This evening on the way home from a quick trip into town I got stuck in a line of traffic stopped by the flag woman for a water main project in the big city (Penn Valley, pop. 1,600, a mile from home). Of course I was in Rusty (my 1927 commercial roadster pickup).
Just as I pulled up to the line a gorgeous little felmale Cooper's Hawk landed on the phone wire above me. Usually the stop for the pipeline is about a minute but this time it took about 10 minutes. No problem the comfy Ford seat was perfect for watching the bird. I think this is a noisy little female which often hunts in my yard. They are territorial and all my sightings have been of a bird the size and color of this one.
About 8 minutes of watching this lovely bird sit stone still was rewarded as she dove down to the lawn at the side of the road and swiped her talons into the grass. She then wheeled and flew within inches of Rusty's hood with a mouse struggling mightily in her grip.
She flew off to enjoy her meal having concluded her show. Spring weather + a top-down model T, dinner and a show, it doesn't get much better than this!
I didn't have my camera ready but this is a stock photo which looks exactly like our local hawk:
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!
Neat! We seem to see Red-tail Hawks at our place. Had a few complete a successful hunt in our yard even.
And you took the time to watch that show.
How many other drivers in that line saw anything cool like you did?
When you first mentioned the "flag woman" I was hoping this story might go another way. The hawk is nice too.. Thanks for the photo
That's good with a T - you get up a bit and out in the open compared to other drivers. The T gets you closer to nature and its slower speed makes it easier to enjoy it
Terry, that was neat! I love hawks! We have both Red Tailed and Coopers out here. They sit on our firewood racks waiting for the stupid sparrows to come out and wham! Dinner time! But, here's a pic of a feisty Mockingbird chasing one down our driveway couple of years ago. The poor Hawk couldn't get away fast enough! I have a pic somewhere of a Cooper patiently waiting under a small pine tree by our patio one winter but can't find it. He got the sparrow!
I think your little vignette summarizes what owning and driving a Model T is all about.
Rather than sitting in your enclosed, air conditioned modern car and stewing over the delay, you found a way to relish the moment.
Poor mouse. I think that with just a few hugs, we could convince our violent feathered friends to give up their evil ways and live in harmony with other creatures.
I remember being stopped on a road due to construction one morning and seeing a red-winged blackbird sitting on a cattail in the ditch outside my passenger window. All of a sudden, as he was busy looking for a bug to eat- WHAMMM! A Kestrel came in like a missile and knocked him into the weeds. A short struggle and then the Kestrel took off carrying his meal. All before the feathers from the initial attack had settled.
"Circle of Life" and all that......
My wife works from home and her desk faces out her office window. She keeps one of these suet cake bird feeders hanging right outside the window. She and the cat enjoy watching the birds on that feeder. When she goes to her office, the cat follows her in, jumps on the desk, proceeds to the window sill and lays down to watch the show. There's lots of other wildlife out there for the viewing in broad daylight when there's nothing else going on outside to scare them away. Rabbits, deer, raccoons all right there in the front yard.
We are quite lucky here in the Pacific Northwest to have Bald Eagles in our back yard. These are majestic flying birds that mate for life and the male does most of the hunting.
We can watch the male as he sits on the rim of the nest waiting for an unsuspecting field mouse or other tasty morsel to wander out in the open.
It appears that his mate has succumbed to either old age or the perils of the wild as we have not seen her this year.
He has taken to flying low over our yard and home aimlessly perhaps looking for her. His grace and majesty flying overhead always makes me stop and watch the graceful flight.
Years ago I took my 1913 T up to the North West... San Juan Island. At American Camp we pulled in to the parking lot and a ranger there said the car was "neat". He insisted that we proceed past a barrier and park for the show. We had 5 passengers in our three row Mountain Wagon and the top was down. He positioned us in front of a tall pine which had a Bald Eagle nest in the top. We got to sit and watch two little fledglings take wing for their first time with a bit of prodding by mama. It was really comfortable to sit in the theater style seating the T provided!
THAT is really cool. Thankfully, the bald eagles are making a comeback. There is a pond maybe 15 miles from us that has a tiny little island in the middle and an eagle's nest in a tree on the island. For all I know, it may have been put there in an effort to help them out. Not sure if they are bald eagle's, as I've never stopped and tried to look, but I thought it was cool that they are there. Not cool as having them in your own yard, though!
My wife just texted me a picture of a quail in the front yard.