As Diane Arbus, the great photographer of unusual people, once said,"I never get the picture I take, it's always better or worse." Ain't that the truth!
I had a great day watching young Bald eagles soaring in a very high and bright sky. I clicked picture after picture knowing full well I was getting loads of muddy dark shapes pasted against white backgrounds to stuff the virtual waste basket with. It was probably one of those days more suited to nature appreciation then photography. Still, you never know what might shake out. The big birds were scrapping high in the sky testing each others verve. Tracking them in the long lens was fun and got downright exciting when the juveniles swooped low. "If only the light was better!" How often have you thought that? One odd ball picture of the young eagles passing straight overhead turned out better than the others and serves as a remembrance of the day. You can bet the house note I will eventually get the job done taking their picture. I spotted nine juveniles in the air at one time! Where did they all come from? I'm thinking the adults had a stellar season child rearing and that is good news indeed.
I hung around all day hoping that by evening the sun would be low enough to throw some defining luminescence on the young eagles. As if playing a practical joke, the buggers road the thermals right out of town or sat frozen in far away trees when the perfect light finally showed golden.
A flight of geese left the pond and I snapped off a few shots from a little elevation more out of reflex than anything. Amusing reflections maybe, but when you have eagles on your mind that hardly satisfies the great expectations. Then good fortune struck, the kind of unexpected visitation that whips a nature photographer into a frenzy. Buzzing around the hill and flashing white wing markings a small flock of Night hawks descended! From trying to solve the problem of catching the slow glide of a dark juvenile eagle to tracking the manic maneuverings of a tiny Night hawk is quite a shift. Funny, a little panic struck me. Don't blow this opportunity! I have been schooled at the hand of serendipity, these unplanned moments are a tease, seldom do they last long enough to record them successfully. In a New York minute the hawks moved along, the sun set, and I went home to unlock my camera's treasure chest to see if what rattled inside was silver or lead.
|Common Nighthawk, Chordeiles minor|
While there has been plenty of fun a feild it's been in rough contrast to my work days in Detroit. The shifts are crushing; thirteen shootings in a single day, the kind with bullets not cameras; bleeding people knocking on the firehouse door looking for sanctuary from their assailants; nameless bodies in burnt out vacant houses; and the fires, my god, day after day it goes on. Our fire engine is so beat up the compartment doors are held shut with cloths line. The power steering leaks like a sieve, it feels as though my wrists will break clutching the wheel as we careening around the pot holes in the road, there are no mechanics to make repairs. Our new Fire Commissioner stopped by one morning for a fireside chat. He comes to us from sunny Los Angeles and does not know Midwest post industrial madness very well. When a 19 year veteran of the Detroit fire wars, a guy with a necklace of burn scars around his throat asks him about fire house closings and the sorry state of our infrastructure, the Comish pleads budget constraints and suggests that if this fire fighter isn't up to it, maybe he should find a different line of work. My jaw drops in disbelief at the obvious insult my brothers question received. Our new Southern Californian boss hasn't even experienced winter yet, sopping wet and flash frozen in brutal January cold snaps. We laugh at his naive bravado.
For me bird photography is meditation. I sit silently and observe. Sometimes I bring a picture back but always I leave something more substantial behind. Michigan's wetlands are filled with my grief and weariness. Mine is a confusing world, and right at the moment the absurdity of it feels particularly perilous and threatening. Those little pockets of time when sanity reigns and the bones of my resolve can thicken again are all the more precious. It doesn't really matter if the pictures come out or not.
It is WBWXXXX. Of all the wonderful things in my life this is one of the most unexpected and inspiring. The anticipation of the peaceful moments spent with you observing and discussing that which is beautiful and intriguing helps to frame my thoughts while fighting the good fight all week long. Thank you for sharing! I am grateful.
Now it's time for World Bird Wednesday!
This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.
World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.
#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry. It contains a link for your readers to share in WBW. Or you can copy this link on to your blog page to share W.B.W. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/
#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with Linky.
#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!
The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to incourage your compadres!
Please consider submitting one of your older "hall of fame" posts to a fresh audiance.
Come on it's your turn!