24 January 2010

Inspecting For Aliens Part 1 - The Wildlife

It was that time again at work. Time to go out into the wilds of Wyoming and inspect alien labor housing. The good part is always getting out of the office and into the backwoods. So armed with cameras, my co-worker and I set forth. Our objective: Inspect and get that part done on time, so we could take more pictures on the way back. Luckily, my co-worker is a fellow photographer who isn't phased when I yell "Stop the car!", bail out, fling myself onto a snow-covered hillside and start snapping away.

This was one of those days I regretted not having a better digital camera, or a SLR with me.Of course there were deer. Lots of deer. We didn't see one antelope the whole trip on the lower plains, but as soon as we got into the hills, the deer came out in abundance.

We also saw turkeys in the distance, nothing like the hundred from our last trip. Not close enough for pictures. A ring-necked pheasant ran across the road in front of us, much too quickly for us to get a shot off, and besides, I hate taking pictures through the windshield. (Although I abandoned that position later, as you will see.)
What's a road trip without cows? We saw plenty of them, although this was the only one that would pose. The rest turned their backs, or stuck their head into the grass and ignored me. Hey, at least this one was alive.
After lunch at the Co-op in Hulett, we started back. We'd seen eagles in the distance on the drive out and hoped we'd find some on our return trip. Be careful what you wish for. This time it was my co-worker who slammed on the brakes. While I was eyeballing the eagles high in the sky, she kept her eyes on the road.
A dead deer by the side of the road is an unmovable feast for eagles. Normally, they'd fly off if we approached, while the greedier magpies swooped in to grab a bite. This boy was unintimidated by us, however.
He flew off to a tree top for just a few moments, then came back to guard his lunch.
It's hard to tell from the pictures, but this was a big bird. Probably approaching three feet tall.
This is one of those through the windshield shots. He let us get pretty darn close. So we took a last pic and moved on. Oh, and the eagles do good work. The heart was gone, and they had started on other internal organs.
Another bend in the road, and some bald eagles hanging out in the trees.
This one flew across the road and perched in another tree, where he proceeded to pose for us while we frantically snapped away. The wind was blowing briskly, and the poor digital had a hard time of it holding focus.
But the eagle was obliging, and stayed for a good five minutes, calling and posturing.
Moving up fast on my Have To Have list. A digital SLR, the best of both worlds. Of course, by the end, my fingers were a bit frozen as were my feet from standing out in a snowdrift taking pictures of the eagles. I could have stood there longer, just watching and listening, but duty called, and so did the office. So we packed it in and headed home, heater blasting the chill from numb fingers.

Next: Inspecting For Aliens Part 2 - The Landscape


Kristopher said...

OMG, that bird is huge! Is nobody inspecting for those thing? Or did they just carry off the inspector

Anonymous said...

Great pics!
You get paid to do that?
You state workers got it made!

Constance Brewer said...

Kris, now you know why we kept the car between us and it. *g*

Constance Brewer said...

"Us" state workers had to do paperwork in order to be out there. So it wasn't just a pleasure trip. Did I mention it was damn cold, too?
Suffering to bring you blog content.

Gabriele C. said...

Wow, those pics - and eagles - are impressive.

Carla said...

Those eagle photos are amazing. The closest I've come is walking through a gate and finding a buzzard tucking into a dead sheep on the other side of the wall, but buzzards are tiny in comparison.

Constance Brewer said...

Carla - those birds are BIG. A little intimidating. Of course when they were in the sky all I could think was LOTR. "The eagles are coming, the eagles are coming!"

Mz Nonn said...

Ah, once again, Anon uses proper grammar... a Noun that is also an Adjective... "worker". Shows action too! Much better than SUNY Employee, don't you think?? And, those eagles are absolutely amazing! No wonder you love where you live (and work)!

Constance Brewer said...

I'm sure it's NonnyMoose's civilizing influence on Anon that helps his grammar. :) Waiting for Anon to top my day at work with one of his.

Anonymous said...

Both of you will be cast in a not so favorable light in my retirement memoir "State Worker-Oxymoron" which will be available only at Amazon.

And no,I will not sign your copies...don't ask!

Constance Brewer said...

"available only at Amazon"
The children's book section is huge. How will I ever find it?

When are you retiring to write this masterpiece, your Oxymoronicness? I need an electrician out here. :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

wow, what fabulous shots of those eagles!

Constance Brewer said...

Hi Crafty Green Poet!
Long time no see. Yes, getting to see the wildlife up close and personal is one reason I live here. And keep a vehicle between me and said wildlife. :)