Hawk Kettle

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.

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