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Friday, January 3, 2014

What messages are hawks delivering?

It's happened again. A hawk visited and stayed awhile. Looking through my writing-room window, I saw this intriguing bird sitting on the picket fence, staring into the middle distance, occasionally shifting its weight, turning its head.

This was one of several close sightings here in Marietta, Georgia – added to those I had at my former home in East Haddam, Connecticut. It was there that I first got close enough to a hawk to lock eyes with one; I was walking through a little wooded area between the road and my house and came upon a scene that became commonplace: hawk eating prey, unmoved by my presence.

My first Marietta hawk encounter came on my first day in the house, back in June. Inside, walking toward the front, I looked through the glass storm door and stopped in my tracks, as a hawk flew in for a landing on top of Lyn's Prius. The hawk was gone before she got to the door. Hawks aplenty live around here, building nests high in trees, soaring the skies, riding the winds, screaming – and presumably catching their share of voles, moles and squirrels.

That said, I had never had a hawk visit the picket fence with such comfortable distraction as did one the other day. Through my writing-room window, I saw the big bird land and fluff its wings before settling down. I pointed the camera and caught the hawk looking to its right . . .


. . . then to its left . . .




And, finally through my window.
Or so it seemed. I certainly was looking at it, not knowing whether it was looking back at me. I'd like to think so, however. I'd also like to believe the visits mean something good. That's tempting, as the bird looks so majestic, strong, confident.

I have read of meanings, including hawks' roles as spiritual protectors, and as messengers, urging humans to focus, to pay attention, avoid distractions. What hawk visits mean or don't mean cannot be proved, of course. I do know they mean something to me. Years ago I collected hawk feathers in Connecticut as I walked through the field that was part of our property. I still have them.


Wedged in the edge of my writing desk, those feathers always made me feel good. That message, simple, profound, was immediate and lasting. Full of power and meaning.


24 comments:

  1. Wow, that is amazing! We have hawks in the trees behind the house but they rarely get close and never that close. Just yesterday we watched one circle high in the sky as we took our walk. So elegant.

    I was channel surfing earlier in the week and found you giving a tour of Callaway Gardens on PBS Victory Garden. Wonderful to see you in action and hear your voice.

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    1. You get to admire them from afar, which is mesmerizing and mysterious and, yes, elegant.

      Ahhh, how nice you saw that piece. Thank you for letting me know. I enjoyed presenting for that program – and visiting Callaway was a fine treat. As you get around to many public gardens, you may have visited.

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  2. You are certainly blessed with this feathered visitor. I think this red shouldered hawk is warning you that you should be getting out the long handles that you thought you could pack away since you moved south. Sounds like the beastly winter weather is coming all the way to Atlanta in the next couple of days. Brrr We are to get another 7-10 inches of snow. The poor birds will be flocking to the feeders since the temps will also be dangerously low. Happy New Year anyway.

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    1. Get out the long handles! That's funny, Lisa. And true. You know, I think we made a wrong turn from Connecticut, heading to Georgia – and wound up in Maine.

      Good luck on the birds. And hope the harsh weather doesn't last too long. Happy (sorta) New Year.

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  3. Fascinating post, Lee. Those feathers are beautiful. Hawks are something I have never had the opportunity to see here in Montreal. Thank you so much for sharing, and Happy New Year to you.

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    1. Thank you much, Linda, and a Happy New Year back on you. Also, I hope an adventurous hawk rides the winds to visit you.

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  4. Wonderful, Lee -- I'm hoping to see the hawk at Glenlake Park again soon -- MUST take camera on walks, right?

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    1. Keep that camera ready, Elizabeth. Hope you get some good shots.

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  5. I love the fact that hawk feathers from Connecticut are working their spells on your writing desk in Georgia, reminding you to look left, look right, and focus.

    Your visitor on the fence is a very proud looking fellow!

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    1. I'm definitely looking here and there, and everywhere, Laurrie. Interesting isn't it, how one can see pride in a bird.

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  6. What a beautiful creature. I've only seen them up in the sky. I like the meanings they're said to represent - they certainly make me pay attention when I see them.

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    1. Here's hoping you have the pleasure of seeing one close-up, Kathryn. Meanwhile, enjoy the view of them overhead. It's awe-inspiring.

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  7. What a majestic hawk, Lee! I think your continued visits from your Hawk friends are something quite special, O King of the Hawks (and Maples). :-)

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    1. I love and appreciate the crowns you bestow, Beth. I promise to try living up to them.

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  8. Oh, I love them. They nest in several of the old trees in my yard, and I've come suddenly upon them a few times, usually lunching on a chipmunk or mouse. Beautiful and fearless. And I, too, have several treasured hawk feathers.

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    1. Those nests look imposing from the ground, don't they. What kind of tree do yours nest in? On my land, I've seen them in oaks.

      If you're like me, you do not mess with a hawk at mealtime.

      There's something about those feathers, and I'm on the lookout for some in Georgia.

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  9. I have noticed more hawks in my neighborhood, this year. They are indeed majestic, strong and confident. This year they nose dive between the houses in my neighborhood. I'm sure that you know what wonderful eyesight they have. Many many times sharper then that of humans.

    I don't bring my lil 6 pound Maltese *Rosie* out when they are around.

    The hawk feathers that you have at your writing desk are lovely. Must bring out the fine Indian qualities in you.

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    1. Rose Lady, you have quite a show of hawks, and you're wise to keep Rosie inside. Hawks' great eyesight would make her a (pun alert) sitting duck.

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  10. I collect hawk feathers, too, Lee. Mine are bound with a red ribbon and hanging in my kitchen window.
    Re what this means: Forget what your intellect is trying to make of these encounters and, as my Ojibway friend always says, trust your instinct - something I always have to struggle with.
    Have you considered the possibility that this might be a message relating to Hawk-eye?

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  11. Hawk-eye.Brilliant! Truth be told, I *am* seeing more clearly – not through my right eye, but through my mind's eye, my instinctive eye.

    Also, I can see your ribbon-tied hawk feathers. What an inspired idea that is. Your ability to make a collection shows what hawk-rich land you live on. Enjoy.

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  12. Obviously word of your affection for hawks made it's way to GA, Lee. I have them here but they tend to stay high up in trees.

    I hope the message they are bringing is that 2014 will be your best year yet!

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  13. Sue, that's a wonderful interpretation. I appreciate it mightily. And I hope this will be the year one of those high hawks comes down you, bringing goodnesses.

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  14. I love that you brought those mementos to GA with you. I love seeing hawks, too, although the small birds in my garden must feel differently. It must have felt comfortable in your garden to have sat for so long. What a compliment! :o)

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  15. I find it easy to believe that birds have meanings and messages. Has your cat ever bothered the feathers?

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