Monday, October 17, 2011

The Hawk At The End Of The Road

Although we are no longer on our last road trip (AZ & UT), I still have at least two blog posts to do relating to it. At this moment we are in Oceano, California, which is on the central coast. I'm happy to report that today's long drive from the southern end of the state was the easiest on record. We actually breezed through Los Angeles and the Valley. Once we got to the RV campground (is that an oxymoron?), we took a nice (not so much) long hike through coastal sand dunes that seemed more like they belonged in the Sahara Desert. At the end of the hike there was a magnificent oasis called the Pacific ocean. You don't get to see those photos yet! First, we have to do a couple more posts from the last trip.

This wasn't the roughest ride on our trip, but we "heard" it would lead us to a nice place.

And so it did.

When you are in this part of Arizona, it seems like every road leads to the Oak Creek. Back roads don't seem to be enough for us, so we started hiking along the banks of the creek.

As out of the way as it was, the rope swing over the creek (behind my wife) told us that this was somebody's swimming hole.

Oak Creek is an awesome free flowing large creek that meanders all over this part of Arizona.

I posted a sample pic of this guy a week or so ago.  I wish he was sitting next to something else to give the size of this guy some scale. He was HUGE!

He was no more than 10 feet from us and had no fear what-so-ever.  We have many red tail hawks where we live, but none of them are as big this guy. I'm still not sure exactly what kind of hawk he was.  I wanted him to take off so I could get a photo or two of his wingspan. We waited and waited, he did nothing. We yelled, he just stared at us. I had given up when all of a sudden he took off. I didn't really have time to aim or focus my camera and had to shoot from the hip. That didn't work out too well. I got a shot of my own knee, one of the sun, one of blue sky and one of him that was too blurry to use.

No post about this part of the country is complete without some of this.

Or this...

.

63 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Awesome photos! And you're taunting us with those ocean photos.

Clarissa Draper said...

What a beautiful hawk. Thank you for sharing more photos with us.

California Girl said...

My first view of Oak Creek Park at the age of 9 was on our family trip to the Grand Cyn & beyond. It stayed w/ me too. Many years later, my husband and I took a trip from Bisbee, AZ to Lake Powell (all the way, south to north) with our sons. Oak Creek Park was still a highlight.

Esther Montgomery said...

It must be like living in a film.

TexWisGirl said...

a northern goshawk, perhaps? so hard to tell with hawks since they vary so much thru their development. really beautiful!

Pat Tillett said...

Alex - Thanks Alex! Not a taunt, just a tease...

Clarissa - It sure is, now to figure out exactly what type of hawk he is. My pleasure!

California Girl - I also saw it as a kid and was amazed! On this trip we drove by Lake Powell, but had no time to stop. Isn't it huge?

Esther - Yeah, much of it a comedy!

Ann Best said...

I just caught up; scrolled up from October 10. Red rock and red dirt: I can see this vividly from the four years my daughter and I lived in St. George, Utah. Never saw a hawk there (this picture is great!), but there was an owl who sat in a tree outside our duplex all day. I had never seen a real live owl before! All your awesome photos show what fantastic country there is "out west." Thanks for taking me along on your trip!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

KarenG said...

If you come as far north as SLC, please let me know because Bruce and I would love to drop in for a visit! We aren't too far from the biggest copper mine in the world *wink wink*

Cezar and Léia said...

Fantastic trip and your pictures are awesome.This place is blessed indeed!Magnificent landscape!
Léia

budd said...

I love rope swings!

Lovkyně said...

someday i will take this road trip you are on. ^_^

Ms. A said...

Great photos! I've gotten several shots of the floor, feet and other things I wasn't aiming for. I'm not very quick on the draw anymore and, as slow as I am, my camera isn't much faster.

tapirgal said...

Now I'm travelling through your eyes and really enjoying it. Gorgeous place!

Belle said...

Great pictures! How lucky to see the hawk from so close. Beautiful bird.

faye said...

Wonderful shots ( again )..
I would like to trek along
that road too.. the spot was
divine... and that hawk.. WOW.

Reka Sang said...

These are some nice serene shots...loved the hawk....in flight would have been awesome.

Pat Tillett said...

TexWisGirl - As we sitting in a huge fog bank today, we won't be doing much, so I should have plenty of time to figure it out. Thanks!

Ann - My pleasure Ann! As you know, it's not only a beautiful place, it's also a huge place!

Keren G - Who knows? We may just make it up there sometime. If we do, we'll be sure to let you know.

Cezar and Leia - Thanks so much! It is indeed magnificent!

budd - Me too! I haven't been on one in a long time though...

Ven - I hope you do. You also live in one of the best parts of our state.

Ms. A - Thanks! I'm with you. My quick draw isn't what it used to be.

tapirgal - I'm happy to be able to return the favor. You've taken me on many tours also...

Belle - Thanks Belle. We were so surprised that he landed so close to us.

faye - Thanks faye! My favorite back road is coming up soon. We were on it all day and it even got a little bit scary (for us anyway).

Reka - I agree. I love how serene the off-the-beaten paths can be. I totally butchered my chance to catch him in flight.

Sharon Wagner said...

That's just the way it works. When you don't want a bird to fly away they can't fly away fast enough. Great pic.

Marlene said...

Your photos are always impressive, Pat. You're leaving me with many ideas for future road trips. Thank you for that!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Those are wonderful photos, Pat. The only time I get to spend in Arizona is visiting one of my kids in the northwest corner of the state. I love it there, but obviously need to travel to other parts.

Pat Tillett said...

Sharon - That is so true. I still love photographing them though...

Marlene - My pleasure! I still have a lot of new ideas for us also.

Patricia - Thanks so much Patricia! It's a big state with lots to see. So much open country

missing moments said...

Just beautiful country ... and of course I love the hawk!

Stephen Tremp said...

Spectacular shots of spectacular scenery! The rope swing brings back memories from my early childhood. We could spend all day swinging out into the lake on that ol' rope.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

gotta love that hawk!

these are some seriously wonderful shots! thanks for sharing.

James said...

That's quite a hawk but I love the two bottom photos!

Ms. Becky said...

this series of Arizona photos has been a favorite of mine. the colors are truly fantastic and you've captured the beauty of the state for sure. so you didn't use the rope swing yourself? great shots Pat. as always. happy day to you.

Pat Tillett said...

missing moments - Thanks! I loved the hawk also. We have plenty of them at home, but I never get this close to them.

Stephen - Thanks! I used to love them also, but it's been so many years....

Betty M - Thanks so much for the nice words! I appreciate it.

James - As much as I loved that hawk, I agree with you. There is just no topping that scenery!

Miss Becky - Thank you so much! No, I wasn't about to try that swing. I'd either end up in the hospital or on America's Funniest Home Videos!

#1Nana said...

They are such powerful birds. Your pictures of the scenery make me want to take to the road in the RV...looking forward to the day the spouse retires.

Jessica Bell said...

Gorgeous pictures! They remind me of the Australian outback a bit ... boy do I miss home ... :o) Nice to meet you. New follower!

Ebie said...

I miss the red rock country of Arizona. But I look forward to your new photos of your trip to the Central Coast, never had driven that far.

Kaori said...

How absolutely gorgeous! And I love your close up photo of the hawk! His eyes look so fierce...very handsome bird :D

Pat Tillett said...

#1Nana - they sure are. I'm in awe of raptors. I hope you do get on the road soon. It seems like we are only home about half the time now. It will help when he retires.

Jessica Bell - Hi there! I know there is so much red earth and rocks in both places. Thanks so much for commenting and tagging along. I appreciate it!

Ebie - thanks Ebie! I still have some posts to make from the red rock country in Utah next. Then I'll start on this trip. We've been fogged in for two days, but this morning there is sun and we are about to go exploring.

Kaori - Thanks so much! He was very handsome!

Shrinky said...

WOW, he is utterly magnificent, and looks deadly!! What a trip you're having, I'm turning green..

M Pax said...

What gorgeous scenery!

We've been out in the Oregon wilds this week. I love the west.

John McElveen said...

Absolutely phenomenal!! I LOVE THAT BIRD OF PREY!!!

I think we need a two camera system to take pics of Birds. A Fake one that we point at the Bird and then take it down--faking him into flying away laughing!

Then our Real One--still pointed and focused at him, able to catch him at his own game!!!!

Brilliant post as always Pat!

John

Pam Tucker said...

LOVED the photos, Pat. The shots of that hawk are amazing! :-)

Pat Tillett said...

Shrinky - He did look deadly. I think that is what I like about them. They are what they are...

Mary - Thanks! I'm with you! The west is awesome. Wide open also...
We're away from home also this week.

John - I think you are correct. I'm terrible at shooting from the hip these days. Thanks John! I appreciate it...

Pam - Thanks Pam! He just sat there until I took a good one!

pitchertaker said...

Wonder if that could be a young golden eagle?

Ann Best said...

Thanks for your comment today on my I Almost Got Scammed post. It's a beautiful world, as we see from these photographs. But it's a dangerous world where humans are concerned!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Pam said...

First of all who you callin a moron.. second, your such a tease about seeing the Pacific.. you know I'm addicted, Pat.
Big bird is a real beauty, nice capture.
Rough Riders would be a good name for you two :)

altadenahiker said...

Ha! I recognize this and this. But I also love the swimming hole.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.
---Elizabeth Barret Browning

Rosemary

Carly said...

Looks like a fun trip. It's neat that you saw the hawk. I love the red color in the rocks.

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Incredible shots Pat. What a great place to be when the road ends. The hawk looks huge without scale.

Darryl and Ruth :)

Anthony J. Langford said...

Beautiful shots. And that water looks good enough to swim in.

Great Hawk shot too.
Awesome Pat.

=]

Brian said...

You go on the best road trips! That hawk is awesome!!!

Pat Tillett said...

pitchertaker - I just don't know enough about them to know! Time for google!

Ann - My pleasure Ann! Yes, there are predators in both worlds.

Pam - Sorry about that! Despite the thick fog here for most of our trip, I think I still have some good things to post.

altadenahiker - Me too! It's been years since I swung into one.

Rosemary - that's a nice one and so correct!

Carly - It sure was a fun trip! The colors out there are amazing.

Darryl and Ruth - Thanks so much! Yep, it was pretty big, especially sitting right over our heads.

Anthony - Thanks buddy! It sure did and it was pretty warm that day.

Brian - We are pretty lucky along those lines. thanks!

Leovi said...

Beautiful and spectacular pictures, I like them all a lovely place.

Pat Tillett said...

Lwovi - Thank you! It was a lovely place.

becca said...

beautiful photos as always

Martha Z said...

I never tire of the red rock country.
Birds are rarely cooperative. A pair of red shouldered hawks were playing tag today, just beyond my back yard. I was on the phone, no camera handy. I hope they come back.

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

What a beautiful place and a beautiful bird. Gorgeous.

Stickup Artist said...

Wow, wow, and more wow! What an epic road trip and another glorious post to prove it! Reddish rust earth tones and rock formations, lush green foliage reflected in the water, the bright blue sky and the hawk that oversees it all. You are out there doing it. Happy Trails!

Ree said...

Love that last shot! Looks like a wonderful trip.

Baby Sister said...

Is is a beautiful part of the country, indeed.

Pat Tillett said...

becca - That's very nice of you to say. Thanks so much!

Martha Z - I'm with you! It seems like I get punished whenever I don't have a camera handy. Hope you are having a good weekend!

Laura - Thanks so much Laura. It's beautiful there...

Stickup Artist - Thanks! It was a great trip. We just got home today from a week up in Oceano (south of Pismo Beach). It was VERY foggy most of the time, but still had a blast and I think I got some good pics to share.

SquirrelQueen said...

That creek is so pretty, the best places are always way out there. That swing looks like fun, did you try it?

Great capture of the beautiful hawk. The way you are describing the size it has to be a female. Female hawks are larger than the males.

Francisca said...

More of the fabulous...

Pat Tillett said...

Ree - Thanks! It was a great trip. I still have a couple of posts to do on it and we just got back last night from our last trip. Gettingbacked up!

Baby Sister - It sure is. It's hard to explain how beautiful it is.

Pat Tillett said...

SquirrelQueen - That's so true! Nah, I'd take one swing and the next thing you know, I'd be on America's Funniest Home Videos.

Francisca - Thanks so much!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Hi Pat,
These photos are majestic. I especially like the second to last.
Be well.
xoRobyn

Copyboy said...

I hope you have a photo essay book in the works!

I love the close up hawk pic. Also amazed that watering holes still exist. We call 'em puddles in NYC.

Pat Tillett said...

Robyn - Thanks so much! that guy sat there so long that I got tired of taking his photo!

Jesse - Shoot, I don't even print any of them! We were really surprised to see the rope swing there. Thanks Jesse!