March 27th, 2023
Yay! Another Photo Safari Report! As you can see, Joy on the left and me on the right, it was a chilly start to the day. Shorts and sweat jackets, what a combo! But honestly that is the perfect solution. It was brisk in the early morning, which is when we start but as they day (and the miles) crept forward, it got warmer and warmer until the jackets came off. And of course those we can easily tie around our waists and just keep going which is exactly what we do!
I'm calling this Photo Safari the Two Hawk Hike. For the following two, awesome reasons:
We saw the first of those magnificent Hawks very early in the hike. Joy spotted him right away and pointed him out to me. You maybe cannot tell from the photo, but he was significantly larger than the second hawk who alerted us to his presence with that famous screaming call that they do. He swooped magnificently across the sky and landed on that tree limb. Snappity snap we went right away. We saw the second guy several more times, each time was a thrill!
As I mentioned earlier, we head out early on our hikes. First of all, because the days are getting warmer and while we do hike on the hot sweaty days of summer, why do it in Spring if you don't have to? Hike early when it's cooler while you can, is our plan! Once summer rolls around there is no cool. Less hot maybe, not certainly not cool. But also because early in the day is when we find most of our birds. And it doesn't hurt that the light is amazing at that time of day.
Here are a few of the beautiful early morning shots:
Our first goal was a preserve that is only accessible through the first preserve. It involves walking across a wonky wooden bridge, going through a gate, across an open area and then through a second gate. We rarely go there but it's always interesting when we do. I was hoping to find deer again. Not many people head to this preserve (I'm not sure many even know about it). In the past, the deer we spotted showed very little fear of us, more curiosity. So when the deer and the humans spot each other, first we both stop, then hold very still. Sometimes while standing quite close (which is always awesome!)
But this time, we saw no deer. We didn't have time! As we stood just in side the gate, we contemplated which of three trails to follow. Hmmm. The one to the right looked especially shady which would be nice when the day warmed up. The one in the center forks not far down and then we'd have to decide which way to go again. The path to the left looked promising with dappled sun and shade. But wait, there was something down there. What is it?
We both brought our cameras up and extended the telescopic lenses as far as they would go. Oh mercy me, it's a wild pig. But it's just one and he's small. And he's busy eating. No worries.
Oh wait, there's a second oinker. Not too worried as the second one is even smaller than the first.
We were not especially concerned because they are way down that 3rd path, we could always choose go a different way. And these two guys don't look too scary. Oh wait. Dang!
The spotted hog was at least twice the size of the other two and then I heard Joy say quietly, "Oh there are more". That's when spotted pig lifted her head up and looked directly at us. Which was about two seconds before we went back through both gates and into the first preserve. A good basic policy is to never mess with Mama Pig. They are notoriously bad tempered. Whew! An exciting couple of minutes there!
The rest of the hike wasn't nearly as adventuresome! But it was a lovely 6.5 mile hike even so. By the time we were ready to go, we had neatly circled back to where we started. Clever eh?
In the meantime between the wild hogs and the exit we got to walk in beautiful nature:
Saw plenty of botanicals in one stage of life or another. I often marvel at how many different ways there are to make a flower. Each one is essentially the same idea, but they are all unique and perfect and beautiful just as they are:
Managed to find a few insects too:
The only other bird I managed to capture was a crow and while one might shrug and say, meh, it's only a crow, it's still a bird and it counts!
So I guess that's about it for the Two Hawk Hike! Hope you enjoyed :)
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.