The past few days have neared record temperatures -- or at least it feels like it -- well into the high 90's, low 100's here in Novato, California. I love HOT, much prefer it to cold -- although if I am walking/running, I prefer the cooler morning hours. You know it's hot if you sit down at your desk, 15 minutes later your t-shirt is wet and sweat is rolling freely, profusely down your body! There is a certain wild freedom to that!
Today I went for one of my daily walks at Deer Island, this morning it was fairly cool. The moment I set foot in the California Bay Laurel woods about fifty yards up the trail, a Red-Shouldered hawk called out to me. Just the other day I had been walking, and thinking, where are all of the hawks? Two minutes later I found this gorgeous feather, standing straight up in the woods debris. What a gorgeous feather, I wasn't sure what type of hawk it came from, but it was a big one -- the feather was 11" long. Well, once returning home I got on the computer, and after a few minutes of browsing on the internet, I realized that I was not in possesion of a hawk feather, but a wild turkey feather, another denizen of the California landscape. According to Ted Andrews (author of Animal-Speak, The Spiritual and Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small) the turkey is sometimes called the earth eagle, and is according to Native American mythology helped to create the world. The turkey is also linked to the ancient idea of the third eye, the center for higher vision. I always enjoy seeing them grazing in the wild grasses. Last month a "flock" of females and chicks -- at least 30 chicks -- noisily wandered across the trail in front of me, with a male, tail feathers fanned, carefully keeping himself between me and his harem.