02 October 2007


I hear it as I work, high-pitched, excited.

The only other sound to break the monotony of homestyle silence is someone's gardener attacking the street with a blower.

I work on, suppressing rage and frustration. Some days are just like this.

The call comes again.

I'm fairly certain I recognize the sound. I saw them last week giving as good as they got while a crow harried them.

Once more, the cry, loud and long.

I have to look.

Outside, I scan the October sky. A mild Santa Ana started yesterday, so the air is clear and warm, slightly breezy. The call sounded from the north, but I see nothing that direction. I turn, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, looking along the horizon, 270 degrees, but nothing.

Slowly, I move my eyes further upward, and there they are, a pair of redtail hawks, almost directly above my head, gliding along the thermals in slow dipping circles. One outspread tail flashes red, and as the other enters the sun's corona, it becomes a glowing chevron, blazing crimson along wings and tail. They rise higher and higher, flying ever closer to the sun, the scarlet and copper of their feathers shooting flame into the blue of the sky.

Go listen to some good music: "Phoenix" from the album Phoenix by Dan Fogelberg.