I attempted a walk this morning but found White Rock Lake unwelcoming both naturally and unnaturally.
Overcast skies dropped a continuous shield of drizzle through light fog, something that made the air wet and palpable, a cool damp cotton draped over exposed skin. That alone made photography of any kind all too difficult. Shielding the camera and wiping the lens encompassed the whole of the endeavor.
But worse yet was the presence of thousands of people for some kind of running event. Police cordoned off all entrances and exits to the park, throngs of jogging and running bodies oozed over the landscape like so much tree sap, one massive organism made up of many smaller creatures, and I could find nowhere to stand that didn’t place me withing spitting distance of at least a dozen other people.
After dodging the onslaught of humanity and the dampness for nearly an hour, and all without accomplishing much of anything as wildlife had been frightened into retreat by the mess, I finally gave up and came home.
I tended to a few chores, read the news, caught up with a few of my favorite blogs, then stepped outside once again to check the weather.
My garage entrance enjoys the shielding of an upstairs balcony, one that overhangs the driveway and provides a nice means of being outside without being exposed.
As I stood beneath the garage door watching a handful of squirrels practicing their arboreal acrobatics, they suddenly changed moods from morning breakfast hunt to warning barks and tail wags.
After walking to the edge of the balcony’s cover, I glanced about expecting to see one of the neighborhood cats sauntering through. Such occurrences often send the squirrel population into panic mode until the threat moves on.
But I saw no cat. Despite this, the rodent drama grew in volume and intensity. Whatever threat they perceived did not appear to be leaving the area.
Yet what had them rattled so, I pondered.
Then the predator they all feared came into sight.
A massive red-tailed hawk swept down from the balcony railing just above me, its perch no longer hidden or productive given the cacophony of warnings sounding from the nearby trees.
With but one flap of its wings, it took flight and soared around the corner of the building so quickly that I scarcely had time to recognize it, let alone get the lens cap off the camera.
And to think it had been so near to me that I might have leaped up and touched it had I known it was there. Imagine the photo opportunity with such a spectacular and large hunter silently watching for an opportunity to catch breakfast, completely ignoring me standing cluelessly beneath it.
I’d request a do over were such things possible.