I was pouring myself another cup of coffee yesterday morning when I spied through my kitchen window Bobby about six feet up a leaning live oak.
Just sorta standing there, the little dog was, in the shaggy green and growing Resurrection ferns, surveying this world from higher up. Usually Bobby’s view is from about a foot off the ground. Most everything interesting to him–people, treats, lizards, squirrels, and even hawks–come from up above.
So now Bobby has rared back and taken a full-tilt run at a tree with its conspiratorial lean, his paws and claws finding purchase in the carpet of ferns, and made it to a sweet spot. Almost horizontal. Checking out the ground around him from this new vantage point. Then I watched him eye another spot, a little higher up, right behind a thick vertical branch.
Bobby ran down the tree just as both our attention was suddenly drawn to a squabble and commotion in the yard next door. The mated pair of Red-shouldered hawks had dropped from the branches and double-teamed a squirrel. A National Geographic kind of moment that some people look away from. The male twisted the prey away from the female and brought it to a branch just above the roof of our new Resurrection Stage.
The hawk stayed put while I grabbed my camera, but I didn’t get the tripod set firmly and my shot was shaky. I glanced at Bobby, now at my feet, who had his eyes perfectly focused on the hawk and watched until it flew away with its meal.
Within minutes the little dog was under the branch smelling the ground for evidence of the kill. And found it. A spot of blood on the leaves. He looked at me as I walked up. As if to question my continuing interest in these predators.
Or was it to indicate his own growing interest in the hawks? Hmmm.
Bobby’s tried for months here at Waterhole Branch to catch a squirrel, to answer his own hunting instincts. In a chase across the ground, kicking up leaves and racing through the grass, they always outrun him and scamper out of reach. Once I even saw Bobby crash his shoulder into a tree in his effort. The squirrel seemed to turn and just shake its head.
Could be Bobby’s wising up. Could be his trip up the tree was to reconnoiter this squirrel hunting thing from the air. Enough with the hawk pictures. I’ll keep my camera ready for a real award-winning action image—a little black and white flying dog, legs extended, ears blown back and eyes squinted toward his prize.
And a squirrel in the background laughing out loud.