Red-Shouldered Hawk–Setting and Description

Drying my hands on the vintage-style towel, I left the kitchen with dinner’s simmering, potato leek soup on the stove,  sending curlicues of steamy aroma into the air, and headed toward the bedroom to make the bed.  A mundane chore but one I did daily…I couldn’t stand a rumpled bed. 

Passing through the living room, I asked my husband if he would keep an ear out for a “boil over”.

“Richard, could you keep an eye on the soup for me; I’ll be back in a few minutes.”  He was sitting on the sofa scanning the day’s newspaper while keeping one ear tuned to the news on the television. 

“Sure,” he mumbled absentmindedly. 

The newscaster’s voice trailed behind me as I headed down the hall…”Another homicide victim discovered…” 

As I entered the bedroom, my eyes followed the path from the sliding glass door to the birdfeeder hanging under the Bay Laurel tree. A small gasp escaped and my eyes widened at the sight of the Red-Shouldered Hawk standing beneath the feeder.  Even though I’ve seen them numerous times, their sheer size and impressive vocals always astonish me. Positioning myself on the edge of the bed, after quickly making it, I had a clear view to watch her every move.

She stood nearly a foot and a half tall, her yellow and black, hooked beak and quick, black eyes were standard for this species of hawk.  I identified her further by the ruddy brown on the breast and shoulders and the barred tail.  The females are larger than the males and I was sure that this large one must be a female.  I studied her for ten minutes, lost in fascination, while she casually groomed herself… until I heard Richard calling me.

“Where are you, what are you doing!” 

“I’m coming,” I shouted, jumping up and hurrying towards the living room.  “Wait until I tell you what I just saw!”

Write2Day–Setting and Description:

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  1. Androgoth

     /  January 5, 2012

    This is a real treat Gayle and thank you for offering such a fine story, I have enjoyed it immensely my great friend 🙂

    have a wonderful Friday and as the weekend beckons,
    I wish you a very peaceful and incredibly sweet weekend also 🙂

    Androgoth XXx


    • I’m so glad you found it enjoyable…very happy about that. It was for a writing prompt by Victoria…she has wonderful ideas for helping us hone our writing skills.

      I appreciate your kind sweetness and peaceful wishes for my weekend. Many thanks… 🙂


  2. Very good. The detail of the hawk was spot on. The brief comment on hubby was enough to give a full visual. And, yes, i’ll have some soup please! 🙂


  3. Wonderfully descriptive write, Gayle. I was right with you. I’m fortunate to see hawks often and they just take your breath away. American Indians see them as the “messenger.” When I see one I try to pay attention to what’s going on in my life at the moment. This is a beautiful response to the prompt…thank you!


    • Those hawks are something else…I suppose because they are so much larger than our regular little backyard birds. And I do believe they have a special something about them… I like the Native American thinking about animals…they are very aware of the spirits within and their meaning to the world. I’m paying attention too!


  4. Sheila Moore

     /  January 6, 2012

    How cool! Both the bird and your story.


  5. I love how you describe the hawk, the bird feeder and was really drawn in and then Richard called and whoa! Cool effect, being snapped out of one imaginary scene into another.


  6. there is nothing more enchanting than a surprise beauty showing up in your garden 🙂


    • That’s the way I feel when they show up…enchanted..great word! Thanks, Trisha. So very happy to have you come by. 🙂


  7. Loved this, Gayle! You did such a tremendous job of drawing the reader so deeply into the scene, I could picture it as I read. We get hawks around the bird feeders here, too…mostly red-tails, every once in awhile a kestrel and some short winged hawks, too. I grew up with them being close (step dad was a falconer) and have never lost my fascination with them. I do feel sorry for the song birds they snatch 😦 but I know the hawks have to eat, too. Anyway, this was a talented write!


    • I would love to see a kestrel…I know they’re around my area but I’ve never seen one. Hawks are common in our neighborhoods but they’re so imposing..I do get lost looking at them.

      Yeah, sometimes I’ll find a little pile of (usually) dove feathers (they’re slow) on the ground and know that they probably got “snatched”. That’s the way of nature…everyone has to eat don’t they.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this, Corina–thanks.


  8. You had me fascintaed on this one, Gayle. I took a moment with you, knowing what you were watching as I watch the hawks, here. There is one who flies above me at a friends place in the country, also, as I sit and paint. Loved the ending! 🙂


    • I never tire of watching them. And sometimes they do hang around a while so I can get a good view…I usually grab my binoculars too!

      Thanks for enjoying my writing, Leslie…I appreciate that. 🙂


  9. It is always a treat when you write your stories. You did a fabulous job with the prompt that Victoria gave. It was captivating to be walking with you as you went from room to room. Delicious potatoe leek soup, it is one of my favorites to eat. YUM … I’ll be over tonight … the perfect thing to eat on these cooler evenings. I’ll bring the crusty bread. LOLOL
    Hugs and Toodles,
    Izzy xoxoxo


    • Thanks, Izzy–that’s so kind of you to say so. I loved your very beautifully sensitive story too.

      Come on over…bring the bread! Would love to have you any time. Honestly, if you’re ever up this way, let me know, and we’ll meet and have a meal! Hugs…xoxo


  10. will do ….



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