Saturday, November 18, 2006
It was a grey kind of day, with clouds spilling over the mountains like roiling waves. Nippy but pleasant. Our morning walk was uneventful, but our afternoon walk was a bit more exciting.
We'd made the circuit around the park, and up and down the dog run. We'd crossed the common and were watching a big crowd of quail feed only a few feet away through the fence. This is a six foot high chain-link fence with woven vinyl privacy slats. So while we had a good view of the quail, looking through small holes in the fence, they didn't seem aware of us.
Suddenly they exploded into the air in every direction, some coming over the fence, squawking and screaming. And right behind them was a red-tailed hawk. He scarcely cleared the fence. He flew about a foot over my head and landed in the cherry tree only three or four feet away. I could practically have touched him. When he saw me he almost did a double take. He hopped a branch higher, and a few seconds later he launched himself into the air and was gone.
No time to even pull the camera from my pocket, but I have his image here in my memory.