On the 100th day after the Charlotte Mink Creek fire that took our home and 65 others, we learned that what we had lost were not just possessions. Possessions are gone and we grieve them. What we did not realize was how much we participated in the things that went on around us that will change now.
The plans for our new house had the office on the back of the house with a fantastic view of a small farming valley. We both realized that we could not give up our old office location. It looked over the beginning of that valley, opened up to the Snake River Plain and then narrowed to go through the narrows at Portneuf gap.
We had a partner desk so that we could see down the valley. My monitor sat so that all I needed to do was to lift my gaze and I could see the spectacle below me. Some days there would be a large number of hawks gliding up and down the valley.Some days there were eagles.
One day my spouse said in a hushed voice, “Look at this.” I crept over the side of his desk that was away from the window and there hung a hawk, toes hooked into the screen, staring at my spouse. It stayed there so so long that we did not quite know what to do. Eventually it flew off as if nothing at all had happened.
The hawks were not so visible to me. The eagles, that was another story. It could be because of the time of day that I worked but I don’t know. Like the hawks, they would fly in elliptical pattern with our house bisecting the center. After a few years they became bolder and bolder in their flight paths. The past few years they flew within 20to 30 feet from my window, right at my eye level. After a while I could discriminate the different ones. You could see the patterns in their feathers and their fierce eyes.
Sophie could sit at the window that ended by my feet and look down at the world. We had a large herd of deer that made the corner of our yard their pathway. On most days she watched them, without a sound, as they browsed by.
After the fire, the deer have returned even though the landscape is barren. I have not seen if the eagles and the hawks still fly the valley but we must have that vantage point to watch for their return.