December 24, 2016 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on December 23, 2017

(An aside, following up from yesterday: when I wrote that Scold’s Bridle was the third Minette Walters TV adaptation I had watched, I wrongly sorted a production, Place of Execution by Val McDermid, with Minette Walters’s work. That one also had a very dark child-rape(s)-based plot…)

I’m reading This Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick. It’s basically a very expanded, anecdotally-padded version of a typical City Lab article: walking v driving, shopping locally, placemaking, making connections-community, etc. advice on how to feel “at home” where you live so you don’t keep pulling up sticks at every opportunity and moving to the next (better) place. One of Warnick’s anecdotes / studies had to do with how the happiness quotient increases if family lives nearby. I’m half-screwed there, soon fully screwed as A. will be leaving the area by year’s end. So how about friends? That’s tricky if you’re feeling out of touch with most of the people around you…

Yesterday the sun shone. A. and I took a nice long walk in the afternoon to B. Beach and then, as it was still low tide, along the beach through to C. Point. As we headed toward the ramp at the C. Point end of the beach, we came upon a huge red-tailed hawk feeding on what appeared to be a seagull carcass. It had its back to us – at any point we were at most 20 to 30 feet away – and would occasionally stamp its claws a bit to the side, both to get better leverage for when its beak dove back in to tear at the meal and also to shift its own body a bit sideways and keep an intermittent eye on us as its head swivelled in our direction. What a bird! It was really fierce-looking, and huge – like any eagle, but its red tail feathers clearly identified it as what we call a hawk. The profile: classic. We watched it for quite a while – I wondered at one point whether the black and white creature clamped below its claws was a seagull, and not, say, a cat. But the downy stuff the hawk was chucking clear did suggest feathers. Today, after last evening’s 7pm and this morning’s 7am high tides, the evidence for whatever it was will be washed away.

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