Pausing to take in the magnificence of the wet grass prairie, hoping for a glimpse of a deer, and hearing the cry of a bald eagle, I was eventually pulled in to witness the red shoulder hawk making a kill. I turned toward the stand of pond cypress and focused my gaze. I heard a scuffle and time seemed to slow down, as I sensed the stand of shedding cypress holding this hawk, struggling to gain his footing on a branch. Then, slowly and deliberately he peeled back from his talon full of leaves, his prize of a katydid. He ate it slowly and I wondered if the bird was actually tasting his morsel or being careful not to drop it. After the meal the bird flew to a nearby perch to bathe in the sun and look out with me and my companion over the wet prairie. As other visitors came and went along the boardwalk, they were oblivious to his presence just a few feet away from their footsteps.
This is what I love about being at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary here in Collier County, Florida; an opportunity to experience the daily life within this wetland wonder and use it as my own nourishment for my heart and mind. The three of us continued our meditation of sorts until my human companion and I felt the pull to enter the forest and travel down toward the bald cypress further into the swamp. Finding more moments like the one I had just had was tempting and irresistible.