Earlier in the year, I wrote about “our” Red-tailed hawk carrying off what I had hoped was a venomous snake (https://havensideals.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/hawk/). I had nothing to do with aiding Hawk with its meal that day; however, Thursday evening I helped Hawk find its dinner.
There is a section of our 13 acre yard that hasn’t been mowed since July 2010. The sage brush, fallen over fescue grass, and the unidentifiable 4 feet tall weeds were HORRIFIC. However, our AWESOME New Holland TC40D tractor chugged through the section and mowed quite well. About an hour into mowing I was getting ready to round a corner, and I saw a huge bird light on the ground about 20 feet from me and the tractor. It was Hawk! It looked right at me, pecked on the ground, and flapped up to one of the Pin Oak trees that line our driveway. I could tell that in its talon it had what appeared to be a field rat. I had seen all sorts of rats, mice, and rabbits scurry as I had been mowing. I had kind of forgotten about my live “bird of prey nature scene”, but as I was headed to the barn after mowing, Hawk sat up in a Black Walnut tree eyeing my work. I humored myself by waving and saying, “You’re welcome!” (Seriously, I was glad to help). ;o)
Starting Saturday….more of our October 2011 Cruise!
No matter how hard I try, there is about a month every April and May when I don’t get the fields mowed. It’s usually because we have so much rain in those months, and the tractor would bog down in the mud (well, it’s a good excuse anyway!). During those two months, the fescue grass grows rapidly and reaches over 3 feet! When the ground gets dry enough, I begin to mow, and it takes about a month to get the grass back down to a decent height. Although it takes the mower about twice as long and the mower pushes half the grass down instead of mowing it, there is a fun and enjoyable event almost a tradition if you will: The barn swallows mow with me.
It happened last year as well, and I had forgotten until Thursday. I was mowing, and suddenly I saw a barn swallow zipping past me to the left then dipping in front of the tractor. In a few seconds, I saw two swallows flying around. In about 15 minutes, I counted four swallows circling about. It was like “Barn Swallow Circus”. The best thing I can hypothesize is that my cutting the tall grass stirs up all sorts of insects and as the insects begin to fly, the swallows begin to feast! Several times, a particular swallow came within 10 feet of the tractor in a playful manner as if to be saying “Thank you!” It was so cute, and I enjoyed mowing with my avian buddies.