December 28 – Cold, Cruel, Beautiful

I am looking out my home office window and watching in fascinated horror as a Northern Goshawk rips off feathers and pulls out bloody morsels from one of the male Mallards that was just minutes ago eating grain in our snowy backyard. I am trying to see it from the Goshawk’s point of view as I watch the terrible, riveting sight. For almost an hour, the Goshawk has feasted, twice spreading its wings to mantle the duck as a raven flew over, and then a few Mallards actually came down for a few seconds before they saw the Goshawk and fled in terror. The Goshawk flew away when I went outside, and immediately four Common Ravens circled low, looking for leftovers, but I bagged the remains so I could let our dog go out in the yard. Maybe at least for tonight I’ll have a completely vegetarian meal. This is the way Nature is, but oh my goodness, it’s hard to take when it’s so up close and personal!

The pictures below are a small sampling of the zillions of pictures that I took, with the last sets of photos taken through the outside steps because the Goshawk had moved the prey to a different location from the initial kill site.

 

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