Monday, April 26, 2010

Unexpected Jewels

Little jewel surprises at Cloverdale Nursery this morning. Black Hills spruce cones.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Whats missing?

What the ...
A bad omen has appeared at the Nursery. Last year, a pair of Swainson's Hawks were nesting in a big, old Black Locust tree, across a busy street in someone's yard, in a subdivision. It is the site of an old farm house.The house had been recently renovated, but it looked like these hawks had nested in this tree since the days when there was open farmland all around. Now they are urban hawks, hunting in the tree farm and fields about a mile away. They showed up on their spring migration from Argentina or somewhere, just about the same day I returned to work.I heard the light-phase pair, way up high before I could see them, on a bright spring day with a strong south wind.

I did not notice it right away. Something was amiss as I watched the hawks flying around the nursery and neighborhood in a confused manner. Then I saw it, or rather didn't see it. The nest tree was gone. There was a big gaping hole in the tree line across the street. Sometime this winter, the owners had that tree removed.The male sat in one of his hunting trees, staring at the emptiness all day yesterday. I felt sorry for him and his mate. "What the hell are we going to do now?"I could imagine him saying to himself. Nesting sites for hawks are getting squeezed out of the environment around here at an alarming rate.Will they try to re-build in one of the younger trees on the same lot? Or will they vacate this very marginal territory and try to find a new place where there is not already an established pair of Swainsons or red-tails. That would be tough.If they leave, I will be sad for their absence in my daily work place.

They were very entertaining to watch, especially when they were hunting fledgling birds in the nursery and when their young were making their first clumsy flights. Should I go over and ask the people why they took the tree away? Did they dislike the hawks?An old Black Locust can be a miserable tree to have in a manicured yard, so I guess I can see why they might have wanted it gone. At least it was removed when the hawks were gone for the winter. Just imagine how terrible it would be to return home from a long trip to find your house gone. It bothers me anyway.
Expect updates on these birds. I am curious to see just what they do. I am also watching a pair of red-tails whose old nest blew down in a wind recently. They seem to be re-building.
Current Location: Cloverdale Nursery
Current Mood: distressed
Current Music: Their conversations in the sky