“Hey man, you getting any good shots?” the bandanaed bicyclist said to this rucksack-wearing, Nikon-ready hiker.
“I’m trying,” I said back, but two miles into the park I hadn’t yet seen anything to document.
And for the next hour I didn’t see anything either. The hardwoods were flooded, the air muggy, and it was quiet at Myakka River State Park. It’s alright, I told myself; You don’t always have to get photos.
I hiked on, and then I saw it — no more than twenty feet ahead, patiently perched above the forest’s flooded waters, this handsome red-shouldered hawk.
He gave a piercing warning call, but I was happy to see when I looked back that I didn’t startle him from his good perch.
In 2011, I wrote about another Buteo lineatus extimus, and how there is always at least one surprise of the hike.