Taylor Ho Bynum

*Photo by Peter Gannushkin

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Djerassi Diary (Day 15)

After practicing naked in a barn (with its artificially dappled roof) and climbing atop a massive fallen tree trunk to inspect an artfully sanded protuberance, I saw a red-tailed hawk in the sky. Sharply silhouetted, it revealed what looked to be a snake dangling beneath it. Was this the hunter’s prey, or had the snake gotten a bite of the bird and was resolutely hanging on? Even as the hawk got close enough for its tail to glitter brightly in the sun, I couldn’t make out the nature of its carriage. Was it some human refuse entwined about its ankle? Was the hawk simply exceptionally well-endowed? It gave an ambiguous cry (triumph? pain? frustration? pride?) as it circled.  One more call in response to a passing plane, and it was off into the distance.

Later in my walk, I saw a rabbit in the path. Its situation was clearer: it was dead. Perhaps the flies that landed on it carried their own internal mysteries.

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