Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Florida Crested Caracara Road Kill Cafe

This morning we went out on our last long ride before next Sunday's Horrible Hundred. We took a favorite route, one that pretty much stays in the open areas of the local ranches and wildlife preserves. The sky hinted at blue, but there were too many clouds for the morning to warm up much. We laughed that you don't need GPS out here. Just follow the power lines. When the power lines stop, so does the road.

Part way through our ride, we came upon a Road Kill Cafe. It had one customer leisurely enjoying breakfast, a good sized squished critter. I got excited and screeched to a stop when I realized the bird was a Florida crested caracara. It's in the falcon family, but it's primarily a scavenger. Caracaras tend to stay on the palmetto prairies. We saw them a lot when we were riding off-road on the prairie over by the Kissimmee River. They are beautiful birds. Caracaras are more skittish than other large birds. Usually a caracara is long gone by the time I get my camera pointed in the right direction. This time the caracara stopped briefly on top of a fence post giving me time for one very hasty photo.

We are ready for the Horrible Hundred. Al has been setting a challenging pace, and we've done a lot of miles over the past week or so. We will go out on more rides this week, but not long or fast ones. Just rambles to keep things loose and happy. I need the time off strenuous riding. Charge up the battery, as it were.

Can't wait to ride up and down hills again!