Scraps and Ramblings – Hawks and perches

This time of year it is not surprising to come into our driveway and see a hawk ascending from its place of observation. We have much that the  hawkdom world relishes... gatherings of hungry  flittering  songbirds around the feeder...several lofts of  homing pigeons  filled with pigeons anxiously cocking their heads left and right so they can look upward to see if they are on the hawks menu. They have anxious   paralyzing stares behind their wired aviary protection . Then there is John, our huge Buff Orpington rooster with  his harem of five hens  parading place to place and pausing to scratch and disturb the seeming secure base of the leaf covered bug sanctuary.  Yes,  the hawks have much to tantalize  their instincts. We have  mostly Cooper's,  sharps- shined, and red tails...all intent of satisfying their pangs of hunger...usually successfully and with some feathered creature  I  find dear. There was one enormous  hawk a couple of days ago that flew ahead of me right at dusk... it was entirely out of my knowledge base .. gray.... It was the largest I have ever seen and its swoop made be glad that i was not his list of edibles.

The one that rose as we drove in yesterday afternoon was a red tail... a very large red tail. ..the kind you often see sitting on  telephone poles  as you drive down the interstate.  I wasn't sure it was a red tail so I took  my ever ready binoculars and went to check it out...sure enough it was a red tail. Then something happened that I had never seen before.  As I was viewing it through the binoculars, another even larger red tail came swooping in binoculars' round view. It simply and convincingly  knocked the first hawk  from its perch. It wasn't a gentle  nudge... I fully expected to see the first bird do fluttering a death dive.   I actually do not mind red tails. They prey on mostly rodents...  and as I surprisingly observed very territorial ...even with their own.... they totally do not like Coopers. Those killers  are the stealth weapon hawks... slender... sleek... quick and maneuverable..can fly thorough a tree at mach 1...and their diet is birds..cardinals and  juncos and my favorite , chickadees...and yes,  pigeons. Why they are protected is a puzzle to me.  I am reminded of the Lion King when the hyenas are "protected" by Fang.

So you ask what's the point? Well, these two red tails brought  the current round of GOP Presidential  primaries to mind.. once a bird gets on a perch another one  comes charging in and pops it right off... seems to be a battle of attrition...are we more interested in the squabble ...the perch knocking.... than we are in the worthiness  of various  perch holders?  I will predict that Mitt will be the final king of the perch, but at what expense... both in treasure and  the felicity of the party? We seem to have accumulated  an abundance of negative energy... of myopic  one issue thinking ... of simplistic pigeon hole labeling.... none of which will grow a party... or a country... just a lot of perch knocking.    We Republicans  are the party of Lincoln....what would he say?

"The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject any thing, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more of evil than of good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost every thing ... is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded."             Abraham Lincoln,  June, 1848


Don-- January 9, 2012