I was sitting at my desk in Cincinnati, Ohio
doing work. I have a
"--a semi private place for executives. My
team has a fairly open workspace--several desks outside a common
area. We call them "neighborhoods," a term I've heard in other
offices, though in mine, for navigation
purposes, they are all named
after actual neighborhoods.
My cube is on the other side of the neighborhood from the windows of
our sixteenth floor office. A small balcony exists on the other side
of the window, then a view of the Ohio River, and the new baseball
stadium. It's really an awesome view. I generally sit in such a way as
to face the window. Mostly, it makes me feel less isolated from my
I was in head-down mode most of the afternoon, trying to get through a
PowerPoint. The radio switched from music to All Things
Considered--there was an hour left in the day. After the initial
news, I glanced up, and my team was gathered in one corner by the
windows. Something was up, and, as I was slowly going nuts, decided it
was time stretch my legs, and check it out.
A peregrine falcon was sitting on the corner of the balcony. I knew
they were downtown, occasionally seeing leftover prey on the street,
or looking up and seeing them glide around on the thermals
the urban heat island generated.
But here one was, sitting in front of us. He (or she) was perhaps a
foot or so tall, but huge talons. I never realized they
were so big. She (or he) sat on the corner, and watched us. I would
have sworn the falcon had come to visit the zoo: "See the office
workers in their native habitat."
I went to get my boss, knowing he wouldn't want to miss it. And the
eleven of us stood--ten geeks, one bird--and watched each other. He
(or she) was a magnificent creature. She (or he) got bored, turning,
and leaving us to gradually go back to work.