This glorious sight was thanks to the wonderful people from the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center. Today my son and I joined a dozen other bird watchers and naturalists on a morning hike from the town of Paris, Virginia, to the top of Ovoka Mountain. We were treated to several raptor views, a variety of scat and animal tracks, and many fascinating conversations with fellow hikers. After cresting the mountain, we had a sweeping view of the Crooked Run Valley and the farm fields of Loudoun and Fauquier counties.
Members of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center met us at the mountain top where they released two rehabilitated red-shoulderered hawks. The hawks had both been hit by cars, had healed well and were strong enough to return to the wild. When set free, they confidently flew high into the air, where the strong air currents off the mountain carried them aloft until they were out of view.
I’m proud to say that my 10-year-old son took the above photo; he has a wonderful affinity for nature and for photography. Today, I just followed his lead.