Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snowy Day

Odd day, very odd. I went in to Syracuse for an early morning appointment and found bands of snow creating almost white-out conditions. That's okay - it happens here, just thankfully not as often this winter.

I came home for a quick lunch and turned on CNN as always. There was the burning building and reporters trying to make sense of it. Austin, Texas. I have a former client and his son living there, two new clients moving up from there, Alex's half-brother and stepmother and a former husband somewhere in Austin. The plane turns out to have been purposefully crashed - the local news people get their reports from CNN. E-mails go out - all is well, but people are too close to the tragedy geographically.

Bob comes home, but our afternoon appointment is postponed, so I spend some time on the computer. As I sit here looking out a HUGE thump hits the window. I look up to see a hawk of some kind just outside the window. I run out through the sliding doors of my studio - he's gone by then. I turn to the other doors to the deck where Bob was reading in the kitchen. He's standing, pointing. I see two pieces of birds in the snow about 10 feet apart. We agree that the hawk must have attacked the bird - was it the jay we'd just seen? - and split him in two.

The building is still burning on the TV - I stand outside, to keep the hawk away. One of the cats, Oscar, stares from the apartment window at the closest bird, his eyes wide.

I see the hawk circling over the neighbor's yard. Bob has gone to get the shovel but when I yell he comes running. The hawk is gone, but as we turn back to the two halves of bird he says, "Look!"

The bird raises his head and eyes us. Then the other half - a whole other bird - raises his head and shakes it. I do the same. Within minutes they are walking around and attempting brief flights. "Stupid mourning doves," we think.

Bob suggests that the thump we heard was the birds trying to get away and hitting the glass doors. There's an imprint when we look closely.

Oscar is thrilled to watch them roam the deck. He's not going out for a while.

We go back to watching the building burn, hear Rick Sanchez read the man's suicide note. One of the birds makes a short flight out to where the tulip garden will be come spring. We talk about the afternoon, how we can salvage it.

Suddenly the hawk swoops down and flies away with something. The dove out by the tulips is no longer there, what appear to be feathers glide on the surface of the snow.

"Hawks need to eat," Bob says. "The falcons who raise their young in nests on the State Tower Building (in Syracuse) each year eat pigeons. They dive at them going 70 miles an hour and take them out of the air."

Pigeons aren't that far removed from mourning doves.

As I type this I realize I haven't seen a bird by our feeders in a while. My showings didn't result in sales, either. My e-mails relate to future events.

It's time for tea. Bob built a fire, Koko needs to go out, and I think I'll read for a while before pizza and the SU-Georgetown game.

A snowy day.