Topic: "Shire Sunset"
A warm mid-winter day is reason enough to stand out in the Shire and watch the Sun set, spectacularly embodied by purple and orange. Frodo is not alone. The usual suspects are sniffing around the backyard, and Mr. Beau Neau is hunting whatever mole may have been foolish enough to tunnel underneath his defined territory. In the bare-leaved deciduous tree to his left Frodo spies the Red-Tailed Hawk on silent sentry.
This time of year in the Shire, the Red-Tails and their predatory relatives have constructed aeries, consummated their relationships in swirling acrobatics high aloft, and are warming the shells which encase the fledglings. The silent sentry is ahunt. This fact is not unnoticed by the small birds, squirrels, and ground creatures who inhabit the Shire. It is eerily quiet as Frodo enjoys the Sunset.
Frodo does not have many opportunities to withstand winter's chills, even in the Shire, and simply watch. Frodo's days are longer than the available sunlight. That fact makes these moments special. The sentry has duties to perform, and he is accomplishing little by simply watching the Sun set on the Shire. He wings his way to a distant and, perhaps, more productive perch, while Frodo considers the cyclical nature of the Hindu faith. The sentry may be a true old friend, dropping in to remind Frodo of days past, and time shared together.
"Good hunting, old friend," says Frodo. "There are squirrels beneath the pecan trees near Ernie's old place," and the sentry swoops purposefully in that direction.