Our farm gets buzzed by the French air force (armée de l’air francaise). Often we get several visits in a day, or a couple of planes flying together. They are based at Mont-de-Marsan which is about an hour’s drive away in my Toyota, but a much quicker trip by Mirage.
We also get visited by helicopters that fly overhead. On rare occasions we get a helicopter that hugs the contours of the hills. You can hear it over the next farm but can’t see it until it flies up over the hill. Sometimes they hover over a spot on the farm as part of their training, or perhaps to take a photo of the tree fallen over on the tennis court. I was woken up from a nap the other day by a loud engine noise, so I staggered to the window to see who was driving their tractor by the house but no, I was mistaken, it was a helicopter hovering above the Colorado paddock outside the bedroom window. Haven’t they heard of siesta time?
But today was the first time a helicopter gunship buzzed me. It would be hard for the pilot to avoid aiming at me in the field since I presented an obvious target. Maybe his instructor was sitting next to him saying “Make an attack run at that paysan in the red sweater.” This fearsome vehicle rose over the trees, aimed at me and flew directly overhead. I snapped a photo as it passed.
There was a moment as it raced towards me when I felt a little fear that he was going to let loose with a rocket, so I raised the fence post I use as a walking stick and gave him a wave.