Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The hunter

The snow is quite deep around here now. It's hard for the predator birds to catch a meal.

This Rough-legged hawk and its mate have been hanging around this area for a couple of months now. I've never been close enough to get even this fuzzy shot until yesterday.

I've seen lots of mice trails on top of the snow these days since it's quite mild and the snow is melting underneath and making the ground wet - I can see the dogs wet footprints where they sink into the snow and reach the ground. The snow is compacting too and though we get several inches every day it seems, it is wet and heavy making it less easy for little creatures to tunnel through and smarter to go on top.

So there is hope that these big birds will find a meal somewhere. Of course there are always my little birds - Nature's way.

And as usual when I stopped the car and took the first image through the windshield, then slowly and carefully opened the door to get closer - the bird sailed off - wings spread wide, floating, no flapping, just soaring along on the currents - what a sight - too far for me to get a good photo but it certainly was imprinted on my mind.

Nature's beauty is often more apparent in winter I think - not so many things to distract my eye like flowers and flashes of colour. I wonder what it would be like to soar like that, over fields and trees, vision so keen the smallest movement below is caught?

Like many of us who write or photograph nature for our blogs, as winter gets deeper in the northern hemisphere, animal life becomes more rare for me to catch. Mind you I hear coyotes and wolves almost every night. And two or three days ago in broad daylight half a dozen wild turkeys were gathering grain in the field across the road where the snow was scoured away by the wind. They fled when I tried to catch them in the viewfinder... and the camera froze up. Maybe when it's warmer.

Enjoy the day wherever you are.


  1. The silence of a rough legged hawk hunting is something to behold! Hoping this great predator has success. Nice piece.

  2. "Nature's beauty is often more apparent in winter I think - not so many things to distract my eye"

    That is a perfect way to put it. While we don't get quite as much snow as you (lol) I totally understand what you mean by that statement. The colors of spring and summer can be such a distraction that you miss a lot of what is going on around you.