I told Mom I would call her back, grabbed the camera, then discreetly tried to slide the telephoto between slats of the Venetian blinds, focus, and manage to get a clear shot, all without alerting the hawk.
Right. A bird that can spot a field mouse from space, and he's not going to see me jostling the blinds or poking a camera in his direction from across the road. And, of course, the second I get everything lined up--and through the telephoto, this guy was seriously scary and as large as a bald eagle--he spreads his enormous wings and flies off. I got nothing. Just a bare branch with nary a feather to be seen. I kept looking throughout the day, hoping, but he didn't come back.
Then this morning as I drive around the bend toward the house after walking the boys, there's a large buck strolling casually down the road. It's the Head of the Herd--all the does and fawns up here are his--and he wasn't in the least inclined to move off the road; this is his territory and he makes it very clear.
Once, last year, he bellowed at me when I was out back raking leaves--guess he thought I was too close to the familia. I wasn't even aware he was there in the woods, but I sure got his message loud and clear.
I don't know where he hangs out during the Summer months, though there are plenty of fawns around so I know he keeps...ahem...busy. Around this time of year he shows up and struts around just in case there are any interlopers or young bucks foolish enough to challenge him.
So, I quickly parked the car, then dashed inside for the camera and went out on the front deck just as he walked into the bushes beside the drive. I barely had time to get one decent shot before he leaped over the deer fence as if it were no more bother than stepping onto a city curb.
Here's my semi-crappy photo, nothing compared to how he looked meandering along in the middle of the road as if everything on the mountain belonged solely to him. He's a handsome guy, isn't he? And with that impressive headgear, it's no wonder he has such a nice big harem...