Savanna Shadow


Now, who could want to eat this little cutie???

Savanna Shadow



This guy, that’s who!  About a year ago I was walking with little Pete at Rollins Savanna.  It was a gorgeous foggy morning.  Dew was beading all the seeds and stems of the switch grass, and we had this wonderland all to ourselves….until I looked up and saw this hawk coming right at us from out of the mist.  At the last moment the leash seemed to register and he swooped up to the top of a very small tree next to us, where he sat glaring balefully at me.  Even now my little dog tops out around 9 lbs, and back then he would have been a nice little morsel for a hungry hawk.

It is hard to believe these days, but redtail hawks were gone from this area because of DDT.  I remember the day I saw my first one, not far from here, about 35 years ago.  It still thrills me to hear their cry and see them circling on an updraft.  And now this park also boasts great-horned owls, ground nesting owls, screech owls, cooper’s hawks, and recently, bald eagles!  How thrilling is that?  But, keep your dog leashed….



Original Painting

A Red-tailed hawk emerges from the mist, flying low over dew-bedecked fall grasses. Lavender and blue and yellow and orange. 30x40" canvas with wide galley-wrap edges, painted black. All of my paintings are created with the highest quality, archival paint. I use only images from my own experience in the field. Painting ships free in the continental US. Please contact me for shipping elsewhere. Thank you!



  1. What a great ominous painting, with the viewer filling in for the hawk’s target. The outspread wings accord with the horizontality of the painting as a whole while at the same time emphasizing the bird’s rapid forward flight toward us. The dewdrop-covered drying switchgrass adds an appeal of its own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful assessment, Steve. Thank you. I had some trouble getting the hawk to look right~as you can imagine, there wasn’t time to snap a photo. At the urging of my family I have changed him a little, and uploaded the new image. Paul found some images online that were of a similar angle for me to study.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Neat! A beautiful field of graceful grasses, and then this predator swooping in. Looks like a Corsair fighter plane coming in – – I never get tired of watching them floating around on the thermals, and then pouncing. But then I’m too big to carry off, so I can just relax and enjoy their hunting on an aesthetic level.


    1. Thank you Tanja! Haha, you’re right about that. The spring I brought him home there was a lot of hawk and owl activity in my neighborhood and I was nervous letting him run around the yard. He’d be too big for a cooper’s, now, I think. The big owls could take him but he doesn’t go out alone at night.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s a lot to like in this painting, but one detail that stands out for me is the contrast between the hawk’s upturned wingtips and the downward droop of the grasses’ leaves. Your slight elongation of the wings is effective, too — it helps to convey the speed and power of the bird.

    Around here, the leash is important, too, lest a wandering pup poke a nose into a grass-filled bank and get snatched by a ground-based reptile!


    1. Thank you. I hadn’t particularly noticed that about the opposing curves but you are right. I liked the elongated wings but family and friends persuaded me to make the body larger so I have, and I have updated the image in the post accordingly.
      Haha, yes, I imagine so! We don’t have those here (well, actually, sometimes we do but that is a different story) but we do have monster fish that would be happy to devour the little guy. He loves to jump into the water so I’m cautious what water I let him near.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I noticed the same detail as Linda, the curves of the wings and the curves of the grasses going in different directions. The off-center hawk is dynamic, lovely warm hues in the grasses.
    Sad to imagine red-tailed hawks being uncommon, there are so many here in New England, but the population must have declined here as well a while back.


  5. We’re fortunate to have lots of red tails here. San Francisco Bay area. Reminds me of a photo of a red tail I took last year at Point Reyes. I’ll have to post it soon. The image of a raptor coming right at you is heart stopping.


  6. This is an unusual combination of very lovely (those grasses) and positively electric! It brings to mind a large woodland park across the water from Seattle, on Bainbridge Island, where signs warn visitors to beware because owls in that area have been known to be very aggressive and swoop down at pets and walkers. I’m not sure which I’d choose in a swoop-down…… red-tailed or owl? Grew up with Red-tailed hawks as an ever-present sight soaring over the fields behind our house, I grew up on the other side of Lake Michigan.


    1. Thank you very much! Yes, it was an electrifying moment, that is for sure. I’m fascinated to learn there are aggressive owls on Bainbridge! And that in turn reminds me of what a biologist friend just told me~she has to watch out for aggressive monkeys that escaped durning the filming of a tarzan movie in Florida! Good grief!
      Lake Michigan is pretty wonderful, isn’t it? I think I’d trade it for Bainbridge Island, though, if I had the chance.

      Liked by 1 person

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