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Out and about the prairie,
mid-afternoon
on a warm and windy winter day,
I see seven Red-Tailed Hawks.
Rather than flying down from tree tops
as I approach,
most of them fly up,
out of tall, dried grass.
I think I know what they’re doing:
waiting for field mice.
The field mice population
is booming this year,
and, with an abundant food supply,
so is the hawk community.
Ann has trapped
(and released—in a place far, far away)
18 field mice
in the high tunnel,
where they had been decimating
kale.
Her trapping has reduced
kale-nibbling
considerably,
giving the greens the chance
to make a comeback
from its severe pruning.

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Every season
of every year,
there is a whole new set of surprises,
out here
where the food chain
is so obvious.