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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

World Bird Wednesday LXXV


A Farewell to the Fire Scene


    Lets begin at the end. It was my last day at the firehouse. This is a day every firefighter experiences; it is the lucky fireman who walks out knowing it's his last.
    That's me, lucky.
    I reluctantly left the Detroit Fire Department at 59 years of age, twelve months earlier than the mandatory retirement age of Sixty. The last five years I had been the Senior Fire Engine Operator of Engine 23. Through those years I have seen a remarkable group of professional firefighters push back against the firestorm that relentlessly consumes the City of Detroit one building at a time. With a destitute, barely functioning Government backing them up, front line smoke eaters, the folk whose job description is "first one through the door", have been walking point for over twenty years straight. Indeed, the average age of a Detroit firefighter at this writing is 45 And that's an old 45. Struggling smoke blind through a tangled jumble of "god knows what," tugging a stiffly charged attack line to the seat of the fire, is designed for fresh and hardy twenty year old men and women. The Motor City firefighters of today have never been off the pipe in all their long years and like nowhere else on the planet, in Detroit, you are guaranteed a fire every working day of your career.
    There is no safety net, it is not work for sane people, yet these hard scrabble public servants are capable of astonishing feats.
     It is a privilege anyone associated with the fire service would relish; to be a fly on the wall when the inner circle of this century old firehouse gets down to relighting their old box alarms. Everything that cannot be learned in the curriculum of a good fire science degree is shared first hand. Like how it feels when your ears start to melt off. Here the old saying applies: If you wanna know, you gotta go.
     I feel like I speak as an outsider already. The newly departed have a sense of urgency and clarity to their reminisces by virtue of their new perspective floating as they do just above the fray.
     I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this day of retirement but my ghostly fingers pass right through what used to be brick and steel and I can not find a way.






   The Yellow Rumped Warbler is the first of this jumpy species to return to Michigan in the spring. I chased a pair around a heavily wooded corner of my riverside lot yesterday but the sun was high and bright, complicating the many good looks I had with dark underbellies and twiggy shadows. They dodged around from branch to branch happily gobbling up insects and paying me no mind. The Northern Flicker in the header, on the other hand, visited for only a few seconds while I concentrated on the Yellow Rumps all afternoon and wouldn't you know it, the Flicker snaps were the catch of the day.
   Also on a happy note I found a pair of Tufted Titmice nesting in an old woodpecker hole with great afternoon sun. I think maybe the wildlife is getting used to my being around more. The chipmunks practically ignore me!



I am happy to acknowledge China, New Caledonia, Antiqua, Barbuda, and Montenegro as first time countries to visit World Bird Wednesday this month.
                                                                                           Cheers,
                                                                                                        Dave

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.

You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in, just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!




#1Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/


#2Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.


#3Check 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 encourage your compatriots!


Come on it's your turn!

58 comments:

  1. Interesting observation from your point of view about being a firefighter. You should write a book about your experiences while it's still fresh on your mind. I'm sure you have some great stories. That saying "If you wanna know" could be used for birding as well. I always wonder if I'll find anything out there.

    Glad my winter birds made it up your way. I'll miss them over the summer. Beautiful shots!

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  2. I guess I should say congratulations on your retirement, I can imagine it comes with many mixed emotions. Love your Yellow Rumped Warbler, beautiful bird beautiful captures!

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  3. I also wanted to say that the eagle shot is very befitting of your retirement story. It's time to spready your wings, dude!

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  4. Wishing you a happy retirement. You certainly earned it.
    Outstanding images Dave!

    For some reason the link wouldn't allow me to chose a photo. Maybe it is a problem on my end since I changed my template. (???)

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  5. Great post.
    Congratulations on your retirement.
    Beautiful shots as always.
    Mette

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  6. i am glad you did one more post re: your retirement. i know it is bittersweet. but you made it out the other side, free to harass birds in your backyard and your wife. :)

    your warbler shots are beautiful, too. chase away!

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  7. Congratulations on your retirement!

    Great shots of the yellow-rumped warbler. I saw a small flock here last Sunday but did not get shots as good as yours, that's for sure!

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  8. ooohhhh retirement, it's a wonderful thing. nothing to do and no where to be. time to enjoy all the joyful things in life, that we rushed through before. i've had the time of my life, really!!

    your images are awesome, really. i can only dream about getting photographs like these!!

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  9. Dave, Congratulations on your retirement!!!

    Great shots as usual and I love the eagle shot.

    Cheers
    Shantana

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  10. forgotto mention...love your header!

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  11. I think you are finding your way. Your ghostly fingers are clicking a shutter and producing some astounding images!

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  12. congrats to the retirement. Now you will get even better birshots then you already have. :) The fire department shot is marvellous. And so are the birds. :)

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  13. You worked with a great bunch of people. The job itself is hard enough, but working for a government that is struggling to stay afloat makes it even harder. I know what that's like. No doubt retirement is a big adjustment.

    The Flicker shot is fantastic! And so are the warbler photos! But I see no mention of the eagle...I love that picture! Very nice!

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  14. The yellow rumped warbler is a real cuties. I love participating in your Wild Bird Wednesday as it takes me to many parts of the world to see birds I would probably never see.

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  15. Your bird photos are astonishing! Congratulations on your retirement and even though I don't live in that area, I am sure I join many others in thanking you for your service. It is very appreciated.

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  16. Congratulations On Your retirement.

    Great shots of your beautiful birds!

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  17. Congratulations on your retirement. I speak from experience when I say that you will be busier being retired than you were being at work. The difference being that you can choose (mostly) how you want to spend your time. With your talent in photograpy you will probably gain some notoriety and maybe even publish(if you haven't already). Good luck with your new life and enjoy ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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  18. Dave, in my line the firing line was something quite different than yours, though I've been at a lot of yours too! I have only a few regrets from stepping away from them both. The friendships is one, but those who were true friends still are! There's an awful lot I don't miss in the least! After ten years, I've faded away from it all. And that's a good thing!
    I hope you continue to find fulfillment in you art and your prose. You are really good at both!
    Cheers

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    1. "I have only a few regrets from stepping away from them both. The friendships is one"
      True there Robin!

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  19. Enjoy your retirementdays! :) Beautiful photos as allways, love that yellow warbler! /Susanne

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  20. Wonderful images Dave.
    I hope you make the most of your retirement and many thanks for sharing how hard a job you had to deal with in your city... nothing like it over here.

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  21. Dave, I must first say, that I am proud to know you and it must be so meaningful to be able to retire from a profession which saved lives, saved property and you served your city of Detroit with honor.
    Your header Flicker image...only a few seconds, oh my, that would take me days to snag a beauty like this, well done!
    Those Yellow-rumped Warblers are just always way too cute.
    Happy World Bird Wednesday, Happy week~

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  22. Congratulations on your retirement. I hope now you'll have more time for the birds :) Or at least helping me identify what kind of birds I just took pictures of. I am really enjoying your site and I'm so excited to be able to share my photos here.

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  23. The Flicker and the last shot of the Warbler are pretty awesome in my book!
    Sensing a little melancholy with your retirement. In due time you will find the needed balance.

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  24. I know it was bittersweet for you. I hope that retirement is wonderful!

    Gorgeous shots!

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  25. Congratulations on your retirement....more time for birding - yay!

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  26. Congratulations on your retirement! These photos are wonderful, especially the eagle! Wow!

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  27. The Eagle is a fitting image for your tribute to the brave Detroit firemen. You too did your best for all those years and it is your time for enjoying the rest of your many talents! Maybe a book?

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  28. Of course, I meant you might want to write a book-- collect your essays and photos.... (I didn't mean you should sit down in a rocker with a good mystery -- that's my job ;>)

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  29. Congratulations Dave!! You made it...I saw an ad on tonights news about a documentary (FIRE) that is upcoming about the Detriot delemia...of letting it burn, and it has to be terrifying..my hat is off to you and I hope you will ENJOY a full and Fun FILLED retirement...I am one yr behind you in age and may have to hang in there to 62 to make my dream a reality..due to circumstances beyond my control.
    THE BIRD SHOTS are magnificent...the yellow rump detail is to die for...GOOD luck with your titmouse nest!!

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    1. The documentary "BURN" that you mention was being shot during my last two years on the job. It should be excellent. The folk creating it did a wonderful job researching this stranger than fiction story in depth. It would be well worth seeing especially since you know me!
      Check out the promo...
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI261NDLWlM

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  30. A fitting tribute you intro'd with this week Springman, a dedication to those you'd worked with and alongside during your career in fire-fighting. I adore your finale photograph of the Yellow Rumped Warbler, what a beauty!

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  31. Bless you for all your dedicated work Springman, and all the loyal years you gave to the residents of Detroit. You deserve many, many restful hours now enjoying nature and sharing the marvelous pictures you take.

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  32. Being just a wee tad younger than you are, I can recall the odd 'relationship' that Detroiters have with fire. Even tho I'm from Toledo, we grew up listening to CKLW and WJR--so we heard about the fires. There were always fires.....


    Peace and blessings as you start a new role in life. My hubby (a law enforcement ranger/manager) took 6 months before he could settle into the role of Ranger Emeritus. He still has to go see what's happening when the sirens go off, and will forever be a ranger.

    You will forever be a fire fighter. It will take some time to grow into your new role, and this too, is an important role. Enjoy!

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    1. "Even tho I'm from Toledo" LOL
      CKLW?! What was a young girl doing listening to CKLW? Back in the day it was a different story, they broke many a Motown hit.
      You are a true homegirl! My Suzanne has people in TwoLeeDo too.

      Blessings to you and your guy!

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  33. I like your intro to this weeks WBW! A great post whith beautiful pictures!
    Happy WBW to you!

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  34. Congratulations on your retirement Dave. The Flicker is amazing, as are all of your birds each week!

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  35. I wish you a happy retirement and hope you photograph lots more beautiful birds to share with all of us.

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  36. congrats on retirement and wonderful photos

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  37. Gorgeous, gorgeous images.
    Congratulation on your retirement...more time for your photography.

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  38. Congratulations on your retirement! Now you have more time to photograph your birds! The photos were wonderful, in spite of your difficulty.

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  39. Hi there - seem you care too much, but you can’t do the job you did without caring. It seems to me (and who am I) that it’s not just a good idea to say goodbye and let people like yourself just walk away. There seem to be issue that are predictable for you, and other which you could help r people within the service - this would act as some form of transition from "door kicking" to retirement. But I'm not sure this is of much value.

    Keep taking the pictures. Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. As usual Stewart, you make complete sense.

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  40. Excellent shots and wonderful pictures.

    Preschool Games

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  41. This is my first post for World bird - glad to be here :)

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  42. i adore the comment you left on my blog ;))))

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  43. Congratulations on your retirement. Now for the living and more birding. Wonderful yellow-rumped pictures.

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  44. Congratulations on making it safely to retirement.
    ...and the Warbler is just beautiful.

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  45. It`s very depressing to not have your job.The people you spent your time with every day were your extended family.I know exactly how you feel.I could say alot more about my own retirement,but I won`t.It`s hell to have a disease,then be told you are unable to do your "job description" anymore.
    At any rate,I thank-you for hosting our get togethers & your photos just keep getting better.I will have to think about getting a larger lens now...

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    1. "It`s hell to have a disease,then be told you are unable to do your "job description" anymore."
      ...or that your job is killing you, like it was in my case.
      I get your drift P...and yes you need a bigger lens!

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  46. Beautiful birds. I liked Yellow Rumped Warbler.

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  47. As always you are so eloquent, Dave, talking about your fire fighting life. Getting a good shot of a bird will hardly give you the same adrenaline rush, but it's healthier and there's no age limit to it. Wonderful close-ups of the Yellow-rumped W., the Flicker and the juvenile Bald Eagle! Take good care of yourself. H

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    1. It is a pretty good rush getting a good bird picture Hilke but no, not quite like a fire. I am having a little trouble letting that go. Weird to have so much time on my hands too!
      You take good care too Hilke!

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  48. I want to let you know that I am passing on the Sunshine Award to you and your blog. The WBW has opened many doors for my blog and I love participating it and following your wonderful posts. I feel you are deserving of the award ... call it a retirement gift :)

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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  49. Wonderful photos you present here! I understand of the post that you have just started your "new life". I'm sure it is strange and maybe a bit difficult,- but now you have a lot of time to do your interests:)
    Stay inspired:)
    Monica

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  50. Congratulations Dave! How sweet it is! I know with your skills as a photographer and the easy manner in which you turn a phrase, you will be loving your new freedom from the helter skelter life of the firehouse. You made it out alive and kicking and it's time for you to be you ;-)

    I can't believe that you are not happy with your Yellow-rumped Warbler shots? That last photo is just stunning!!

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  51. The people of Detroit were privileged having your protection. Congratulations on a well earned retirement. It's clear that you'll have no problem finding things to do with your time.
    Those Yellow Rumped Warbler shots are great captures. You must have a great deal of patience.

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  52. Congrats once again on your retirement and thank you for your service,even if I don't live in your state! I was on the go last week and did not have time to comment then. I must say that after reading this I cannot even imagine how hard it is to adjust to life without that daily adrenaline rush. I hope maybe the birds can supply you with enough excitement as well as peace. I hope you can relax and enjoy the beauty of the world around you. I think that you already do!

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