Animal Kingdom


There is a pair of red-tailed hawks that frequent the air space (and occasionally high tree branches) outside of my window at work. This is not about them; I just mention them because they are really fucking cool. The first time I saw one of them he was on a light pole in our parking lot. He was shredding a squirrel while people walked to their cars below him. That was actually kind of gross. It's much more enjoyable watching them ride thermals.

The other day I was watching tv when motion outside my window caught my attention. A turkey vulture was on my neighbor's roof. Those suckers get pretty big and are rather ugly. I got a few shots off (with my camera, you gun nuts) and kind of preferred the one that has him looking at me quizzically. Or like he's hungry and wondering if he can take me.

This past weekend I went down to the river for a walk and some pictures. This guy didn't seem to mind at first, but then gave me a turkey-vulture-ish look.

There's a nice little park that they recently created; it's a relatively short walkway that goes along the shore of the river/bay. The river is rather wide (a few miles, I think) because of the bay, so it feels more like a lake than a river. There's almost always a nice breeze. There are a number of informative little placards describing local wildlife, which includes a multitude of fish (many highly toxic), shellfish (ditto), snapping turtles (toxic demeanor), and a variety of birds. As I walked back from the end of the park it was well into dusk. That's when a huge bird started swooping in, apparently looking for fish. I couldn't get a good look at him, so I'm not sure what he was. Perhaps the best shot was this one, mainly because of the moon. He's out of focus, but… well, he was flying quickly and I was using a 2 oz camera at maximum (10x) optical zoom.

Last, but not least, is the “walk away” shot as I was heading out.