Saturday, December 10, 2005

Blood on the Snow

Perhaps the only good thing about this prolonged cold, snowy spell is that the ground is perfect for cross-country skiing on the paths around our farm. Yesterday while taking my first slippery jaunt out the orchard path, I found evidence of a murder. But I didn't need those squinty-eyed guys from a TV crime-solving show to pick through clues for me. I was on the case.

Here's what I saw beneath the stand of Virginia pines on the west side of our house, where the lawn meets the edge of the old orchard. Mourning dove feathers and a bit of blood. Something violent definitely happened here. That's when I remembered the hawk....

I'd seen (and photographed badly) a medium-sized hawk first thing in the morning, perched in those same pines, just above the crime scene. I clicked on frame and the bird flew. I initially thought it was a red-shouldered hawk, but after finding the blood and feathers, and looking more closely at my photograph, I'm pretty certain that my bird (and the perpetrator) is a Cooper's hawk.

Detective Zickefoose confirmed my theory. It's too bad for the modo, but hawks have to eat just like doves.

It reminds me of that scene in (my favorite Western) The Outlaw Josey Wales, where, after a gunfight, the young sidekick says "Josey, ain't we a-gonna bury them fellers?" And Josey (Clint Eastwood in his best role ever) spits some chaw juice out and says: "Nope, buzzards gotta eat same as worms."


At 1:40 PM, Blogger Zickefoose said...

Your theory makes sense, Grasshopper.


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