Today I saw what I took to be a large flock of small birds way up in the sky under a cloud. However, they weren’t flapping their wings. It turned out to be a large flock of large birds: a kettle of hawks. There were a couple hundred hawks circling under the most handsome cumulus cloud in the sky. Because the size of the kettle seemed to change – at one point the apparent number of hawks doubled – I think they were at cloud base with some of the kettle in and out of mist. I’ve thermalled at cloud base in gliders and I know what it’s like. The updraft holds you up with no effort at all, and the gray fringe of the cloud keeps you blessedly cool. The hawks found a cloud-gray oasis in their fall migration across Texas.