This morning I was having trouble getting started on an exercise program. So I just put on my shoes, my sweatshirt, and walked out the door. I walked to the end of the street and turned left. I walked along the paved path beside the canal system.
I walked up twenty feet from a small hawk sitting on the fence along the way. As I drew closer the hawk flew across the canal thirty feet away and landed on the fence on the other side.
It was exciting to see the hawk. I know that they are ruthless raptors that prey on other birds. I have seen this ruthlessness first hand when I saw a sparrowhawk eating another bird in my backyard a couple of years ago. Although I do not encourage ruthlessness, I respect the bird for it powerful and simple success in doing one thing and doing that one thing to perfection. I often wish that I could see my life with similar straightforward simplicity.
I have read that sparrowhawks also eat small rodents. I guess that if prey is scarce, a sparrowhawk might eat anything.
There is an owl’s nest along the walk I took today. I wonder how many city dwellers live among birds of prey and are not aware of that these birds exist. I have heard this owl screech from its nest at night. I know that this owl eats rodents, because I have seen the bony remains of rodents under the owl’s nest.
As I walked further, I passed a neighbor who was cutting up small branches from a tree in his yard. It has recently turned fall. We had a strong wind a few days ago. I am guessing that the neighbor was cleaning up his yard.
The leaves on some of the trees have turned yellow and gold. The temperature was around sixty. There was not a cloud or even a trace of a cloud anywhere.
A plane passed overhead. I could not see it, but I could tell from the sound of the engine that the plane was at a level and inbound for a landing. I know that it was inbound. I never see outbound flights overhead in this area.
While walking the other night with a friend, I learned something that probably everyone on earth knows, but was news to me.
In the Northern Hemisphere, a waxing moon appears as a “D.” A waning moon appears as a “C.” On this night, the bright moon formed a solid D or perhaps a white half of pie.
My friend also taught me that as the moon rotates around the earth, the bright reflection of the sun on the surface of the moon shifts from the right side across to the left side. Picture the full moon: ” Ο.” As the full moon wanes, the earth slices a slightly larger crescent out of right side of that reflection each day until the earth eclipses the moon’s surface into darkness. Then as the moon continues to rotate around the earth, the slices of reflection begin to reappear on the moon on the right side.
The phases of the moon to us in the Northern Hemisphere kind of look like the following.
D Waxing Quarter Moon
(] Waning Quarter Moon.
( Waning Moon.
Getting started exercising can seem difficult. Yet just walking though is so rewarding. The best way to exercise is to just to start exercising. I am truly blessed that I can just walk out my front door so easily, get the exercise of a run or a walk, and learn so much as I walk along.
Image: Stephen Johnson/Flickr