Touched by a Feather – Day 23

I so remember one fine fall day, when a very special feather fell into my life.

It had been a tough day, a day of real struggles.

Just as I was heading out the door to get some time with the birds, I spied it.

Nestled into this planter on my deck, a glorious Red-tailed Hawk feather!

And it’s been there ever since; a bit faded and weathered now since the day it came.

Yet it always seems that I notice it again, just when I really need it.

Like yesterday.

And just like the day I first discovered it, I found myself whispering…

Thank you, Red-tailed Hawk, for this feather, your feather.

All is well, all is well, all is truly well.

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.

Red-tailed Hawk with Feather Fan

I’m not sure if as a couture milliner it’s my love of detail…

Or perhaps simply my fascination with the way light and shadow can bring magic to a subject at any given moment in our natural world.

But last evening while I was out for a walk, something in the distance caught my eye.

Just to my left, backlit by the setting sun, a stunning Red-tailed Hawk perched high atop a deserted telephone pole.

A beautiful sight to see, anytime.

But there was something very different about one of the hawk’s feathers, and the way the light was catching it, that made me want to look closer.

A single feather on the hawk’s folded wing appeared to be askew, twisted in a direction that didn’t fit with all the others.

Just then the hawk turned, as hawks often do, to check out something behind it that had caught its attention.

And that’s when this image happened.

The hawk’s feather, the angle of his head and the way the light was catching it made it look almost like the hawk had drawn a feather fan across its face!

Smiling at the moment, I walked past the hawk and spotted another hawk feather, this one lying on a lawn nearby.

Had there been a skirmish between the hawk and a crow, that maybe loosened a feather or two?

Or was this simply a feather the hawk had preened, that was ready to fall?

I’ll never know.

What I do know is, this was a special moment.

One that I am so glad, for whatever the reason, had caught my eye.  ❤

Hawk Eyes

I spotted her high up on the phone pole as I was making my way down the hill to Mill Landing.

A stunning red-tailed hawk.

With her back to me, she was catching the last rays of the sun.

And watching everything.

She looked to the left…

She looked to the right and then far below.

But mostly, she had her eyes on something across the creek, somewhere up in those tall pine trees across the way.

A hefty sea breeze would occasionally fluff her tail feathers, and she would pause to steady herself.

Preening a bit.

The late evening sunlight caught her soft under feathers, making them glow a warm, fluffy cream.

And those red tail feathers for which these birds are so well known, appeared to steady her like a rudder.

Why, I think even her talons glowed!

Yet it was her eyes that had cast me under her spell.

The eyes of these birds do not miss a thing.

Before too long you can’t take your own eyes off them.

Especially if they happen to cast them upon you!

Suddenly my Lady Hawk shifted position on her perch…

And continued to stare across that channel.

I could see her getting excited as the breeze continued to fluff her soft marbled breast feathers.

Then, just when I kinda’ thought she might be ready to move…

Away she flew!

Flying low over the channel water, she swooped up into the pine trees and disappeared out of sight.

At last, I exhaled.


I paused for just a moment at the Landing, and then, headed for home.

Feeling starstruck.