To allow my inner Swedish svelteness to manifest itself I’ve been doing some hiking and biking. I do my own Elmer Fudd biathalon in which I bike for a mighty 3 miles. Hike a hill interval style that I swear rises up at 90 degrees. Then go back to the bike and bike up another hill of the same size. And so I face the normal obstacles–inertia, rocks, mosquitoes, dump truck drivers who flirt with the idea of running me over. That sort of thing. But now I’ve got one more.
You know I’ve been trying to attract some crows and ravens. No luck yet. I’ve gone to plan Q which is probably what most people would do for plan A–just put up a bird feeder with cat food in it. Except I haven’t gotten around to erecting the whole apparatus. So no crows or ravens yet. But I have been able to attract the attention of a pair of hawks.
At first I thought they were protecting their nest. A pair of doughty parents. But I’ve looked about and can’t find any nest. Furthermore, they don’t always pull their stunt in the same area. And so I’m beginning to suspect they’re toying with me.
Here’s what happens. I go on my hike and while I’m walking in place at the beginning of a new interval, looking out over the magnificent mountain vistas and contemplating important things like cheese, one of these hooligans will sneak dive bomb me from behind. At the last moment the bird will pull up making a huge WAAAHOOOF sound with its wings that sends my heart racing even faster than it already is. It’s like someone taking a huge broom and swinging it at speed three inches from the back of your head.
Yesterday, I saw them off to the right at about 100 yards, calling out, making that piercing cry. I thought—ha! they’re over there. But THEY weren’t. It was only one of them. The other guy was between me and the sun. And so I’m hiking along minding my own business and WHAAAHOOOF! I just about had a heart attack.
I’ve caught one diving at me once. It’s an amazing thing to see a bird of that size hurtling from the sky straight at your head. And I would welcome such an experience again. But they just won’t perform. No, they’ve got to blindside me.
This week I’m going to get a picture of the low-budget criminals and post it here.