Red Tails & RAIN!!!

It is finally raining at The Holler even though we are still in the midst of the worst recorded drought in California history.
The rain isn’t nearly enough, but at least it will keep the hawks alive for awhile.
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I am unable to adequately describe the hawks, I love them so.
Words fail, photos make due.
Hawks are my friends here.
So glad we moved to this iffy place, one of Southern California’s last remaining wild spaces.
The Holler is built on a mountain with an empty valley below. Hawks often fly at our eye level or below, allowing us to look down on them as they soar. Normally hawks fly high, above us all.
I suspect we all need to live this way, wild and free, and above it all.
Cheers to you from the indescribably free Holler Hawks~

258 thoughts on “Red Tails & RAIN!!!

  1. Cindy I love Hawks too and see a lot of them on my train route! I adore your photos! I would love to see them flying above me like that! I wished we could send you some of our Oregon rain!! Hugz Lisa and Bear

  2. Fantastic photos, Cindy. I really like the ones where the red tail is prominently lit by the sun. Great news about the rain; I live in northern Calif. and we’re having the same rain fantasia. Yesterday I caught myself thinking in regard to the rain, “It’s fresh! It’s free!”

    1. Nothing like being deprived of rain for so long to make you really appreciate it! I know you are getting a deluge. My son’s flying back up today to look for his rattlesnakes…..

  3. Seeing them, Cindy, makes me hunger for the glorious freedom of flight that they experience. The quiet spirituality of it….. Glad to see them again. As always, the pics are “Nat/Geo” quality. πŸ™‚
    …and RAIN !!!!!!! How long has it been ? Hope you get more, and on a regular basis for a while.

    1. Your first sentence captures my feeling about them so perfectly. Thank you Paul. As far as measureable rain, this is the first of any substance in forever, we need much more. Cheers to you cuz~

  4. Good thing that it rains even though it is not enough but it better than nothing. It should ease off and helps the animals.

    Looking at the these flying hawk pictures, I feel like I am following your eyes to see them lively flying along. Nice!

    1. It is weird how after watching them a lot, one learns to pick them out of a big visual field. It’s like your eyes get trained to hawk spot, even though most of the photos aren’t good, I never give up because they are so awesome to watch~

    1. It has finally come, all the wild life is so happy. A coyote pup came close today. I talked to him and he didn’t run away. Unheard of. The birds were going to town taking pile on bird baths in the puddles. I took photos. You could feel the wild creatures joy, like the hawks when the rain came. Bliss. I hope they get more~

  5. Beautiful pictures as usual Cindy! The photo of that wet hawk brings back memories of my days volunteering at a raptor rehabilitation center. When we brought in hoses to clean and refill their water dishes, some of the permanent residents (due to their permanent injuries) would approach to get a shower or bath! The look of that wet hawk reminds me of a certain golden eagle who’d immediately jump into her clean tub, bounce herself in it, and bathe right in front of us!

    The drought has really affected the animals. We had a bear wander into the downtown of our city (probably looking for more food) and climb a tree near City Hall. You can see the picture here: So, I hope we keep getting some good rain! πŸ™‚

    1. Yes! I have seen the wild creatures react to the rain for the last three days and have been amazed. All the birds rushing the puddles and takes endless baths for the sheer joy of it, a coyote pup who let me come near and talk to him, it just dawned on me now that he probably has never seen rain! You can sense the animals going, okay all reticence is over, aren’t we living creaures all just estatic with the rain! If people haven’t lived through drought in a wild place they would think I am being fanciful, but the more you live around wild creatures the more you learn, they are much like you! Thanks for knowing~

  6. First, gorgeous pictures! Second, your loving description of these hawks reminds me of how I feel about ospreys here at home. Free and above it all! Simply beautiful.

  7. I feel like I’m soaring with them. Such freedom. You are fortunate
    To have these close encounters. I hope you get some much needed rain in the Hollar, a very special place.

  8. You always surprise me with how detailed your photo’s are Cindy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one so close up. This guy would be excellent at Pilate’s, look how long and lean he is in flight with his talons perfectly in place. Very cool. The second shot looks like he’s coming for you? I’ve seen a Hawk snatch ducks of a frozen lake. Silly ducks would stay too long πŸ™

        1. Cindy, I am not sure if we have eagleowls but we do have the very pretty (and endangered) Javanese hawk-eagle.

          It was said to be the inspiration for artists and scholars in picturing Garuda, the mythological bird – which is also our national emblem. :))

  9. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    This week’s pick from Cindy Knoke is a Red Tailed Hawk – a beautiful bird and in the early 2000’s we published a book in Spanish and English called the Red Tailed Hawk and the guest of honour at the launch dinner was the bird himself on his perch eyeing up my sirloin – thankfully the one on the plate…. Stunning photography as always. Thank you Cindy.

      1. Hi Cindy – the author republished herself in 2007 when she set up her own company and I did see that there was a site selling for Β£40 rather than the 600$ being asked for on Amazon… There may be more around in the original Spanish which is what we worked on. It was our first book in 2004 and we were thrilled to get an award for it.

  10. ‘I suspect we all need to live this way, wild and free, and above it all.’ β€˜Please yourself, and ride towards the horizon.’ Advice from two blogs that I will take to heart today.

  11. Through Cindy’s lens
    I see freedom
    I see mischief
    I see the chickens struggling
    To protect their chicks
    I see hunger
    I see plotting
    I see the themes of the strongest surviving
    This life
    Through Cindy’s lens
    Is a life we must all learn from
    Mum C.

    1. Oh this is so beautiful! There is much that wild animals can teach us through observation about how to think about and live our lives. Thank you for knowing this and for writing it so eloquently! <3 <3

  12. How wonderful to have the opportunity to look down at those hawks when they’re flying! I think you are very sensible to move to such an uncluttered and beautiful landscape. It’s getting far too crowded where I live in the S.E. England and we have too much rainfall. But still, I’m luckier than some, as there are still plenty of birds around, although I rarely see hawks.

  13. I suspect the wet hawk was really enjoying the rain, Cindy. We don’t see many here, but one took a ground squirrel next to our house the other day when I was looking out the window. –Curt

      1. I saw one take a snake off our property as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera present for either event. It isn’t that hawks give us much time. πŸ™‚ –Curt

  14. Magnificent creatures, fantastic photos. I love birds of prey.
    I see buzzards in the valley near me but never close up.
    I love their ‘lonely’ cries too.
    At night I often hear an owl in one of the trees in my garden, and occasionally get fleeting glimpses of them in the lights.
    Great to see these close up shots.

    1. You might want to try imitating the owls hoo both cadence and tone. I get in very long back and forths with them. You are lucky you see them. It is so dark here, I rarely do! So glad you love the raptors too. The buzzards are such majestic fliers, and will flow low to get a better look at us. Love em all~

      1. I did once see two eagles (or are they called lammergaus or something?) in the Pyrenees, just as I came off a chairlift. A moment that stopped me in my tracks. One of those times that nature leaves you speechless.

      2. Yes eagles do that to you definitely. I happened upon a bald eagle kill sight in Canada this summer. I got amazing shots which I posted of an eagle family so up close and so magnificent. Barn owls only scream, they don’t really hoo. It depends where you live which type of owls you have. You can google it to find out. We have Great Horned Owls who I rap with, and Barn Owls who sometimes scream. Owls are awesome~

  15. Hi Cindy! Out of all the large bird of prey I’ve always found the hawks to be the most fascinating. I’ve never seen one like these with auburn plumes. They’re gorgeous and as usual you’ve captured them beautifully. πŸ˜€

  16. Stunning. I was reading an article this morning that was saying that the drought in CA is suffering the worst effects of a drought in more than 1200 years. Even though the length isn’t the worst, it’s the heat that is shrinking all the surface water. Crazy.

      1. Yes, we need less talk and more actions, but we always seem to be good at the talking part. All these, “Let’s have another international conference of climate experts and world leaders to discuss global warming.” Cost $25 million. Money devoted to actual action, zero. So frustrating. I try to make sure to never donate to non-profits that pay for “conferences or networking. ” It just means free trips for jerks…..

  17. Beautiful and majestic hawk and lovely photos πŸ™‚ Funny old weather…here it is like an iceberg and personally I’m praying for some hot sunny days! Or even some rain…at least it wouldn’t be -6 degrees then! Cool for Wolfie though πŸ™‚

  18. Cindy,
    Ceva miraculos se petrece, cand vin pe blogul tau.
    Spiritul meu se invioreaza linistit, precum plutirea viguroasa dar lina a minunatei pasari din postul tau.
    Si atunci, simt ca vecinatatea, apropierea ta sunt la fel de tonice si mirabile.
    Cu drag!

  19. Beautiful photos Cindy. I love watching hawks fly and float in the sky too, but have not been able to photograph them so well. It sounds like you live in a wonderful place.
    Thanks for sharing your gifts. Brad

  20. Hawks are amazing birds. You captured it well. A Red Tail flew into a neighbor’s bush today looking for food. While we have rain here in Maryland, It was odd behavior. It came up short as the small birds flew away

  21. People got tired of me photographing hawks in my neck of the woods but it never got old for me. I love hawks too.

    About the drought, I hear that California farmers have resorted to drill into subterranean water tables for irrigation, and so much have been taken from the aquifers that the USGS believes that the entire state is sinking at a rate of 1 inch per year.

  22. I see a lot more hawks in my NJ neighborhood then I ever used to remember seeing in my youth. Is there a reason for that or was I just not paying attention?

    1. Yes. I have noticed this too. There must be more prey presence, possibly due to less use of rodent poison.
      LCRed-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
      “This species has undergone a large and statistically significant increase over the last 40 years in North America (177% increase over 40 years, equating to a 29% increase per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).”
      Taxonomic source(s)
      del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

  23. Hi Cindy, Merry Christmas to you and your family!!
    Hope your day is great…Wow!! you sure are a wonderful photographer. These pictures- all of them are gorgeous and so very perfect….I have to tell you that I looked at your picture and I saw in your eyes a lovely person, I had to read your bio….I love it, If I could I would be way out in the Boonies. God Bless , have a great week and thank you for your comments on my blogs

  24. I adore birds of all sorts, but hawks are pretty much my favorites. My totem animal, maybe. Lovely shots! So grateful for your getting a sip of rain in the Holler. More soon, I hope.
    And a joyful end/beginning of the year to you and yours, creatures of the human sort and all of the other denizens with whom you share your home and heart! πŸ™‚

  25. Wow, how did you ever get these pics?! Incredibly beautiful and graceful creatures they are! Thank you for sharing! Enjoy your photos and blog! Wishing a healthy & Happy New Year, Cindy!
    Blessings & hugs!

  26. I’ve been seeing TONS of hawks lately: both red-tailed and red-shouldered. Last week I went hiking on a warm day with nice thermals, and saw four red-tails soaring in the same patch of sky. I wonder what they were doing so close together, since I normally see them either alone or in pairs.

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