Monday, March 17, 2008

Sometimes it's Good(?) to Miss Mom's Birthday

First off, I’m a bad son. I admit it. Yesterday was Mom’s birthday and Robin and I showed up for a visit and forgot that it was her birthday. Quickly recovering, we wished her happy B-day and made up a lame excuse that we left her present and card at home. No, my body’s internal clock is still on Day-Savings Time and I thought her birthday was tomorrw…No hurt feelings, we had nice visit watching a DVD of our two grandnieces who are growing up in Oregon.
So today we stop by the house to give Mom her belated birthday present (a can of soup and a roll of quarters – WE GAVE HER A CARD!). Not in the house two minutes my Dad yells “Cooper’s Hawk”! just as an adult Cooper’s Hawk slammed into one of the many Rock Pigeons frequenting his yard. Wow! Just outside the window in the back of the yard the hawk was standing over the stunned pigeon (unfortunately still alive). For a few sad moments we watched the pigeon struggle to get up, but seeing the blood spot on the back of the neck we knew that it would expire momentarily – which it did, thankfully. Mom grabbed her little Nikon Coolpix and Dad grabbed his Panasonic FZ7 and for the next hour we watched the hawk drag the dead pigeon out into the middle of the yard and pick it apart. It was the usual Jourdan family comedy of errors as my Dad’s trying to take videos of the bird with his camera, Mom’s in the living room uploading pictures and wanting to show me videos of the grandchildren at the same time. Robin’s behind me saying, “Wow, too bad you don’t have your scope”, “too bad you don’t have your camera”. I’m trying to watch the bird through their 50X20 binoculars while Dad is making a video. Noticing how much grunting he was doing trying to lean over the couch I offered to help take pics and videos. It was then that I also noticed the microphone was on, so while he’s yelling at me to change settings and take pictures the right way, I’m yelling back at him “You’re not my real Dad!” His retort? “Yeah, well you were adopted, but after 2 weeks we had to take you back!” Robin’s just laughing at us both while rolling her eyes.

It was fascinating to watch nature’s terrible beauty at work just few feet away. When you see one up close you wonder how it is we find it so difficult to tell a Cooper’s from a Sharp-shinned Hawk. They are a huge bird! Thick neck and those fierce, orange eyes get your attention. At one point another pigeon flew in and started picking away at seed unaware of the drama occurring a few feet away. While the pigeon worked its way toward the motionless hawk I kept Dad’s camera poised on the hawk, wondering if it would abandon one meal for a second. In an instant, however, the pigeon became aware of its own mortality and practically exploded as it flew away to safety. So, even though I may have forgotten’s Mom’s birthday, I got the chance to spend some quality time with both the folks and the birds. Happy Birthday, Mom! And you too, Therese!
Just a quick note: the images shown have been modified via a dry-brush filter to reduce the somewhat gruesomeness of the photos, which were a bit harsh from the standpoint of subject matter and camera settings...

1 comment:

Don and Sheryl said...

We learned the hard way, the wife and I never go anywhere without our cameras and now that we are into digiscoping we will probably leave that right in the car.

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