Last week, Cindy and I had to make a quick trip back to our home state of Indiana. We drove the 1,600 miles there in two days, then had an extra 1/2 day for the return trip.
We found the usual pronghorn, pheasants, hawks, songbirds etc, along the way. However, as we were approaching Buffalo on I-90, a ten mile stretch (#73-#63) changed all that.
First a golden eagle nest with two white chicks. It was in a dead tree at the bottom of a ravine. If one had time, they could actually look into the nest from a close hillside.
Just down the freeway Cindy spotted three fox kits playing at their den entrance.
A bit farther and a short-eared owl flew across the highway to land on a fence post. By the time I could pull over, it had already taken off to fly moth-like just above the sage flat.
At #63.5 near a work zone, I spotted a badger. Luckily there was a large gravel pull-off that got us safely off the freeway. Right away I realized she was at her den, so we waited a bit. Sure enough two youngsters soon appeared. They played and explored while their mother glared at us. Eventually realizing we werent a threat, she flattened out to sleep at the dens edge.
It's always tough when you find a situation so far from home. I would have loved to photograph the eagle nest, also spend time with the foxes. I did photograph and film the badger family.
But, the one that really frustrates me is the short-eared owls. I haven't worked on one in over thirty years. It would have been fun to seek out the nest.