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Music and birds, that's all I really need

CBC Radio 2's show Tempo observed Rememberance Day, fittingly enough, and I caught part of it while driving to work. First I heard Mahler's Symphony No. 5, 4th movement (Adagietto), adapted for a cello ensemble featuring Shauna Rolston (1). It had so much body, so much texture. I know playing pieces and parts of symphonies is not without its detractors but it seems this is one piece that stands well on its own. A few tracks (and a news broadcast) later, they played a most evocative piece, big forceful orchestra suitable for a mighty army. It put tears in my eyes and I had to sit in the parking lot at work to hear it all. I knew what the composer was doing, and I was totally sucked in. But I had no idea what it was until it was announced: It was music from the HBO series Band of Brothers (2). I never saw the series, but the music just blew me away.

But what came next was from left field. I finally shut off the radio and walked across the parking lot to the west door of the office building. Off to my right, over the soccer fields, a hawk circled, edging closer to me. I watched as I walked. It then straightened out and picked up speed heading east. There was a break in the clouds and I lost the hawk as it crossed the bright sky behind the pine trees near the door. I kept walking, onto the brick sidewalk next to the building ... and suddenly the hawk was swooping upward on my side of the trees by the building entrance! It had been maybe 15 yards ahead of me and 7-8 feet off the ground, as if it was landing and changed its mind, or at least intentionally doing a fly-by. It was so close I could hear the noise of its wings as it pivoted and rose. It got to about treetop level—short trees, though, only about 15-20 feet—and continued north, behind me. I couldn't identify it; buteo for sure, fairly light in color. Immature red tail, or something else? In a way it doesn't matter. It sure was something to see.
1. http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=177800
2. London Metropolitan Orchestra, conducted by the composer Michael Kamen http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=392091



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
It's always neat to have a hawk nearby while taking a walk.
Nov. 15th, 2011 05:52 am (UTC)
Yes, definitely. I have to be careful when I'm walking while watching one in flight, in case I walk into a tree or signpost or something.

I thought about trying to take a photo when it was soaring over the soccer field, but the camera was all zipped up in the case and I figured there wasn't really time to get it out and turned on. I had brought the camera to try to get some pix for 11/11/11, but didn't expect anything serendipitous like this.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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