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A Hawk Tale and the February Garden

A peek into a wild part of Deb's Garden, February 2012:

I have a question for those whose children have left the nest: Do you expect them to someday provide for you? Sort of as repayment for all those years of feeding, clothing, providing shelter, mentoring, and encouragement? If the answer is yes or maybe, then don't judge too harshly when I tell you the following story.

Lou recently watched as a young female hawk caught a mouse and carried it to a limb in a tree near our patio. The bird had just begun to enjoy her meal when another, larger hawk flew up and landed beside her. This larger hawk was also female, and Lou supposed them to be mother/daughter. Well, no sooner had Mom landed when she knocked against the younger hawk, then reached with her beak and grabbed the mouse for herself. Daughter glared at Mom for a moment, then flew off, no doubt to find herself another lunch!

When Lou told me about it, at first I was offended that a mother bird would treat her offspring that way. But then, maybe she thinks she deserves it after all she did to incubate and then care for her daughter when she was just a nestling!Hawk flying high

Soon spring will be here and Mom and Dad Hawk, who mate for life, will be preparing for a new family, and I suppose daughter will be looking for her own mate. There's a lot going on in the garden! Spring is leaking though the seams of winter and is about to burst through with full force. However, February is still winter, and we had some of our coldest temperatures this past week. But the subfreezing temperatures didn't last long, and I was relieved that most of the blooms in my garden came through OK. Here's a quick look at some things in my February garden:

Some recent scenes in the Front Garden:

This little rabbit stays in a pot by the front parking court:

Some random flowers and foliage:

Some woodland scenes:

I will end with moss and lichen, for winter is always a good time to appreciate these often overlooked denizens of the garden:

 Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you all have a great week!  Deborah

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Reader Comments (25)

Well the funny part is that right before I read this post I went to facebook and asked my daughter what was for dinner tonight. Mind you she lives in NY, so there's no chance I'll be stealing her meal! You are a little further along than us Deb. a freeze is expected tonight. :-(

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEve

Oh! Love the post AND the photos!

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEve

Enjoyed your Hawk Tale. Love your beautiful garden photos! Looks like Spring!!!

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNHGarden

Our resident Red-Shouldered Hawks are getting ready to start a new family. They've gotten so used to us now that we can walk past them within about 30 feet and they don't even fly off.

Lots of daffodils blooming already in your garden! They look so lovely!

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Great story! Your garden is beautiful, and the patch of daffodils is so cheerful!

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

Love the shots, and it's such a treat to see plants that have green on them, LOL. It's all snow all snow all snow here....

Great to have another word verification free blog to read!!!

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

I really like the front garden colors.
Poor daughter in your hawk story. In some societies on this side of the world, a daughter expected to look after her parents while the son is expected to help out financially if needed. I personally would not want to burden my children with this requirement. I would appreciate it much more if it was done voluntarily.

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBom

Deb, I can see hawks are featuring more and more in you woodland so the rabbit had better watch out. such a pleasure to come and see your garden whatever the season and love your description of Spring leaking through. Nice topiary and winter colours. Your shots are varied and beautifully assembled and (hint) Its Mosaic Monday ;)

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura@PatioPatch

What I like most about your garden is that it has so much structure that keeps it looking even in the depths of winter. And love the atmosphere and it's sense of maturity :)

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Poor Daughter hawk! I guess she recognized Mom is a little bigger and tougher and didn't fight her for her meal. Looks like spring has come early to your garden!

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBumble Lush

I've 'walked' your garden many times and always love it. Your season is much further on than ours here in Seattle. My daffodils are only just budding!

I like the way you have clipped boxwood forms as a counterpoint to the looser shapes in the woodland - very effective.

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Chapman

Well, Deborah, it still looks warmer in your garden than mine! The snow has nearly all melted; it's just hanging on in corners that don't get any sun. Today has been windy and raining, rather depressing, I need some sun. I love the colours of the lichen on the logs, so vibrant! Christina

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Always love looking at photos of your woodland, really like the contrast between your clipped bushes and the natural trees and shrubs behind. Spring is certainly with you, I think you are a bit further ahead than us, isn't it a wonderful time of year, full of hope for things to come.

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

Hi Deborah, first of all let me tell you have a beautiful garden, the woodland scenes, especially the one with the subtle yellow river of winter aconites (?), are beautiful pictures.
What to say about hawks? In every family there are some bad ones... and worse, a mother in law...

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

There's certainly a point where parent and child reverse rules... Maybe the mother was "doing it for her own good" to teach her daughter to fend for herself. As always your garden is beautiful.

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

Everything looks so alive! Nice to see it in February.
Thanks. Julie

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWife, Mother, Gardener

You have such variety in your garden spaces. I love walks in the woods and find that as wonderful as gardens brimming with flowers. It is always a place of discovery. I enjoyed the hawk story too. They are such good hunters, but I always feel a bit sad for the unsuspecting prey, even the lowly mouse.

February 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Your garden is so beautiful, even in winter! Love the different color of foliage, and then the little blooms just add a new dimension. Spring will soon be here!

February 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

On the issue of offspring, my kids used plead to get off the washing up by saying we will pay off your mortgage when we grow up.....some chance! By the way I love the lichens and the woodland feel of your amazing garden:~)

February 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFoxglove Lane

Love the view of the back of the edgeworthia. It really is spring there!

I remebered when I saw the rounded shape in the front garden photo that my other comment that didn't go through on your last post was that Lou was making his stamp on the garden with his clipped rounded holly bushes, had to smile as I read the comments complimenting you on them! ;o)

Deb I found the hawk story interesting and as you only have one pair of hawks yours probably was mother and daughter, since living here so close to the sea with lots of different gulls around I sometimes hear a heck of a commotion above and when I've looked up it's often one gull with food being chased by several gulls!! it seems some birds steal each others food but I think that is fairly common in the wild world,

as always love the photos of your garden, it always has a wonderful peace and serenity to me, have a great week too, Frances

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsland Threads

You really have a big and beautiful garden. You seem to love them so much. Great post! I really admire your garden.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGarages

Perhaps there was some lesson in the mother taking the mouse from the offspring...nature is filled with surprises. Your winter garden looks lovely on the brink of spring. I go back and forth just as this winter weather in pining for winter or welcoming spring...since its desire to come is so obvious...

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Sage Butterfly

Your front garden looks wonderful! Lovely pictures of the flowers and foliage too. I hope the daughter hawk found something to eat...

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMasha

No, I don't expect my children to provide for me some day. It would be nice, but I certainly don't expect it, they have their own lives to lead. I believe that parental love is meant to be paid forward to their own children, not back to their parents. Sad, but true! Your spring garden is waking up to loveliness, hope mine does soon enough!

February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL
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