Sun Sets on Red-Tailed Wings – Day 37 (B)

What a glorious surprise awaited as I headed back through town last evening.

I’d been down along the shore for my usual walk, enjoying the eiders and gulls diving into the waves for their dinner.

Coming back by the harbor, I turned the corner by the Congo church and there he was!

A gorgeous Red-tailed, perched high up on the church steeple.

One of a pair of individuals I’ve been sharing for some time now.

Yet it was the glow of the setting sun on its feathers this time around that literally took my breath away.

Standing down below him, I gazed up and marveled at those beautiful belt feathers and red tail glowing in the sun, as the bird clung tightly to the wind vane spoke with those raptor talons around it.

After a while, when the church chimes began to toll the top of the hour, I could see the hawk starting to shift, as if getting ready to take flight.

I waited, and I waited, and then waited some more to see if he would finally lift off…

And then just as I was rubbing the back of my neck, sore from looking straight up for so long, he spread those mighty wings — and was gone in a blur!

But I didn’t mind.

This glorious raptor had given me the sunset thrill of a lifetime, and all I could do all the way back to the car was smile.

Behold! the Red-tailed Hawk of Nauset Light

Just as I was turning to leave Nauset Light the other day, I spotted this GORGEOUS Red-tailed Hawk perched high on a phone pole at the very bottom of the hill.

It was obvious, she was looking for some dinner in the small bramble-covered mound between her and the Light.

I have always been intensely drawn to Red-taileds.

I love their eyes, their intense focus…

The way they waggle their head back and forth when they see something of interest nearby.

Their glorious feathers and yes, even those powerful yellow talons so perfectly suited for snatching up small prey.

I have always felt a deep sense of calm whenever I see a Red-tailed perched on a rooftop, swooping up to a tree or soaring over the highway.

Somehow, when I see them I feel as if everything is okay, or will be soon.

And as I stood there, fresh off my visit to the Light…

I couldn’t help but wonder if this might be the Red-tailed Hawk of Nauset Light…

Charged with watching over this great beacon who herself has been the ultimate protector to countless sailors and pilots all these many, many years.

I guess I like to think that somehow the Light and the hawk, and all the hawks of her line…

Are watching over one another.

Alert and steadfast, assured of their noble purpose, their place in this world.