6:50 a.m., Longleaf Preserve
Thirty seconds are a long time to be lucky enough to watch a hawk in the wild. I slipped out the front door, trying to close is as quietly as possible, and walked through the portion of the house addition still under construction, up to the second floor and around the corner to a third flight of exterior stairs leading to an open deck perched forty feet in the air on the west side of the house.
My knees almost buckled when I saw the full moon hanging over the Longleaf forest at a 120° angle in the approaching daylight. It was so unexpected. And then I saw the hawk. He was perched on an old, unused fence post.