For the past week or so, I've noticed something during my morning drives to work via Ward Parkway. Just about when I get to work - in fact, right around the corner from my office building - I’ve been noticing a very large bird of some type, perched up on top of a particular street light. The first time I saw it, I thought it was some kind of statue – it didn’t look real to me. This bird, whatever it is, seems to always be in same location each morning. The most striking thing to me is its size. It's much larger than a robin, pigeon or something along those lines. At first, I thought was some kind of owl – a very large owl, at that. But, the head didn’t look like an owl’s. From a distance, the bird looked to be a light brown, with brown and white speckles. And it looked like there was some kind of prominent beak, too. Of course, I haven't had a chance to get all that close to the bird, with my observation time limited to the length of a red light. Still, each time I approached that spot in the morning, I thought about pulling over to take a closer look; I’d never seen anything like it.
Well … once again, sometimes we’re just plain old lucky. Sometimes the things we want simply fall directly into our lap, without any effort at all.
No. The bird didn't literally fall in to my lap. But, a few days ago, about an hour after I arrived at work, a co-worker - my cubicle neighbor, actually - a very nice woman named Donna peeked over the edge of the metal divider.
“Did you see our visitor?” she smiled, pointing to the right, down the hall.
I smiled back and asked what she was talking about?
“Our visitor," she smiled." "He comes a few times a week" she added and smiled, pointing down the hall again, motioning for me to take a look.
When I turned the corner and glanced toward the window at the end of the beige file cabinet-lined hall, I saw a small group of workers gathered near the window. Their backs were to me and, clearly, they were looking at something. I leaned a bit to the right so I could see.
A familiar site. Something brown, speckled, and … large. A bird. The street light bird. Well … most probably it wasn't the same bird but …. I'm guessing it was the same species.
“Can we go look at it?” I asked.
Donna laughed. “Sure, he lets you get right up to the window. Go ahead.”
* * * * * * * * * *
What a beautiful site. I mean, it was great. I know. I know. I sound like some kind of Audubon Society fanatic. But, I mean it. I’d never seen a hawk, (that’s what Donna told me it was), this up close and personal before. He (or she?) didn’t seem to mind the five or six people staring thorough the tall glass pane. The hawk moved its head from side to side every once in awhile - sometimes staring directly at us - looking directly at him - looking directly at us.
One lesson I've learned on this Midwest journey is: “Always have my camera handy.” I walked back to my desk, unzipped my backpack and grabbed my camera. Here are two shots of the visitor.
To me, it was like being face-to-face with a bald eagle, which, clearly, I know this wasn't. Still, the talons, the beak, the self-confident perch on the railing ... It was a wonderful site. Very different from the 5,000 grackles in Texas and Oklahoma.