Aug 4 2010

The Determined Harris’s Hawk

Melissa Crytzer Fry

This morning’s treat (or should I say, ‘startle’) was two Harris’s hawks that I inadvertently came upon while jogging.

This Harris's Hawk (photographed on our property) serves as the "lookout man" while his partner hunts below. Click to enlarge.

They were nestled down under some trees as I approached, both of them shooting up from their hiding place and each sending me a harsh “irrr” warning. When they didn’t fly away, but circled back around and perched on the telephone pole, I realized I had probably interrupted their hunting.

When I came back down the hill, only one was on the telephone pole – probably acting as a sentry for the other on the ground. They do hunt in pairs or trios, flushing out their prey.

At any rate, their undeterred nature – even with me running by twice AND coming back to take a photo – was admirable. It was actually inspiration for me as I continue along the “becoming-a-published-novelist” path. Undeterred by agent rejections (and some nice nibbles), I say, “Onward to novel No. 2. Onward with the agent search.”

Aug 1 2010

Visitors @ my Window

Melissa Crytzer Fry

Like many writers, I have cats (at least it seems that authors have cats … I could be wrong, making such a blanket statement). So, when I heard a “thud” at the window, I assumed it was one of my furry kids batting at a bug or fly that had somehow gotten into the house.

When both cats appeared from opposite sides of the room, running toward the window, I was a bit puzzled. I knew something had collided with the glass doors, but it didn’t sound like the typical “bird-on-window” echo. To my delight, I looked out and saw two baby rock squirrels zipping around.

One of two baby rock squirrels visiting at my writing window, this little guy stretches up to eat some mesquite leaves. Click to enlarge.

Rock squirrels are the equivalent of the common squirrel throughout the U.S., only they burrow in the ground and have a grayish/silver sheen, as seen above. While I think they are adorable, they were responsible for ‘stealing’ the very first cherry tomatoes I ever grew in the desert! Very thrifty little fellows!

They played outside long enough to allow me to photograph them. One even came back the next day to play with my girl, Niña – about four different times. I was lucky enough to capture this event on video, as seen below: