There’s a different kind of brilliance to the blue of sky at the height of winter. On the days when it’s not overcast or gray, when the sun is shining and the clouds have disappeared, it has a clarity that can only come from cold air. When it forms the backdrop to a hawk taking flight, it’s even more striking.

Being that we’re not outside as much in this season, I don’t notice the hawks as much as I do in the summer. They’re also less noisy at this time of the year. When the one pictured here took off into the air there was nothing but silence.

Winter is like that. Even with the wind and snowstorms, there is a silence and stillness to the slumbering season that’s different from summer. Maybe it’s the lack of insects singing in the night, the absence of any annoying buzz of a mosquito or cry of a hungry toad. Or maybe in winter I’m always in such a rush to get somewhere warm that I don’t take the time to listen to the sounds of the season opening up.

The hawk swoops among the pine trees, gliding swiftly through the sky in graceful arcs. Soaring over all, it is resplendent in the sunlight, backed by a lovely shade of blue. A predator airborne, its shadow sends rodents scurrying when it doesn’t succeed in a surprise attack. Amid such beauty, an element of danger.

The hawk recedes into the blue, without whoosh of wind or scrape of bark. Power can be still. Power can be silent. True power has no need to scream or put on a show. A flash of a red tail puts the ground below on notice. We are watching.

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