It was a good Taco Ride last week with as many as 20 riders out to enjoy the dirt. As per the usual routine we sort of naturally split into a continnum of groups such as Fast, Kinda Fast, Sometimes Fast-Like, Medium and Whatever speed for the ride.
So I'm riding along somewhere along in the Medium to Whatever range and my mind wanders...its so good to have the Denmans Woods trail back. We lost it to floods in early June and only recently has it returned to its former glory. I'm happily twisting and turving (its a new word I'm working on) through the colorful leaves; it is so relaxing and.......BOOM! big hawk swoops in front of me. He's flying low, right along the trail. As he banks a turn and flies overhead I see that its not a big hawk, its an big owl.....and he's got a brown brushy tail.....wait, big owls don't have tails......he's got a squirrel.
By now I am slowing to stop. I turn and say to Nick, "that owl has" -- "AWESOME" he says.
Ok, you've seen it.
Meantime Mr. Owl lands in the tree right above us. As we slow the riders coming up from behind and fumble for our cameras Mr. O just looks down like he's saying in a thick New Yorker accent "Yeah, so I got a squirrel. So what?! You gotta problem wit dat?"
I get my phone out, gloves off, line up the shot.....decide I want to zoom it, get the zoom set, aim aaaaand the owl flies off. Grrrrrrr. At least Nick got a shot.
BAM! predation; Animal Planet; awesome. The last time I saw Animal Planet like this was when a Hummingbird attacked my garage!
You can't really see it in the picture, but he's got a pretty big squirrel under him. He must be holding on to it with one talon while holding on the branch with the other. Man, I wish I had talons, they are just so useful.
Later when we caught up with our riding buddy nicknamed Squirrel (he rides in the Fast group) we told him about the owl and the demise of his fuzzy brethern. Now, I don't want to say he was nervous, but he did ride off shortly after that.....and he was going pretty fast....
I guess I don't blame him.
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a big brown squirrel? One, a-two, three - CRUNCH! - three.