02-09-08. It was a Saturday morning in February and we were off for our morning workout in Milford. As we arrived at the club, I spotted a red-tailed hawk perched in a tree along the Upper Charles Trail, which runs behind the building.
On came the familiar, “Why didn’t I bring my camera?” frustration and lament. I hate to miss opportunities to photograph birds, especially this beautiful hawk. I have a few hawk pictures in the collection, but not a real good one. And I’m of the warped "if I don’t have a picture of it, it doesn’t count" mindset (which I’ve tried to work on, without much success).
Later that morning, Peter got a call from his dad who needed a prescription refill picked up. He asked if I wanted to go along for the 44-mile ride to Leominster. Not really, but still ruing the missed hawk, I said, "OK, but only if you stop if we see a hawk along the highway." After years of experience Peter knows to go along, humor me, keep peace.
So we’re on Route 146 going north around Sutton — there’s one in a tree! We happen to be going 75 mph and already past it before I say something.
Another missed shot, damn.
We’re past Worcester, going north on 190. ‘Round about West Boylston, there’s another hawk! And once again we’re whizzing on by. A few miles later, another one soared overhead ... at that point I’m resigned — we’re almost in Leominster. No hawk for me.
We went into a CVS to get the prescription. As I headed out to the parking lot, I had trouble processing what I saw in front of me. Just beyond our car, on a power line, larger than life: a red-tailed hawk. Suppressing my urge to jump up and down, I pointed it out to Peter who was trailing behind. He laughed: "That’s too easy!"
Easy? I think not! I stealthily grabbed my camera from the car. And the shooting began.
Finally ... right time, right place, right lens
Eyes like a hawk.
Talons designed for hunting.
Something has his attention ...
Suddenly he's down on the snow-covered ground ...
and taking off with a victim (I'm glad this is blurry).
At another location to eat ...
Not the best shots, at an angle through glass, but you get the picture.
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