Today was a clear and sunny day in western Nevada County, California, and although the air was chilly, Sam and I decided to take a stroll in a local park several miles from the cabin. As the warmer air in the open was more inviting than the chilly damp air in the shade (where there was still unmelted ice), we soon found ourselves gazing up at huge oak trees spread across a wide grassy area.
Winter is the perfect time to watch raptors hunt. A Red-shouldered Hawk flew between perches as we enjoyed the show. Without leaves to obscure our view, we were able to see this agile avian in action.
The light was much better today for photographing wildlife than it was during my attempts this past week. Not only was I able to get close to my subject, but this hawk obliged me by spreading its wings and taking a short flight in the sun-lit afternoon. My chilled face was well worth venturing outside.