It was a warm day in April, and luckily, I had the day off. Since, sadly my husband did not have the day off, I chose to spend the day hiking. I had anticipated spending maybe 2 hours at most.
I ended up having one of the best birding days I’ve had …. pretty much ever… and spent a total of 5 hours hiking. I’m sad that I got to experience all this without my husband, buuuuuuttt I was so glad I got the chance to take a day to go hiking and have it absolutely perfect.
The variety of birds I spotted that day was just amazing, but the best experience was the two male-ring neck pheasants fighting right in the parking lot outside my car!! Before the opponent showed up, one of them ran over to me and nearly tried to jump in my car. It was a close encounter for sure! He was on the defensive to say the least, and when the other male arrived on the scene, things heated up quick!
I’m so happy with those photos; it was just a matter of right time and right place (and right time of year). Mid April is the full-swing of breeding season so the males are all fighting for mates, and if you’re super lucky like this, you can find them doing all kinds of things to impress a female. That said, if there was a female pheasant near by, I never saw her.
The other huge win of the day was the Northern Harrier hawk, photo’d above (the whitish bird with the black wing tips). Every single time I go to this particular location for birding, I spot the Northern Harrier Hawk. I have also spotted this species in other locations repeatedly, and again and again, I fail to get decent photos of this elusive bird.
Harrier Hawks are fast, I suppose that’s why their name is Harrier. It’s alternate (and original) name is Marsh Hawk, but Harrier seems more fitting. Like a Harrier jet, this bird can stop all motion and hover in the air. It will dive down with lightening speed, and can usually be spotted very quickly flying over the tops of tall reeds looking for prey. When it dives, it spirals down, like a plane that’s been shot down. It almost looks like it’s falling right out of the sky.
I’ve seen this bird so many times, and I was utterly elated to not only see it this hiking day, but also shoot off about 20 useable photos of it, which are definitely the best photos I have taken.
In other brief news, Jesse had a minor brief relapse of the staph skin infection again, which caused a few small sores around his mouth again. Fortunately, another shot of antibiotics and some topical treatment and it seems to be under control. If it happens again, I will have to explore possible allergen issues with him. Very odd for a 25 year old horse to develop allergies like that, but… you never know.
I’ve also been using the Olaplex shampoo treatment system on my hair for several weeks now. I have been using #3, #4, and #5- which accounts for the most expensive shampoo I’ve ever purchased in my life. #3 is a bonding treatment/hair therapy mask, #4 is the shampoo, and #5 is the conditioner. I did not opt to get the rest of the 8 bottles in the system just due to costs!! I can’t say yet if I achieved the results I hoped for, but I do like the Olaplex system so far. My hair still feels thin, my part line is very wide (a symptom of that thinning hair), but my hair does feel over all less dry and frizzy, so there’s that!
I know, that was a very important update that everyone was wondering about.
Have a good one!!