A few minutes ago I was getting ready to head out to the bank and grocery store. I figured I'd better give Moon-the-Dog a bit of time in the yard before she hopped in the pickup's cab. We exited out the back door. Moon went her way, I mine…which was around the cottage to take a look at the river. As usual I had my camera in hand.
Imagine my surprise—more like shock!—when a Cooper's hawk suddenly dashed through the trees and landed on the ground about a dozen feet from where I stood. I'd been ambling along toward the riverbank when the hawk flew down. There was no small bird or squirrel on the ground anywhere in the immediate vicinity of the hawk's landing zone; the hawk hadn't been targeting a victim or in hot pursuit. I wasn't dressed in head-to-toe camouflage.
I'm slightly smaller than your average sasquatch, but only slightly. Hawks have excellent eyesight and aren't noted for their inattention or being dullards. Therefore, a nature scribbler standing in his front yard does not expect a Cooper's hawk to plop itself practically at his feet…nor, I suspect, does a noble and savvy hawk expect to subject itself to such an embarrassing and precarious oversight.
I gaped at the hawk. The hawk gaped at me. I raised the camera, focused, snapped a photo. DSLR cameras make a lot of noise. The hawk still gaped at me. I took another photo. The hawk looked left. Photo three. Hawk looking right. And so it went for about another dozen shots—all more or less recording variations of similar poses.
Then Moon-the-Dog came around the corner. Moon gaped at the hawk. The hawk gaped at Moon…OHMYGODADOG! The terrified hawk almost turned inside-out taking off and flapping away. Moon gaped at me. I caused that?
Expect the unexpected. And carry a camera.