Think too much (c)

29 November, 2015            Think too much (c)

Today’s title thanks to my old buddy KD, who introduced me to Paul Simon, and the songs Think too much (a) and Think too much (b). KD is for some reason inordinately fond of (b); I’ve never learned why. But listen to about the first 30 seconds of (b). Discernible in the background is a soft mewling sound, either a little baby or a goat or a sheep. Since I’ve known him (for fifteen years), KD has understood things I have not. And I suspect he understands something about those sounds that I do not.

See? Think too much. Perfect example. He probably just likes the song.

Thanksgiving afternoon just before 4:00 Evelyn and I walked out of the house to get in the car. We were headed to my brother’s house in Doswell for our family Thanksgiving. Between our front door and the car, a Red-tail swooped over our heads and landed on the chimney of the house across the street. The light is poor but the subject matter is unmistakable:

Neighborhood Red-tail, consuming a fresh caught mouse on Thanksgiving Day

Neighborhood Red-tail, consuming a fresh caught mouse on Thanksgiving Day

That’s what initially had me thinking too much. Because it was automatic to say “that hawk sure had a great Thanksgiving meal.” Less automatic (thinking too much) was my thought about the mouse’s Thanksgiving. Or the mouse’s family. I read recently in one of my books – I’ll see if I can find it – that human rules simply don’t apply in nature. There is no remorse. If you’re hungry, you eat. No vegetarian hawks. Another animal dies or you do – very simple. Same fortunate hawk, same unfortunate mouse:

Nothing is wasted

Nothing is wasted

Part of my thinking too much was that we’re mammals and we have a bird for Thanksgiving; Red-tails are birds and this one had a mammal for Thanksgiving. They sure don’t think too much – I’m quite confident.

Our Thanksgiving – my family’s – was much more conventional. My brother Kevin and his wife Jenny and their daughters host a superb Thanksgiving gathering every November. Usually around twenty of us get together at their home. Regrettably, I didn’t take any pictures. They make place markers for everyone each year. Here’s Evie’s and mine from this year and one previous year:

Thanksgiving place settings - so excellent

Hand made Thanksgiving place settings – so excellent

Ev got a lovely Thanksgiving bouquet from her family; it’s the centerpiece of our dining room table:

Blazing bouquet - photo credit goes to Evelyn:

Blazing bouquet – photo credit goes to Evelyn:

After having my bicycle in the shop for way too long (my fault, not theirs), I got out for a nice ride Saturday with Pat. We got out to Maidens and stopped at our favorite place for honey:

We ALWAYS love a fresh bottle of honey

We ALWAYS love a fresh bottle of honey

Some friends have mentioned I see more hawks than average. Which for some reason is true. I mentioned to one friend that I have a long-standing interest in Red-tails. Even back – documented – to my high school days. This is an excerpt for a journal I kept for a high school English class in 1977. I was sixteen years old:

Red-tail hawk poem excerpt from a journal I kept 38 years ago (!)

Red-tail hawk poem excerpt from a journal I kept 38 years ago (!)

The poem was Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers, 1938. I was sixteen in 1977 when I made that journal entry, and deeply interested in hawks, although not to the extent I am today.

Winter is creeping closer; next week’s blog entry will be on December 6! I’m looking forward to it; it’s a relaxing time. Come back next week! All best,


PS I’m planning a few more add-on sections (the kind I normally put below here in bold) in the coming weeks. They’re my favorite part of blogs! Except of course for photography.

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Flowers, Fun, raptors, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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