This time, even when I got back home it was still hard to get back into the habit. I didn't want to go down to my damp musty basement to lift weights, and I didn't feel like dancing in my living room, either. The weather in Kansas City has been lovely since I got back, 70ish and inviting; the only flaw is that it's been pretty humid. I could've gone jogging, but I didn't feel like *that*, either. So I settled for an extra-long walk on both Tuesday and Wednesday -- maybe two and a half mile each day, at a guess. Last night I lifted weights for the first time in two weeks. Yeek. That's the thing about exercise -- you *have* to do it every day, or you'll find the days slipping into weeks without you even noticing that you've not done it lately.
On Wednesday, as I was walking down Ditzler, one of the quiet neighborhood roads off of 40 highway, I saw a huge bird in the middle of the road. I stared at it: I was facing towards the sun and could only see its dark, vaguely crow-like silhouette. But it was much too big to be a crow, occupying a significant fraction of the lane-and-a-half road. Is it a trick of perspective? Am I thinking it's farther away than it is and so it looks bigger? I wondered, drawing closer. It looked the size of a medium dog, two to three feet from beak to tail.
Then it took wing, and I saw a flash of brown. A falcon! It's a falcon! I watched as it disappeared into the tree above. The dogs in the neighboring yard were barking madly. I got near its kill -- a dead squirrel -- and looked into the tree, trying to spot it. I couldn't see it, and after a few moments of searching I continued on my way. I went maybe fifty yards, then turned to see if the bird had returned to the kill. It hadn't -- but as I watched, it soared back into view, wings outstretched. It circled overhead, giving me a magnificent view of its dark brown form, highlighted with flecks of beige. Wow. For a few minutes, I watched it glide in circles with a rare flap of its wings to maintain altitude.
I'm not a birder, so I can't say for sure that I'm even remembering it correctly. But I looked up a list of Missouri raptors here and the silhouette that looks closest to my memory is #18 -- a golden eagle. I remember that its wings looked almost rectangular, nearly straight out from the shoulder and the lower half parallel to the top, more squared-off than tapered at the wing tips.
I think there's a golden eagle in my neighborhood.
Maybe I should go for walks more often.