|Photo copyright Aji, 2015; all rights reserved.|
It ceased for about three hours, then resumed for a while; stopped again, and now a light and feathery dusting is again falling from the sky.
It's been a strange two days here: a deep quiet, not quite a void of sound, but a sense that all noise has been enveloped so thoroughly that its voice can simply no longer be heard.
The horses and dogs have loved it, alternating between episodes of running through the drifts for the sheer joy of it and resting silently, as though unwilling to disturb the earth's mute watch.
The birds are a bit less enamored of it, the chickens mostly content to stay in their free-range coop, the wild birds simply grateful for the contents of the feeder.
One, however, paid us a visit, albeit from a distance: Gegek, Hawk. In this case, a Red-Tail; from appearances, the female of our pair, who is the larger of the two. Their nest seems to be in the stand of trees across the road, near where she sits in the photo above, but they do spend time here on our land, hunting prey among the chamisa and sage. One of them flew overhead a few days ago, harried by ravens protecting their nest on our side of the highway.
She sat there watching me, mucking out the horses' pens in a near-foot of snow. I went to get the camera, hoping she wouldn't decide to leave. I needn't have worried; she stayed in place for me to get a dozen shots, then remained while I finished my work.
As though she sat her own vigil atop the outstretched arms of the ancient wooden guardian, beneath a gray and lowering sky.
In some cultures, they are escorts.
Here, she's a friend.
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