Story time! I got to see a hawk up close and personal today. Beautiful and amazing creatures, but this was a little too close... There is a very large oak tree and two very large pine trees about 15 feet apart from each other that form a triangle in one part of the barnyard. Six hens and one Pekin duck were scratching and poking about around one of the pine trees. As it was a beautiful late-afternoon day, I grabbed my camera and hoped to snap a couple of good pictures of the birds. So, I sat myself down right under the oak tree. Within a couple of minutes (and no good pictures), the birds proceeded to hide completely under the pine tree (figures, the stinkers). Only one was wandering on the outskirts of the low pine tree branches. Suddenly, that bird darted under the tree with the others. No big deal, I thought at the time; this hen is the flightiest of them all and it wasn't surprising to see her dart away. So I turned off my camera, stood up from under the oak tree, walked out from under the branches and away from the protective cover of all three trees and... ...and almost walked face-first in to a divebombing hawk! We both screamed in surprise! I'm about 5'5" and those talons were coming straight at my head. I ducked and raised my arms over my face to block a collision, but thankfully all I felt was a huge gush of air. This hawk had good air brakes. And it nearly did backflips to hightail it out of there!! So that's why the chicken darted under the pine tree -- it had nothing to do with being flighty or camera shy! And the hawk didn't even see me sitting under the big branches of the oak tree. The happy ending to this story is that the birds are safe, I am safe, and I don't think that hawk will be back for a few days. Darn hawks think I run a drive-through KFC!!! DH says, "Why didn't you have your camera on?"