Monday, July 15, 2019

When Birds Attack on a Nature Walk

Location: Copper Breaks State Park; Quanah, Texas (elev. 1500 feet)

all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone
click pictures to enlarge

Early this morning I decided to take a walk on one of the hiking trails. It was the same one I walked on last time I was here and it is an easy walk of a little over a mile. They mow the path wide enough so you can see if anything is lying in wait for you. The temperature was in the upper 80's and the humidity was rising. I carried two bottles of water with me in a small insulated case. Carrying it wasn't too bad and the water stayed cold but I will be looking for something else in the future. I took my walking stick to beat around on the ground to make sure I didn't surprise any rattlesnakes that may be out tanning. I was the only one on the trail and the only one in the campground as the camp host was working at the office about 2 miles away. I thought about this after I was half way through the walk. Hmmmm, I thought, you better not twist an ankle or have any heart problems cause it may be quite a while before anyone comes along. But, risks are everywhere in this life, so I kept going (I really didn't have any other option since I was half way). There are several short paths, off trail, that leads to some outcroppings. I explored a couple of them and was extremely careful around the loose rocks since I had just recently put "twisting an ankle" in my head. 
The majority of the trail looks like this 

It didn't take me long to decide, short trail, short trail

A scenic overlook along the trail

This is one of the short off trail paths. Loose rock equal possible slipping

It is hard to believe man or animal passed through this country. It is wicked with brush.
When I was about 1000 feet from the end, I was attacked by a bird. It came up behind me and hit my hat. As I was trying to figure what had happened I saw the bird flying away from me down the trail. It swooped upwards and circled back for another dive bomb attack. I waved my walking stick at it and it swerved off at the last minute. I walked quicker because I figured I must be near her/his nest. Of course I couldn't walk very fast for very long since I had just walked a mile in hot/humid weather. This dive bombing happened about a dozen more times before I made it back to Freedom and safety. I was huffing and puffing by that time. Later, I went to the park office to see their little museum and told the ranger about what had happened. She said it has been reported before and the bird is some kind of Kite. Possibly a Mississippi Kite. All I saw was a three foot wide, grey bird swooping down on me with talons raised. Oh well, there is  always some kind of excitement around the bend. 

Tomorrow is moving day and I'll be heading a couple of hundred miles to the north west. I'll be stopping for one night at a little RV park in the town of Stinnett, Texas which is about 20 miles northeast of Amarillo. I don't think there is anything to explore around there and since I'll only be there one night I may not make a post to the blog until the next stop. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.  


  1. My free listings for Texas show Stinnet used to have 3 days free camping at the city park a few years ago.

    1. I saw that place too Barney. No reservations on a 100 degree day, no thanks, I'll make sure I have a place to pull in with 50 amp service. I'm spoiled.

  2. You are braver than me, seeing that path (even though it was nicely mowed) I wouldn't even consider it with rattlesnakes anywhere near by LOL...and then that bird, you would have heard screaming coming from this girl haha. Glad you had water with you for sure! Beautiful pictures!

    1. I wasn't too worried about the snakes as long as I remembered to bang my walking stick on the ground every now and then. Now, the bird scared me because it first came at me from behind and hit my hat.

  3. Kites are aggressive when nesting. We actually saw warning signs in some parks in Oklahoma. Plenty of added excitement for your walk.

    1. Yes, plenty of excitement from the bird. Scared me at first. Overall a nice walk though.