad and thought it was Christmas as well.

God works in mysterious ways – through His creation – His wonders to perform, and to glorify His Son, Jesus. ec


Blogger thebeloved said...

Thanks so much for your posts... I have been loving them for a while!

12/22/2005 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

AMEN! The circle of life!

The phrase "a fair amount of meat remaining thereupon" had me in stiches.

It's good to be off work for the Christmas holiday (36 hours and counting!) and catch up on my favorite blogs!

12/24/2005 01:34:00 PM  

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