‘Twas just another Sunday hike for us. Having made some sandwiches and tea, we headed to Boston’s Blue Hill in the afternoon of October 14, 2013.

At the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, they keep several rescued animals, which include a river otter. Well, I must see the otter before hiking!

River otter

River otter at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, Boston, MA

Taking a clear shot of the river otter could be frustrating. They’re fast and always moving. They love playing and don’t stay still for any more than a few seconds!

While I was patiently taking otter pictures, a man in the Mass Audubon shirt asked us if we wanted to see a red tailed hawk that he had in a can.

What? A hawk in a can? I’ve gotta see this!!!

A small crowd started gather around him and his assistant.

A child-friendly presentation of the red-tailed hawk started soon after. He really did have a red-tailed hawk in a giant coffee can! Actually, two cans connected together. He explained that a captured bird stays calm in there.

Red=tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk in a large coffee can

Red-tailed hawk, still in a can

Red-tailed hawk presentation: how they tag and release

We were just in awe… how effortlessly he handled the large bird. The hawk did great, too.

I didn’t know at the time, but he is Mr. Norman Smith, the director of Mass Audubon’s Blue Hills Trailside Museum, a bird expert. He’s also been studying snowy owls since 1981, is in charge of relocating snowy owls that migrated to the land around the Logan International Airport in Boston! How cool is that!

Red-tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk being effortlessly handled by Norman Smith of Mass Audubon; the bird keeps the head level no matter what position the body is.

Red-tailed hawk

This bird has been captured and tagged before, and he must know he’ll be released soon. Looks complacent (^^)

It was a brief presentation, nonetheless an exciting one. Together we counted for the bird’s release, and off he went.

Thank you, Mr. Smith. Thank you, courageous hawk. You’ve made my day!

Red-tailed hawk close-up

Red-tailed hawk: やれやれ

One of the reasons I love hiking is to get to see wildlife in their habitats. Wildlife in any size. I was overjoyed to have spotted a praying mantis when we sat down to eat the sandwiches at the summit. The mantis was sporting the fall colors to match the surroundings.

Praying mantis

“Blend, blend!” lol

Praying mantis

Praying mantis at the summit of Boston’s Blue Hill

Funny, I used to be afraid of them as a kid. After learning that they’re rather beneficial insects that eat the pesky garden bugs, I became fond of them. Besides, I think this one is so cute, looking up at me with big beady eyes!

Praying mantis

A gorgeous praying mantis, sporting the fall colors, posing for a photo (^^)/

The day turned out to be quite awesome! Thank you Mass Audubon!

A view from Blue Hill

A view from the tower at the summit of Blue Hill of Boston.

Oh, by the way, Mass Audubon says we can all help Mr. Smith and the Logan airport snowy owls.

Thanks for stopping by. Till next time (^^)ノ

### End ###