B17 Flying Fortress and a Chicken Hawk

wwii_bomber_2This morning, I heard it in the distance. It was a cool September morning and from behind the trees, I could hear the roar of the motors. It wasn’t until I saw the undercarriage that I remembered a B17 Flying Fortress was stationed at Tri-Cities Airport for a few days giving flights and tours aboard the vintage aircraft.

My grandfather, Harold Cate was a tail-gunner for a short period in World War II and I’ve always been fascinated by this sturdy and iconic aircraft – always drawing pictures of these birds when I was a kid.

I watched and listened in awe as the metal goliath slowly paced itself flying toward the Northeast. I had a small window to view the airplane through the trees. And just as before, as it passed behind the canopy, all I could hear were the engines.

Almost immediately as the plane passed beyond my vision, there it was. Silently, peacefully, a red-tailed hawk was flying high in the trails almost as soon as the B-17 disappeared.

My apologies for citing another coincidence, but I’ve started to pay attention to hawks in my lifetime and they continue to show up at the most unusual times. I am not about to speculate as to why they show up when they do and why I’m so compelled to notice their arrival, but this one was worth recording – once again.

As of the flying fortress faded into my valley here in Tennessee, the peace of that Hawk took me away once again to many other moments of this iconic totem. I only wish there was a photo of the moment and this blog post will have to serve my memory of this moment in time.