Circle of Life…

May 10, 2011 § 10 Comments

(Hawk on the column…accidental picture of sorts…)

We were having a Saturday morning cup of coffee. HM usually sleeps in. But not today. He was destined to say, “Hey, look at the hawk on the fence column.  That IS a hawk, right?”
I grabbed my camera. We often use it for an “identifying” tool.
I snapped away, commenting that said Hawk was shifting his weight from foot to foot and looking around. Just what was he up to?
(Note here that HM and I both wear glasses for long distance, but NOT while we’re drinking coffee.)

And so Hawk stuck around for a few minutes, at least enough time for me to snap nearly a dozen pictures.
Oh, innocent I was, not seeing what was right under my nose.

It wasn’t ’til he flew off and we examined the pictures, zooming in on them to see his markings that we saw the cause for his shifty little feet and furtive glances. The rotter.

I panicked, thinking of Archie and his million-member squirrel family and String, the rabbit and his many progeny. I hoped neither family was one member short following Hawk’s hunt.

I like the circle of life thing better when it’s Elton John singing and animated characters holding darling lion cubs up to an appreciative crowd of kin.

And then there’s this, which we cannot allow. 
This picture,  for all its truth and final impact on the photographer itself, will more likely bring you to tears.  We  can say that this image, taken some time back,  is old, that “that was then” but we know it’s Now and always Somewhere. And we have to keep trying,we have  to help one another in ways great and small. We have to feed one another.


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§ 10 Responses to Circle of Life…

  • RL says:

    Food chain is good to be on top of….Rough planet this, as Rod Serling might say: “1/2 to heaven and 1/2 way to hell”. Great photo- Audobon would love a look, betcha…..

  • shoreacres says:

    The relationship of hawk and prey is natural, part of the way things are meant to be. While the vulture can’t be blamed for his nature – in fact, he performs a tremendous service for us – the unbalance, the unnaturalness of that other photo is obvious.

    When I worked in Liberia the mortality rate in the under-fives still was around 50 percent. Measles, malaria and malnutrition – every one of them completely preventable. There have been advances, of course. One of the best is PlumpyNut – have you heard of it? Truly a miracle food for malnourished children, though it’s best administered with some education and changes in surrounding social structures on the side.

    I often watch osprey while I’m at work. The bring their fish to the top of a mast and deal with them exactly as your hawk is dispatching his prey. Neat and tidy. They do often whistle and sing. I can’t help but smile at their happiness when they have a meal.

  • Arti says:

    The circle of life, or the food chain, it sounds natural but when you actually come across such an activity like you’ve captured here, it’s ‘cruel’ to look at, isn’t it? Just like those National Geographic films showing wild animals killing off and eating up one another… I agree with you oh, I’d rather watch The Lion King and listen to Sir Elton’s composition… and which that, I can see how far off we are from the natural world.

  • bronxboy55 says:

    I am also enthralled with every aspect of nature — except the one in which this animal rips that animal to shreds and eats it, still warm and bleeding. I always find myself asking why it had to be that way. The picture of the starving child arouses the same question, and anger. For all of our progress, this situation seems to have grown worse.

    Thank you for this post, oh.

  • shoreacres says:

    I think cruelty includes intentionality. There’s nothing “cruel” about a hawk snatching a song bird or field mouse for its supper. It doesn’t mean to inflict pain or humiliation, or extract revenge. It’s hungry, and it needs to eat. So, it hunts.

    I think we’ve become so removed from nature we sometimes sentimentalize it rather than understanding it. After all – our food doesn’t come from the grocery store. We’ve only removed ourselves so far from the source we don’t understand that we’re still the hunter.

    What is cruel is the human desire to tinker with nature without understanding. I can’t find the story, but there was an attempt somewhere – maybe ten years ago – to make it illegal to hunt those cute little deer. In 3-4 years, they had a terrible mess on their hands. With no hunting, the population exploded and deer were dying of starvation because there wasn’t habitat enough to support them. The balance of nature is real, and we mess with it at our peril.

  • Bella Rum says:

    Yes, the hawks dinner is the natural course. Not so with the child in the photograph, but it’s not only war that places the lives of children in peril.

    I wrote a post about PlumpyNut a few years ago. It’s a wonderful product. Not only are children dying of starvation, they are thirsting to death and dying from diarrhea as water becomes more scarce in certain regions. They drink where they can find water, and it’s often contaminated.

    Diarrhea is easily curable and nothing more than a nuisance in developed nations. There are only a handful of organisms that are the culprits. Rotavirus is the most common and we have a vaccine for it, yet it continues to kill children. I’m not sure why we don’t hear more about the world water crisis here in the states. It’s all oil all the time here, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about water soon.

  • jeanie says:

    The day Stimpy made his transition from outdoor cat to inside only — unless he was on a leash — was the day I saw him savoring cardinal behind the bushes — and then tossing his cookies — or his cardinal — on the kitchen floor. I know it’s the circle of life, but I don’t want to think of Archie or any of the neighborhood critters as part of it.

  • aubrey says:

    When it comes to approaching and dealing with wildlife, so many people are fools.

    When I watch the ‘Nature’ documentaries, I know when to avert my eyes(‘no! don’t kill the bunny!’ ‘oh, leave that sea lion alone!’ ‘run, deer, run!’). Nature is a brutal lady, but her rules must be respected.

    Except for domestic cats, bless them. The one living near my apartment has a penchant for killing birds. And doing nothing else with them.

  • well for all I’m an ecologist and understand the interconnectedness of living things and the necessity for little cute things to be eaten by larger often not so cute things, it still upsets me to see it happen

  • Corri says:

    Oh how awful but it is nature, isn’t it? The wonderful thing is you had me absolutely hooked with the telling of the story! Great.

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