Since coming home from our road trip, I have noticed a marked decrease in my backyard birdie population. I suspected a hawk was the reason. And today, sure enough, while sitting out back I saw one swoop through the backyard scattering the few birds that were at the feeders. Later in the day, the hawk flew in again and perched on an oak across from me for a few minutes. It is huge. I believe this is a juvenile Cooper’s hawk. Cooper’s hawks and sharp-shinned hawks, both accipiters, are very hard to distinguish from one another. Based on field guidance I’ve read online (e.g., here, here, here and here), the overall size, head shape, tail shape, thick legs, and breast streaking lead me to lean towards a Cooper’s ID. Either way, it’s a beautiful bird, but I wish it would find another yard to terrorize. I miss my abundance of birdies.
We returned last night after our extended Eclipse 2017 trip; we took the opportunity to visit family in the area while we were up there. We drove 19 hours straight across five states, and got home a little after midnight. We wanted to get home to check on things, given Hurricane Harvey’s arrival the night before. I’m thankful that the only bad thing so far is that our power is out. I’ve no idea how long it will take to restore. But it’s not a big deal for us; it’s nice to be home.
This is a view of the sunset from the highway outside Dallas last night. I’m praying for the folks on the Texas gulf coast and southeast part of the state.
It’s been busy here for the last month or so. We had several nieces under our roof and at the lake with us this past week, which was a joy for me. Good visits, good fun and lots of laughs were had. But they are now back in their respective places living their exciting young lives. As for me, I’m committed to relaxing for the rest of this week. Last night I joined some friends for girls’ night out at Alcomar in south Austin. I enjoyed it.
PROs: Tasty tapa-ish seafood dishes. Happy hour from 3-6pm every day. And their own parking lot on S 1st!
Tonight we made it to the last concert in this year’s Blues on the Green free concert series at Austin’s lovely Zilker Park. Bright Light Social Hour was the headliner. We joined Lori and Doray, who have made it to every show this year. They’re professionals; they have the parking/tailgating/setup thing down. We got downtown early, went for a swim in Barton Springs Pool and then headed over to the Great Lawn to set up our chairs and share some nibblies before the show.
I enjoyed the night very much. Temps were in the 80s!! How lucky was that?!
I helped my friend, Lori, unpack boxes from her recent move to a new home in South Austin yesterday. The first thing we unpacked were the wine glasses, because she greeted me with a can of wine, one of her latest finds, a lovely rosé made by The Infinite Monkey Theorem, an urban winery that’s located just down the street from her new place. Kinda fun and not bad! I can see this on the boat in my future. 🙂
We spent the weekend on the lake — floating with Marty & Sue, and doing some boat chores. I got up at 1 AM and 3:30 AM early Sunday morning to try to see meteors from the Perseids shower, but didn’t spot any. We went for a fun sail late on Sunday afternoon in some good north winds. The cold front that they brought in will drop our temps into the frosty mid-nineties for a change this week. 🙂