I was sitting at the kitchen table, and glanced out the windows to the back, and saw a big bird perched right on our deck railing outside. When I moved to get a closer look, s/he flew up to the trees nearby to the right, in our neighbors yard.
A few moments later, s/he flew around behind the garage, and then this bird (same one or not?) appeared walking in the grass over to our hazelnut hedge.
Finally, another bird flew from around the back, and landed in a tree to my left. A juvenile, even though it was bigger than the first one. Turned out they are Cooper’s Hawks, and they like to prey on small birds and mammals. Everyone’s got to feed their babies.
Now it is time to go outside and plant our new bushes. The ground is finally unfrozen enough to dig holes.
When we moved to our current neighborhood we were surprised and delighted to find so much natural beauty within walking distance of our home. I felt like a kid again in those first morning walk explorations of the surrounding terrain. I learned that we are nestled between small brooks that feed into Capisic Brook, and that there is a path through the woods between the brook and the Rowe (formerly Hall) school. I learned I could walk into the woods that were part of Evergreen Cemetery, up to the ponds where turtles, frogs, and birds abound.
But one treasure I wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t learned about it first, and then tried to hunt for it. It is quite hidden, except to those who are hiking on the Fore River Trail, which is just beyond my usual strolling adventures. But if you know where to find it, you can also access it off the side streets on the other side of Brighton Avenue. This is Jewell Falls, and I walked there yesterday morning. Can you imagine? A waterfall in my own neighborhood in Portland! The spring snow melt and rain gave it a great flow and the rushing sounds were like music, morning sunlight dancing to its rhythms. Gratitude.