Sunday, November 25, 2012

Watching You Like a Hawk

My normal route to work includes many country roads. Since crops have long been harvested, the land is wide open, and you can see for miles. Lately, I have noticed several red-tailed hawks on my drives. Sometimes I see hawks perched on fence posts, and many times they are perched on tree branches, road signs or power poles. It doesn’t really matter where I spot these giant birds of prey, they are an awesome site, and they always seem to be keeping an eye on me.

These regal looking birds, comprised of earthy colored feathers, are easy to spot by their characteristic dark red lower tail feathers. The red is a bright contrast to the rest of this bird’s brown and white body. Even though these hawks are quite common, I always enjoy seeing them. Most days on my work commute, I drive by one farm and see the same hawk watching me. It’s nice to know that another creature is watching over me, as I speed around, trying to make it from place to place on time.

While writing this, I am signing new edition Rachel Raccoon and Sammy Skunk books at a gallery that showcases the work of many local artists. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and there is a nice crowd of people walking around and looking at beautiful paintings, photographs, pottery, wood working, and other forms of art. The dulcimer display across the room from me is popular with the children, as the kids are allowed to play music on one of the demonstration models.

Working in the conservation field for my day job, I enjoy being around beautiful artwork when I get the chance. When I am doing book events, it’s fun to talk to people who stop by to look at my books, and I usually have interesting conversations. I may spend 10 or 15 minutes talking to people who share a common interest, or maybe we have a connection of knowing some of the same people.  

As an author of children’s books, I feel it is important to be able to converse well with people one on one or in front of larger audiences, if you wish to promote and sell books.  Luckily I enjoy talking to people, even if I’ve never met them before. Having a book event in a small community that is also a tourist destination draws an interesting mix of people. Some visitors are local, and some are tourists from other towns and states, especially during a holiday weekend.
I wrapped up a successful day of selling books and talking to interesting people. On my drive home, I encountered another beautiful red-tailed hawk, and it made me feel like someone was looking out for me and guiding me safely home. 


  1. They are beautiful, aren't they? It sounds like Manitoba (Canadian prairies) has very similar flora and fauna to you (Illinois). If I have the map straight in my head, that would be south east of Manitoba - quite far too! Anyways, we used to see red-tailed hawks all the time too.

    Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop! :D

  2. Hawks are awesome, and we are starting to see more and more bald eagles! I just wrote a blog post about my recent eagle sightings but will wait a few days to post it. I am in awe of those birds and love seeing them.