Day five with no power and no end in sight. It looks like we’ll (once again) be one of the last folks to be patched back into the grid. We were close to last eight weeks ago when we finally got our power back on eight days after Irene blew through. We may top that record yet.
So I’ve mostly been sitting around feeling sorry for myself because life is pretty tedious without power. I’ve been reading a book a day and walking the dogs a lot. Anything to break the monotony so I don’t spend all my time thinking about how much I’d like to throttle my power company. I mean, I pay my bill just like everyone else.
When I was growing up we had an incredibly long bus route for school. We were the last to be picked up in the morning, which allowed for a few extra minutes of sleep, but then we were the last to be dropped off in the afternoon. That meant we sat on the bus for over an hour every afternoon. But fair was fair and we never thought to complain. After all, the kids who got picked up first every morning had an hour ride too. Well, I think the power company should help all the people who were last to be connected during Irene and make the folks who were up and running in a matter of hours wait a week or more this time around. Fair is fair.
With so much less to occupy my time I’ve been watching my bird feeders. I decided to hang a few feeders out just prior to the storm and they’ve been pretty busy ever since. And that means hawks. Now that the leaves are off the trees I can see the hawks that I could only hear a week ago. As I was gazing out at our barn I suddenly saw a large Cooper’s hawk swoop down and land on a low branch that overlooks our pond. I knew my camera was sporting a zoom lens and was mounted on my tripod, so I quickly grabbed them and crept out the front door. Sometimes I can get pretty close to these guys and other times they fly off as soon as they see me coming. Well in all fairness I’m usually lugging a large camera and tripod in my wake, which probably isn’t the most discrete approach. But it’s the only way you can get a chance at a shot unless you know of a reliable spot you can stake out and wait. I used to get pretty nutty about trying to get hawk pictures, but I’ve long since adopted the mantra that either I get a shot or I don’t and if I don’t, there will always be another time. Or so I tell myself.
This hawk held it’s ground. It certainly saw my approach and turned to look at me several times as I fiddled with my tripod and camera settings. I knew it would be impossible to pass under the bird and get in front of it to get a good shot, so I hoped it would turn it’s head enough to get a decent profile picture. As the minutes ticked by it did that and more! When I manipulated my lens back and forth from autofocus to manual, the audible click caused the bird to swivel it’s head fully around and stare directly at me. I happily clicked away!
It wasn’t until I got inside and downloaded the pictures that I realized something was wrong. At first, I thought I’d done something to screw up the pictures, but upon further inspection I realized this hawk was missing an eye! I couldn’t believe it, but the handful of photos that should have both eyes in them clearly show there is an empty eye socket. At first I felt so bad for the bird. I mean, life is tough enough without having to hunt and fly without the use of both eyes. But looking at the pictures I realized the hawk wasn’t under fed or in poor condition and I had watched it fly from tree to tree. It sure didn’t look like it suffered any in flight. So I guess this handsome beauty doesn’t need my sympathy. Apparently hardship is 10% situation and 90% perception. Maybe there’s a lesson in that after all!