It has been a personal quest of mine to capture some of the birds of prey in my area. You know, like an eagle, or a turkey vulture, or a hawk. It never ceases to amaze me how oblivious these animals seem to be. They can be sitting on the side of the road, watching dozens of cars drive by, but the moment you turn around and try to photograph them, they fly away.
Regardless, I love these photo quests I go on. My daughter usually passes out in the car gently falls asleep, giving mommy some much needed alone time. And if she doesn’t, it gives us a chance to go out and explore our surroundings. Whether it is…
the geese gathering in the fields, the black birds swarming around us like schools of fish, or collecting rocks on the side of the road (her favorite).
Our time, on Sunday, was not in complete vain. I was completely taken by surprise when this Great Blue Heron decided to land twenty feet in front of my car. I fumbled with my lens, almost landed in the ditch, and got a few fuzzy shots of him flying away. Luckily, he didn’t fly very far. And so I crept, very slowly, to get this:
Not the prey animal I had in mind, but definitely a very satisfying experience nonetheless.
I was so excited to see this cow (moose) and her twins that I just had to share them with you.
In fact, the exact words out of my mouth were “She is still alive!” The thing about living out here is that you become quite used to your surroundings. And every year, there is a female that gives birth to a lovely set of twins. Granted, it might be one of her daughter’s that is carrying on the twin birth legacy, but I would like to think that it is the same one that I have seen for the last four years. (Anyone know the average life span of a moose?)
And just for fun…
Just a yearling
Just doesn’t know what to make of me
This past month, I have been pretty grateful for the flax that was left in this field. It really provides a bit of security, knowing where these long-legged beasts are likely lounging. The flax has kept them off the roads (for the most part) and has kept me out of harm’s way.
There isn’t a lot of traffic on my way to work, but there is a lot of wildlife. Last year, I counted nine moose along the commute, just in one morning. I once had to sit and wait for a herd of elk to pass by me. I counted their shadows as they sped by my windshield -twenty-three in the first batch, twenty-four in the second. Last week, I am sure I narrowly missed a bear. (It could have been a miniature pony with extremely large shoulders…)
This picture was taken off of my front deck in 2014. This young calf (moose) had decided to call our yard her home for about two weeks. I love wildlife, but they can be… unpredictable. Her presence made me fearful to be out in the yard with my daughter. Even my dogs (there are three of them) kept a respectable distance from her; and their barking did not seem to faze her, at all.
This purposed a little bit of a dilemma. I did not want to phone the conservation officers because I feared they would just shoot her. I also did not want her around. The boys, of course, dreamt of ways of keeping her contained, raising her and riding her around like a horse. They tried to feed her grain out of pails and came within petting distance of her hind end. It was amazing to see, and an amazing experience to be a part of.
One morning, I woke up early to water the garden. As I turned on the hose, the dogs began barking behind me. When I turned around, she was less than five feet away! This was the one time where the dogs did not keep their distance. They became aggressive, barking and nipping at her heels, effectively driving her away from me, and my yard.