So last weekend I went out on my birding adventure like normal...had a great day. I drive slow around the refuge because that is when you see things other people miss. Also...pulling over and just sitting in a spot yeilds wonderful results. I tell people to use their cars like a blind...once you pull up somewhere you just sit and the little things comes scurrying back out as if you aren't there. To the left is a photo of a Sora Rail...these birds are very elusive and inhabit the dark recesses of a tule pond, only to be seen by those more patient than others. They move quick, one second they are there....another they are gone. I actually watched this one for quite a while as it fed in the shallows of the pond. Cute little guy. After the pond I moved on saw lots of Ducks, a Merganser, a Great Horned Owl and many of these guys below...Horned Larks. They are very pretty and very striking with their black and yellow. I wandered the roads a little more until sunset when I decided to go to a spot surrounded by water to get a nice sunset shot. The roads were fairly dry...but bouncy, with pothole after pothole filled with water and mud...I had to slow quite a bit to negotiate around these sometimes spine shattering holes...and just I was about to get to my destination the most horrible thing happened....my camera and lens mounted on my window pod mounted to the window, suddenly dropped off and crashed to the dirt road below. I was only going about 10 miles an hour but...it was enough. I stopped, jumped out of the car and ran back to see my lens...detached from the camera.....all the computer ribbons sticking out and the computer board sticking out...the lens had come apart at the base...sheared off actually because the metal struts holding it to the mounting plate and just sheared off...broke...no fixing that...that has to go to the shop. I knelt there in the road surveying the damage and the sunset was very pretty...but...I could not enjoy it. I realized that in my newer RAV 4, the windows curve...they don't go straight across so the pod slipped down as I drove and was not actually holding onto much of the window. A hard lesson learned. I sent the lens to Sigma....it will cost $450 to fix it....I don't have that right now so I'll have to wait. So my photographing days are on hold right now while I figure out how to pay for my lens repair. I bought this lens used but it still set me back $900. I was only able to afford it several years ago after an end of year bonus. I don't get bonuses anymore so....but this lens was so worth it....it is awesome and I love the shots I get with it. So....that's my sad story and yes, seeing that lens on the ground really hurt!