Saturday, January 31, 2009

"The game bag is no longer empty!"

So sayeth Andrew who took the pictures today. We wandered through the canebrake bottoms and saw little to nothing. Lots of nests today, but it was cold and a bit windy in the tree tops. The only thing I could figure was that the squirrels were holed up against the wind in the hollows of the trees.

At one point we came upon the remains of what could only be the old Baum residence. In the 1800's, this house was moved closer to the water in Nags Head Woods from its original location to escape being swallowed by a giant, slowly moving sand dune. This dune is still there (Jockey's Ridge), but the house has long been swallowed by the woods themselves.

We found this huge holly tree growing sideways from the bank. I could almost walk the trunk.

We did see two squirrels that the hawks chased, but couldn't catch before they disappeared into the thick underbrush. An immature bald eagle cruised low and slow over the top of the canopy. We froze, waiting for it to move on. After Gonzo got knocked out of a tree by another bald, I don't take these big birds for granted any more. After it passed, we got the birds moving again.

At one point, the hawks dove into the underbrush like they were on something. I clamored through the thick growth and found Gonzo under a bush on the ground.

"He's got it!" Andrew exclaimed from the other side of the brush pile.

And sure enough, gonzo clutched something in his talons. I reached for him, pulling him out of the bush. He had a wood mouse in his clutches. I took away and slipped it in the bag.

"The game bag is no longer empty!"

Thanks Andrew.

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