I spotted this beauty while driving home after some time spent up in Lassen. The early morning sun was just peeking over the mountains, which I imagine felt nice and warm on the eagle's back. At first I was a little frustrated by that branch in front, but looking back I actually kind of like it in a weird way.
"There is a kind of beauty in imperfection."
You can't really tell from this photo because there's nothing to give it scale, but this is one of the largest hawks I've ever seen, let alone photographed. A big, powerful and beautiful bird, that never took it's eyes off of me; and when I got too close, it flew off with the most nonchalant confidence.
"A hawk isn’t afraid to perch high; not because he trusts he won’t fall, but because he trusts he can fly."
I really hope you enjoy this photo, because I literally endured a verbal assault to get it. Here's the story... I was driving along and saw this beautiful walnut tree grove on the side of the road. There were groves everywhere, literally for miles, but most of them were being pruned and had piles of branches everywhere, which didn't make for pretty photos. I saw this one and pulled over - no fence, no signs, no nothing. I started taking some photos and enjoying the entire scene. It was peaceful and tranquil and perfect. I think my biggest error was that it was so lovely out there that I got a bit absentminded and began to stroll through the trees, looking for more shots. Right or wrong, it honestly never crossed my mind that it was someone's property. That seems stupid to say now, but it literally didn't. In my mind it was just a beautiful walnut tree grove on the side of the road. Well when the farmer miraculously appeared out of nowhere he definitely straightened me out on that point. In the end I left unharmed, thankfully, but it was actually super intense and easily one of the worst experiences I've had in a long time, possibly ever. In fact, I'm honestly not sure if I've ever been screamed at, cursed at and called names like that before. To such a degree that I made sure to keep my distance in case he decided to take a swing at me. It was THAT serious. Looking back, yes, I was 100% in the wrong. It wasn't my property and I should have been more respectful of that fact. And judging by his insane reaction, he must have to deal with annoying people like me all the time, and I feel really bad for piling on to his troubles, if that's the case. Although it's probably safe to say that we both could have handled things a little better.
I woke up to a super heavy fog, and even though it was an eerie morning, I decided to go looking for something interesting to photograph. Soon enough I stumbled upon this beautiful vineyard with a large tree off in the foggy distance. I found the fog to be simultaneously pleasant and precarious. Pleasant in that it was extremely quiet and peaceful, precarious in that I felt that at any moment something scary would emerge from the mist. I'm not entirely sure what that says about me.
"When you are happy, you feel the sunshine even inside the fog; when you are unhappy, you feel the fog even in the sunshine."
-Mehmet Murat Ildan