I am sitting outside, drinking coffee with a splash of half and half ( no more calorie laden creamer ) and absorbing the splendid beauty of the morning. A slight gulf breeze surrounding me. Almost complete silence. In the distance a few birds chirp halfheartedly. No traffic noise, no sirens wailing and no neighbor noises. Quiet. Soft. Relaxing. Just sitting there sucking in all the beauty of a end of summer Florida morning.
I feed the water turtles and talk with them a bit. Sit by Jim's habitat and toss his some fresh plucked grass. Survey his soggy burrows squashed almost flat by yesterdays rainstorms. Feeling cozy and relaxed.
The pale blue sky littered with white tattered clouds. Shards of the morning sun trying to break through. The whiteness not yet above the roof line of the house next door. Still the quiet. Still the slight breeze. Peaceful and zen like. Then the sun makes her appearance cresting the roof line of the house next door. Needing sunglasses to protect the eyes.
Dropping instantly right out of the sky. Was a hawk. A beautiful hawk. A hawk with a mission. He lands right on the edge of the turtle pond. My heart thumps wildly inside my chest. He is magnificent. He is in the wrong place. Splintering my quiet morning.
I walk slowly and light footed toward the turtle enclosure. He tilts his head and gives me that look like I am budging in the breakfast buffet line. Nervous about going closer and worried about my turtles being number one on his menu - I edge closer. He stands his ground and flinches. He flies a few feet away and lands on the fence. That look is shot at me again.
I slip closer to my turtle habitat close the lid and give him that look. His hawk eyes glued to my movements. He dances. He stares. He bounces a few steps away and finally feeling defeat flies away. Jim's enclosure has no lid. How easily could he be grasped in the angry talons and carted away for an appetizer?
My beautiful relaxing morning now scorched by the sun bursting over the roof line where the hawk watches me with hawky eyes and an empty stomach. My coffee cup empty and needing a refill but afraid to leave the turtles to a predator waiting for a meal.