Monthly Archives

November 2012

Minimally Magical Vacations

Avon, North Carolina, Fishing Pier.
Another planet.

I have high expectations for vacations. It’s not just the expenditure of time and money: my expectancy is rooted in the gargantuan effort required to disengage from a deeply embedded daily grind. Success is clicking through photos for weeks afterward and fantasizing about how to make [insert holiday spot] our new home: quit the day job, write the best selling novel, buy an Airstream and live a hippy existence creating coffee-table books about hippies who retire early and earn a living creating coffee-table books. 
But us, we crawled through traffic accidents coming and going through DC, were trapped for hours in over-the-top holiday congestion, hit snow squalls the last 80 miles – all after holidaying tactlessly amid the gloomy residual of a hurricane. Boo-hoo us.
Dunes at sun-up.
So I guess the upside of a minimally magical vacation is that I returned feeling grateful for my humble home, for a short-ish daily commute, for The Girl and her Gracious BFF who did not complain when stuffed for unplanned hours inside a small car, for The Husband who can drive on and on in white-out conditions when a lesser man would have succumbed to the safety of the next rest stop, and for the fact that we’re not traveling again over long distances any time soon.

If I have anything to say about it.

Thanksgiving, 2012

Hawk in the Hen Yard

Monkeys before the Monolith.
Camouflaged…until it snows.

As the weather turns cold a most unwelcome visitor is transgressing the boundaries of our yard: an adolescent red-tailed hawk.  I’m slow to the window so it’s still a streak in my periphery but The Husband has seen it perch on the deck rail just feet from henhouse and high in the tree bough overhanging the hen yard. Silently sighting in our girls.
Hedwig Whoolio Mac Owlton
It is just a young thing now but what I know about young things is that they grow up fast. If a full grown hawk can carry off a rabbit a fat chicken is most certainly within its weigh limit capabilities and come winter, when easy prey are difficult for that hawk to spot under the protective blanket of snow, our hen yard will look like a free-range buffet.
Did you know Great Horned Owls are natural predators of Red Tailed Hawks? Let’s see if the installation of Hedwig Whoolio Mac Owlton precludes young Hawkeyed Joe from thinning out our flock this winter. 
Owl Sentry
Lilac The Rooster giving the stink eye