Day 6: Spring is Here and Taxes are Due

On April 15th, I was basking in the spring sunlight streaming through our front window. For a brief moment, I lounged on the couch and sneaked a few more words from my most recent book, I Capture the Castle. Suddenly! I mean, suddenly! Dustin rushed out the front door from his home office letting the storm door slam shut behind him. 

I don't know why, but I didn't follow. I should have. 

While I relaxed in the rare stillness, Dustin reveled in Colorado's wildness. He had been working at his desk and glanced out the window at the towering Ponderosa Pine that basically blocks our house from a street view. He later said it looked like it was snowing from ONE branch of that large tree. His curiosity, as always, got the better of him and he had to know . . . 

(This picture is obviously taken when there was REAL snow, but that is the huge Ponderosa tree featured in this story.) 

He got so close - less than 5 feet from the tree - with snow still falling, when a large hawk jumped from the branch. Shocked, but no more than Dustin, the hawk risked flight and soared into the blue sky. Dustin watched it go. By this time, Dustin's quick departure had attracted his like-minded daughter, Claire. I watched them from my perch on the sofa. She joined him at the edge of the driveway where he was watching the hawk's flight. His arm swung out to include her in the moment. I knew he was telling her whatever he had just seen, which was this:

Sitting in his front office, he had seen a Swainson's Hawk plucking it's white underbelly feathers. They fell softly like snow all around the base of the tree. He surprised it in it's grooming efforts and on an unexpected Wednesday, he jumped at the chance to view a Swainson Hawk probably just arrived from Argentina. The website I linked to says, "when Swainson's Hawks arrive in Colorado, it means two things: spring is here and taxes are due."

After Dustin discovered what he had witnessed, we laughed and laughed in admiration of this wild state. It was in fact tax day, spring green leaves were bursting everywhere, and blossoms were heavy with spring nectar.

Why does this make it onto my 365 days of discovering and loving Colorado Springs?

#1: It makes me happy how much Dustin loves nature and wildness and Colorado.
#2: I love watching him share his love with our kids. They eat it up.
#3: I feel like we witnessed something great, something rare, and yet, something that was right out our front window. 

All we had to do was look.

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