Early to bed means early to rise. We were up at 4:30am and out the door a short time later headed out to Slaughter Ranch. We were up before the sun and it greeted us with a glorious splendor.
It started over the mountains slowly.
I had the hubby stop a few times so I could catch it's greeting.
It peaked over the mountains caught behind a cloud teasing us with a light show.
Bell's Vireo was hanging out hopping in a tree along-side the dirt road to slaughter ranch. We ventured off the road after securing the car.
Just down the empty stream a Black-Throated Sparrow was happily tweeting.
He balanced himself on a delicate twig.
and we were watching him.
A little frog was holding steady in the pond.
The squirrel stared us down from his perch high on the rocks above as we went back to the car and left.
We drove on and stopped when we spotted a Gambel's Quail scurrying across the road. We drove on and hopped out of the car when we saw something different flying in the sky.
We got back to the car and drove on finding a Red-Tailed Hawk on a fine early morning.
The light gave us even a better look at this red sheen.
Slaughter House Ranch does at times have painted buntings so while early in the year we hoped to have a sighting of our own.
The Ladder-Backed Woodpecker was actually on the road in to the right on what looked like an old pasture opening that is no longer in use.
Here is a better shot of him.