I wondered if they spotted a rare bird, but one of them looked like Newt Gringrich, I swear he did, so I hesitated lol - but my general nosiness got the better of me, so I asked :)
Turns out, they were filming a momma Cooper's Hawk/Broad-Winged Hawk (same species) in her nest in a pine tree, feeding her two, white furry-headed babies :)
Thus, we rushed back and got our camera (lame in comparison to what they had) and Mark snapped some pictures, while I chatted with the lady in the trio about birds (despite social restrictions being relaxed, we still use masks and 6-foot-rule social distancing).
The 2 little tufted white heads on the left are the babies, the momma hawk is to the right of the nest, with our back to us, looking down.
Look closely on the right for the momma - she almost blends in with the tree, and that's the idea and why she built her nest there ;)
In this picture, if look closely, you can see the Momma's beak and eyes really clearly, she looked over at us ...
This was probably the best shot we could get of the babies - very high up in the tree :)
This picture is not ours, but just so you can see what a full view of a Cooper Hawk/Broad-Winged Hawk looks like ...
... and another pic (not ours) of what their fuzzy-headed babies look like :)
Aren't they cute? :)
In fact, I had a male hawk land on the corner of my balcony porch roof about a month ago. I saw a shadow pass my window and saw it's striped tail and unmistakable golden feet, but when I got up to grab my camera, it flew away.
I told her this and her mouth dropped open and she got very excited - as much of a "bird nerd" as me lol.
I told her that this hawk is my totem, and she said, "Oh my gosh, me too! That's why we're out here, taking pictures like mad people - I just haven't figured out what it means when we see one?"
I said, "I'm not sure, but from what I've read, I THINK seeing one means to observe the details AND the big picture? You know how some people get bogged down in details, others skim over the details to get a general synopsis big picture - even blanket-generalize too much what they see? I think the hawk supposedly encourages us to make sure we give equal attention to both detail and big picture."
"I think the gist is, if the hawk is your totem, you're supposedly equally good at seeing both already - but when you see one, to make sure you're doing that, balancing the details AND the big picture together. I could be wrong, but I think that's the general message?"
Well, whether that's right or wrong, she liked that nonetheless, it made her so happy :)
I'm not going to go into detail, but seeing my totem today is the third spiritual confirmation, this week, that my perception of things was right on the money - though I doubt myself sometimes.
Also this week, I was reminded of the reasons I left Facebook - after many black celebrities have called for white people to help this time, they need us to interpret them to other white folks.
I firmly believe this is true - however, Democrats have been vilified, too, for speaking up for them/giving them voice - and it often gets flipped back on us, too.
I left Facebook for 3 reasons:
1. I had an embarrassing, extremely allergic overreaction/meltdown to some of my family members' toxic antics, both publicly and behind the scenes.
2. The persistent harasser/stalker, who lives outside of the U.S., that I mention in my sidebar here (for 11 years, now) and the reason my comments are closed here - showed up there, sending me multiple messenger texts and threats under various aliases, along with a new impersonation of me on Facebook - misspelling my name, of course, which is how many stalkers who use impersonations having gotten off scott-free from prosecution (which is only 6 months to 2 years' prison sentence in most countries anyway).
3. The story I'm about to tell ...
Though we weren't super wealthy ourselves, especially after my Dad left, I went to a very affluent suburban Cincinnati high school, with children of P&G and GE executives, doctors, and lawyers, and though whom were mostly white Christian (about 50% of whom were Catholic), my school was also 30% Jewish and very multicultural, unusually comprised several different skin colors, faiths, heritage, and cultures.
So their support for Trump shocked me. I thought they'd had more positive experience with skin color and different cultures than this, they had a better education than this? I mean, dang, the most popular girl in school was half-Iranian, so ... what the heck happened?
(Well, I wasn't completely shocked, because I already knew wealthy white people still outnumbered everyone else, there, and the wealthy are mostly clueless about struggle, even liberals, but ... dang.)
One of them, a close childhood friend - who despite having an outward "anti-drug" stance, had an Ambien-abuse problem - publicly outed me for having PTSD in my comments' section, as a method for discrediting my anti-Trump/support for BLM stance - which I then had to address on my page in a new post.
I'm not ashamed of my PTSD, it's not like I chose it - but that is MY story and private health information to share - and I'm sorry she chose to use it to discredit my negative perception of Trump and racism.
That's like saying, "Don't listen to her - bless her heart, she's diabetic" - that's just nonsense.
Then she said to me in private chat:
"You know what your problem is? You hate your own race - you blame white people because it was white people who inflicted trauma on you, so you hate them. Racism doesn't exist anymore."
I replied the following - some was said privately and some was later said publicly (as my last post before I shut down):
"Are you seriously trying to bully me into your pro-Trump, racist stance by publicly outting my PTSD diagnosis and trying to use it to discredit my perspective on racial relations, under the false pretense of "pity" for me? Well, that's a gaslighting fail."
"You won't even get close enough to a person of color to even find out what they're like, and though they've done absolutely nothing to you, you still fear them and assume they're all bad people - so don't lecture me about fear and hatred based on race. Please stop projecting your own fear and hatred based on race all over me, thanks."
"As a matter of fact, until you just said so, I didn't even think about what skin color the people had who inflicted my trauma, because I don't wrongly associate trauma or crime with skin color like you do - and the fact that you do is YOUR problem."
"I have a multi-degreed Christian therapist, thanks, who went to an actual accredited university, not a 3-month bible counselor certificate from her church. And funny, she doesn't think "my problem" has shit to do what anyone's skin color was."
"She also doesn't counsel sexual assault victims and then incredibly still vote and support P-grabbing Trump and the #me-too-denying GOP, but can't see the conflict of interest, there."
"Lol - "my problem is I hate my own race. That's absurd. I don't "hate" anyone at all. Just because I criticize some things we do towards people of color, in abuse of power, doesn't mean I hate my own race, or hate anyone. I don't hate my race, but I AM ashamed of many of them, right now."
"Why do I have to choose one race over the other anyway? The fact is, I don't. I choose fair justice and to help the chronically power-abused and physically and economically oppressed - period - just like Christ did. And it just so happens that MOST of the time, those victims lacking fair justice are NOT wealthy white straight Christian males."
"And since it's apparently "Say What You Really Think of your Close Friends Who Don't Agree With You Politically Publicly AND Privately on FB Day" - and no one told me - how about THIS, Miss Anti-Addiction Queen - check your Ambien usage - just because it's legally prescribed doesn't mean it's not a highly addictive drug and abused."
"You don't even remember a 6-hour chat we had, last week, the day after we had it. You had no memory of it whatsoever. You asked me what I was referring to, like I was crazy, and I told you "the chat we had yesterday."
"I had to forward you the entire dang thread and you STILL didn't remember any of it. We talked FOR SIX HOURS, that day, and you had the transcript."
"And do you know WHY you don't remember having that 6-hour chat I forwarded you?"
"Because you were so strung out on Ambien, which you first denied using, then said you quit a year ago, then it was a couple of months ago, then it was a week ago, so which is it?"
"You lose all concept of time, you can't remember 6-hour conversations, you sleep all day and stay up all night. Helloooooo? Girl, you've got a problem yourself. At least I admit mine. Addiction isn't an issue that I personally have struggled with, except nicotine and caffeine, but I get it, I see the coping-skill draw, especially in this day and age."
"And by the way, "Bible Counselor" - you should probably check the diagnosis of PTSD. Having PTSD does NOT mean you hallucinate or our delusional - it means your brain recognizes stimulus similar enough to what induced your trauma, so that your brain and CNS automatically go into fight or flight mode."
"It means we're hypervigilant, we notice things others overlook, either because they don't see it yet or refuse to - and yes, sometimes we overreact to what we see and need to separate out past from present and transferences - but it doesn't mean the stimulus isn't real or isn't there. And if someone with PTSD is actually hallucinating, then it probably means they have a dual-diagnosis - it's not just PTSD alone"
"But in fact, I am done cutting you slack because of your pill addiction you refuse to recognize - no more. So maybe instead of diagnosing and shaming everybody else - using nothing but your bible, your church, and Trump as a diagnostic tool - Physician? Heal thyself."
I mean, DANG, Roseanne - I'm not sure you're in any position to be be lecturing anybody on what's wrong with them lol.
I felt my trust in a childhood friend had been betrayed (over Trump of all people) and I was hurt and mad - but mostly it made me really sad, that I was losing a close childhood Christian friend over racism and Trump.
I could also see that I had to let go of a lot of things and people from my past that weren't healthy - and I realized Facebook in general isn't healthy for me personally (and most people with PTSD).
However, after this experience - although I'm still ashamed of the way I reacted/handled to things, back in high school, I also realized - I was right, too. I could see very clearly what shaped me into me - and that I had less reason to be ashamed.
About 80% of them still have no clue of what it's like to struggle and imagine they earned and deserve their privilege and having better opportunities than most - but not all - because some, despite being wealthy, have true empathy for others and were raised not to demonize people just because they're poor.
Plus, I noticed most were still locked into playing the same pecking order we had in high school, when the rest of us have moved on.
(I was neither popular nor unpopular, by the way, I was somewhere in the middle - I had lots of friends in different groups from the cheerleaders/dance team to other choir/drama geeks like me, to the stoners, to the blue-collar and poor (though there were a minority) - regardless of their race or faith. As long as they were cool to me, I was cool to them, and I didn't care what anyone else thought of our friendship :)
So the main thing I'm ashamed about now, from my time in high school, is that until I was about 15, I, too, was an evangelical, and thought like them - until I began to realize how the way they believed and behaved had little to nothing to do with Christ.
Don't get me wrong - there's still about 20 people I'd be happy to hang with, and I still have a small handful of HS friends I text with.
In fact, 2 of those 20 or so that I'd still hang with/am proud to be friends with actually includes 2 Trump supporters - but neither of them try to find various ways to insert Trump and GOP politics into the conversation, try to shove him down my throat, or bully me as not be Christian enough, American enough, or use my PTSD diagnosis against me into their perspectives. One of them was one of my first childhood friends - I get her and she gets me - and so we never discuss it, we find plenty of other things to talk about, more personal things.
Otherwise, no thanks - except for that 20 or so that I'm glad I caught up with/reconnected with and proud to be friends with :)
Thus, I haven't logged back into Facebook in a long, long time (since the last time I got a strange FB message my account was logged into from a different location, that wasn't me, February of 2019) - and after leaving a status note in case that happens again - I won't, ever again.
(I've always said, even back then, I don't like or trust Mark Zuckerburg as a person, anyway, I never have - call it having good instincts. Or blame my PTSD hypervigilance lol ;)
However, I DO wonder what she's saying now, after George Floyd - what a lot of those Trumpers who bought her dime-store, bible-counselor church-certified "diagnosis" of me was.
(Even if they DO know I was right, I doubt they'd ever say ;)
So though black people are welcoming our protest - and encouraging us/telling us they need us to translate to white-privileged people, that is what happens when we do - remember, our name isn't Taylor Swift or some other wealthy, powerful white person - and when we do, we end up just as gaslighted, shamed, discredited and got the shit kicked out of us, too.
(Not even close to what people of color have to endure, no - but my point is, our speaking up for them doesn't always help - you have to be a wealthy and powerful white person to even make a dent, rather than be bullied and gaslighted.)
Regardless, ladies and gentlemen - just because you're outnumbered and being gaslighted doesn't mean you're wrong - in fact, most of the time, it means exactly the opposite, that you're right - and they just don't want to admit it ;)
In fact, they are so desperate to shut you up, so they don't have to look/listen at what they're doing anymore, they're willing employ below-the-belt tactics, like the above, to discredit you with others and get you to doubt yourself ;)
IMO, the hawk says, like Lee Corso, says "Not so fast on the self-doubt ... keep in balance the details and big picture, and patiently watch and wait for others to open their eyes and finally see what you see ... but only if they choose to" :)
PS - Mark and I just finished watching Jordan Peele/Amazon Prime's "Hunters" with Al Pacino.
Extremely good show, though it is clearly a fictionalized, comic-book account of vigilante Nazi hunters in the 70s.
I'm not much of a conspiracy theories, and though this is a fictionalized take - the thing is, some of the story-line content the series is based upon - was real.
For example, Werhner von Braun was a real Nazi astrophysicist who came to the U.S. under Operation Paperclip to help start up NASA, under the guises of "escaping Nazism" - and we believed it.
Yes, "Operation Paperclip" was really a thing - note the above link - it's the official CIA site admittingverifying that 'Operation Paperclip' was, in fact, true.
The idea of Operation Paperclip was for the U.S. to grab certain Nazi scientific minds before Russia did - never mind that some of those "brilliant minds" also had no soul and conscience and performed their scientific experiments at the cost of millions of Jewish lives.
So the US Government offered them a deal - prison/death OR help the U.S. beat the Russians in astrophysics in the space race - essentially, they wanted to use fascists to help beat communists (as if there's much difference).
I read the history of Wernher von Braun a few years ago after watching a "Mysteries at the Museum" episode lol.
Werhnher von Braun is an open U.S. secret, as he was touted as a NASA hero.
It's amazing that we, the U.S. people, actually believed Wehrner Von Braun's story - that he had no other choice but to work for the Nazis and was "escaping" them?
It's also kind of amazing, since they only prosecuted a few thousand Nazi war criminals, that we somehow convinced ourselves that the Nazis were all prosecuted/done away with, when there were an estimated 8.5 million of them.
Also amazing that people believed the Simon Weisenthal Center only managed to capture the residuals - when the truth is, they only caught a few - in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Canada, the U.S, and most recently, Russia.
So the idea of this show is making comic-books heroes out of vigilante Nazi hunters, who knew about Operation Paperclip but could not get U.S. Law enforcement help.
But people often see only what they want to see, what they need to believe - especially in their own country, their own community, their own family, and even themselves - because the truth is too threatening.
As for me - I'm a person who has challenged her own belief system many times - my faith, my family, myself - and I can tell you for an absolute fact that you actually CAN handle the truth, without becoming bitter or paranoid - and just live your life and find joy despite it :)
In fact, that's something my Jewish friends taught me long ago - if you hate back and live your life - to find joy anyway - then they win.
For instance, it was highly implausible for us to convince ourselves that all Nazis were gone - prosecuted, either in jail or dead - when in fact many of them verifiably (Simon Weisenthal Center) just moved to other countries (including ours).
Regardless, even if that were true - they're all mostly dead now - little consolation to the Jewish people, but yes.
Now, like I said, I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist - and though the story line and show is excellent, it's a comic book and far fetched - and yet the fact remains, Operation Paper Clip has been verified and Simon Weisenthal has famously stated he certainly did run into a lot of unusual red tape trying to track down and prosecute the remaining Nazi war criminals in the U.S.
The movie "Captain America: Winter Soldier" has a similar theme.
So I'm not sure how far down the rabbit hole I'm willing to go - but it sure would explain a lot. And I'm pretty sure the mentality is not dead, if nothing else.
Like ... did you ever notice how many times Trump uses the word "weak" to describe people who show kindness and mercy or try to sow peace?
He calls someone "weak" on his Twitter feed at least twice a week.
That's straight out of the Nazi playbook.
The idea of Operation Paper Clip was, using fascists to fight communists - fascists now wrapped in the American flag and carrying a cross as subterfuge.
Ironic, isn't it?
Considering communism and fascism are two extreme sides of the same evil coin.