Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Riding the Currents

While we were being mesmerized by the aerial dynamics and treetop ardor of the Bald Eagles on Monday, we couldn't help but notice this Red-tailed Hawk calmly riding the currents in the same sky.

It hung in the air, nearly motionless. I took several photographs before it even moved a single feather. When it did move, it folded its wings and tail close to its body and took this "Valentine-heart shape" that allowed it to move very quickly along the currents.
It continued to change shape as it slid silently along the sky above us.

Until it reach its destination and spread its wings to hunt once again.
We spent a fair amount of time trying to determine if the hawk was riding a thermal current or if it was ridge soaring, which is a related atmospheric phenomenon. We're including a link for you to read, so you can visualize the difference. Either way, it was fascinating to watch it ride the currents, simply hanging in the air and expending very little energy while it hunted. Between this hawk and the amorous eagles, we absolutely tweaked our necks looking up for so long, but we took it as an early Valentine's Day present, and loved every minute of it.

This Saturday's Good Planets has a particular theme: air. Do you have a photograph that depicts the beauty of our planet and captures the air element? If you do, please send it to susannah at dccnet dot com. Check out Wanderin' Weeta. When I think about air, I think of birds soaring in it, the wind bending trees, or the fluttering petals of a flower. What do you think?

There is no one lined up to do Good Planets for March. If anyone is interested, please email us at newdharmbums at Thanks. and Happy Valentine's Day.

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