Posts tagged “Mercey Hot Springs

Made in the Shade

Little furry creatures would do well to get out of the sun when the mercury hits the century mark. This bunny knows how to keep its cool.

Not that it’s much cooler under that abandoned house.

They were positioned all over the place, in the shade but near the edges where they might catch some of the feeble breeze.

Mercey Hot Springs Owls

Mercey is known for its Long-eared Owls but in the summer the population thins out. The resident Barn Owls were in abundance though. I found 5 of them in the near 100 degree heat keeping their cool in this stand of trees.

Not many visitors this time of year… but they are thinking of raising the “birdwatching fee” to $25 from the present $5, because some folks have been staying over 5 hours staking out the owls. Most people there for the birds only linger an hour or so and I’m guessing the fee increase will keep a lot of them away.

I didn’t see this owl until it froze me in place with that spine tingling scream.

I took a quick picture and backed off. They are gorgeous birds and I was feeling a little guilty for disturbing them at all.

The famous long-ears weren’t showing in their usual numbers but this lone individual was not hard to find, obscured as it was, in the tree they always use.

Hot Hawk

95 degrees in the shade, well if there was any shade. Man it was hot, and what on earth is a young Redtail doing in the middle of all this? I’ve never seen one out here before, a few miles south of Mercey Hot Springs.

Is it injured? Is it sick? It sure is keeping a close eye on the skies.

What is that bloody mark on its head above, and in front of, the eye? Weird. Wow, it is hot as blazes. I should just get back into my car and leave.

I’ve been spotted. Oh, that looks like a little string of meat not an injury. Still, this bird is acting weird, rolling its neck around and looking dazed in the heat.

Oh good, it is taking off. So it’s healthy enough for flight then. Perhaps it will find some shade in the nearby gully.

Oh! I get it now. That dazed look was a food coma. And those shifty skyward glances and raised hackles were in defense of your meal, off of which you have meticulously stripped little strings of flesh in this blazing heat. You’ve only been out of the nest for a couple of months at most, so this might be your first snake… I see you are finally flying toward the gully like a hawk with good sense to go with your predatory prowess. Good luck to you.