Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Hawk and a New Hobby

As we are settling in to our new home, new schools and new job, one of my duties is to get us settled in the house and the area. We are pretty laid back about a lot of things, but I do like to get the kids involved in at least one music extra-curricular activity (piano) and one physical. When I mentioned martial arts, again, they didn’t seem excited. I mean, they’ve enjoyed Taekwondo and Karate in past, but starting out at a new place with new teachers, again? No. So I looked further. I had started researching fencing, as both had expressed an interest, and about this time, a friend on Facebook started talking about the SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronism, and I learned that they have plenty of opportunities for kids to get involved in a variety of youth combat training events, including rapier and archery. When I mentioned this to the family, as perhaps a new family hobby… not just kids’ physical activity.. everybody seemed enthusiastic. So, I looked up our local barony, which is part of the Kingdom of Atlantia, and met some wonderful folks, and the next thing I know, we were attending a day-long University event down at St. Mary’s college. We all had a great day and enjoyed all of the classes that we took, including some on arrow making, weaving, chivalry in literature, wool use in the Viking era, intro to the SCA and a few others.  I didn’t take any photos of the classes or anything, but Honor and her dad wandered down by the water at the end of the day and watched the sunset. Brian and I were cold and sat in the warm car!

St. Mary’s is set in a very important historic location and was quite a lovely little campus. From the wiki

“St. Mary's College of Maryland is located on the original site of Maryland's first colony, St. Mary's City, which was also the first capital of Maryland and is considered to be the birthplace of religious freedom in America.

Colonial St. Mary's City was actually only a town and at its peak had between 500 and 600 residents. However as the colony quickly expanded and settlements spread throughout the Eastern part of what is now Maryland, the town remained the capitol and representatives would travel from all over the colony to participate in the Maryland General Assembly, the colony's first legislative body.

The Colony was founded under a mandate by the colonial proprietor, Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore of England, that the new settlers engage in religious tolerance of each other. The first settlers were both Protestant and Catholic during a time of persecution of Catholics. This mandate was unprecedented at the time, as England had been wracked by religious conflict for centuries.”

A sign that Honor saw for the St. John’s site:

“The St. John’s site is one of the most important historic sites in Maryland, if not the nation. The home that was built here in 1638 for Maryland’s first provincial secretary was one of the largest enclosed spaces in the colony. It was where colonial legislators met to hammer out policies supporting the Proprietor’s mandate to separate church and state–150 years before the U.S. Constitution guaranteed religious freedom. Of the English colonies, this was the place where a woman first asked for the right to vote and where the first individual of African descent participated in a general assembly.”


Pictures that Honor took on a walk with her dad.


On the 10th of Feb. My truck spent some time as an popsicle.


Honor proudly stole more of my clothes.


And on the 11th, my car was frozen again, but this time with lovely frost patterns, not sheets of ice!


Why? Because it was COLD! 20150213_065900

On the 12th, we found that we had a new bird visitor in the yard. A large hawk had perched in the tree out back, and brought with him a long brown snake of some kind to eat! That poor reptile picked a bad day for sunbathing. We were able to identify it as a Red Shouldered Hawk.

These photos, where the hawk is eating, were taken from inside the house. We didn’t want to disturb him. His snake snack was a big one. About 18-20” in length.


These photos were taken by either myself or Honor. We quietly stepped outside and were able to walk up towards the tree without disturbing the hawk and they are much clearer. The first one gives you an idea of where he was in reference to the house and shop.


He’s like, I totally see you coming, but I’m not budging.


Still watching you…


He seemed totally unconcerned about us though. He just sat there relaxed with his feathers fluffed. Sometimes preening. So, we crept up closer.


Such a pretty bird. He stayed in this tree until sunset. Hopefully we’ll see more of him!

20150212_163520closeup hawk2closeuphawk1

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