Fortunately, my great friend Patty was up, and good-naturedly made the drive at the near-ungodly hour of 0600 to come and unlock the door so I could retrieve my keys (item #1 on my agenda: make a copy of the house key).
The upside to this delay is by the time I reached the road where my office is located, the resident kamikaze pheasant was out and about with his mate and babies. I had the Canon 20D with the 24-105 mm lens on hand, so I quickly pulled to the side of the road to see if I could get a few shots without getting chased away.
Mom and chicks scattered, but he seemed unperturbed by my presence. I zoomed in and took a few photos, and cautiously started to approach him. He, apparently equally curious, approached me. We were within about 2 feet of each other when he started to "talk," but showed no aggression, and even seemed to enjoy posing as I snapped away.
As I turned to leave, he followed me and I thought for sure he'd chase after my car like he normally does - but by the time I looked in my mirror to see where he was, he'd already disappeared into the brush.
At the office, I checked the photos. To my disappointment, while my aperture settings were correct, the shutter speed was too slow, so I ended up with several blurry photos.
But it was terrific encounter and learning experience. Next time I see him, I'll be ready.