Monday, August 6, 2018

Cooper's Hawk

On June 25, 2018, I was in our home when I heard a loud thud.  I immediately knew that another bird had flown into our dining room window.  This frequently happened  but I was not expecting to see the image I saw when I went outside to see if indeed that was what had happened.  Sure enough, it was a bird, but not the ordinary birds that I usually see on the ground beneath our window.  This time it was a, what I believe to be a Cooper's Hawk.  He looked quite dazed and believe it or not, he had a dove in his claw.  I came back in the house to get my camera as this was a, what you might call, a National Geographic moment, for me.  When I went back outside, the hawk kind of half hopped and half flew to the other side of the house.  Of course, I followed.  Just after taking the following picture, the hawk once again half hopped and half flew to the front of our home, never letting go of his prized dove.
As he was at the front of our home, I was able to capture another photo.
The entire time I was following the hawk around our home, I was talking to it in a calm manner.  Of course it was totally a one-sided conversation but non-the-less, a conversation.
Once again the hawk left the area but by this time, I think it was coming out of its dazed state because it did not hop this time but it flew at a low level over to our bridal wreath hedge.  And yes, the conversation was still taking place. I noticed that this hawk had somewhere along the line been injured as its tail feathers were pretty mangled and it had lost its leg on the right side.
As I walked toward the hawk, it went under the bridal wreath and sat on the other side.  I slowly walked around the hedge to where it was and sat on the ground approximately 7-8 feet away, still talking.
 At this point, I guess it realized I was not a threat to it and it proceeded to pluck the feathers from the dove, as you can see in the video below.
In the photos below, it shows the hawk plucking off the feathers and eating the dove, although, in the photos, I doctored up spots on the dove where the eagle had torn into its body.  It was a bit difficult for me to watch in the beginning but the thought kept running through my mind that this was a once in a lifetime photo opportunity.  It was unbelievable that this hawk allowed me to sit on the ground that closely and take pictures and videos. 
Later that evening, the hawk came back and was standing on our old wagon.
Since that time in June, the hawk did return on the 24th of July and hung around our place for a good week. It still allowed me to get pretty close for photos but this time I wasn't too happy to have it return.  It was getting the baby birds around our home. Other than the occasional sound of mamma birds squawking frantically, we hardly heard the happy sounds of birds in the mornings or throughout the day. 
Now the hawk has left our home area, it's nice to hear all the birds, once again, singing in the mornings and throughout the day.  I used to not like hearing the birds singing so bright and early (sometimes at 3 a.m.) in the mornings but now, I welcome the sound.

Vintage Car Show

On June 23rd, my husband and I traveled down the road a bit to go and see a vintage car show.  Wow, when you look at some of the vehicles that were there, I'm think'n somebody has a lot of time and money.  Some of the cars were pretty spectacular.  Below are a few of my favorites.
And how can we forget the pair of dice hanging from the rear-view mirror.
I think my favorite was the Dodgem Bumper Car made to run on the open roads.  I can remember as a youth, spending time at Saratoga Springs, in Lehi, Utah, riding the dodge cars.  Fun times!

Grandson and Grandpa Time

Our daughter and her family came from Oregon to spend time (a week) with us the third week of June.  Since their move to Oregon last October, our visits are few and long in coming.  I sure miss them.  One (or two) of the special times spent while they were here was at the school playground.  Grandpa actually had the time to come in out of the fields and get in some quality family time.  I love these pictures of our little grandson and grandpa!
And yes, it was a hot day and grandpa is wearing a  jacket - haven't figured that one out, yet?!  In his defense though, it was raining off and on for a bit.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Idaho Tornado

On Tuesday, June 21st, my husband and I were walking out to the garden to check on some gopher traps.  My husband looked towards the East and told me to look.  He exclaimed that what we were looking at was indeed a tornado.  Now, in our little town in Idaho, that is something you don't see every day.  In fact, in the 60+ years of my husband living here (with the exception of years missed from serving a mission in England and college), he has never, ever, seen one.
I told him I was heading to the house to get my camera and he told me I'd better run because it would probably disappear fast.  R.U.N.!  Was he serious?!  But, in a round-about-way, I did run to the house, if you want to call it running.
After getting my camera, I did not go back to the garden area but headed to the fence in our backyard and took my photos from there.  Amazing, really something amazing to see.  It was approximately 15-18 miles from our home but it was large enough that it gave me the opportunity to get a few photos before disappearing back into the sky. 
You can go HERE, if you would like to watch the news footage that someone else in the area captured on video.  Their footage was coming from a different angle and the tornado looked white,  whereas our view showed us a much darker tornado.