If a guy wants to see pretty girls in bikinis he should go to the beach; but unless he's very patient, he should wait for a sunny summer day. In this admittedly tortured analogy "the beach" is my magnificently bloomed cherry tree and the "pretty girls" are any bird that happens to land gracefully enough to make a good centerfold framed by those beautiful buds. In my mind's eye I could see great things and I was willing to wait patiently for their arrival even if it wasn't the perfect sunny day. The blooms were fading and my window of opportunity was closing fast.
This cherry tree is a fairly reliable bird magnet in it's own right but just to be sure I parked a seed feeder in a near by tree to amp up the activity and for my own creature comfort, out came my mini chair blind.
The clouds pressed low in the chilly sky, coco coffee was the drink of the day and I had a big cup with me when I slipped into the chair and pulled the camo' cover over me like a Lady bug shell.
Thirty minutes later my resolve to "get that picture" emptied with the last lukewarm drop of coffee. Suffering for your art is cool in theory only. I teetered on the slippery edge of sheer boredom when a shadow swept to my left and a Coopers hawk with its fiery eyes lit on a wire by the road. So that's why the song birds had been so quiet!
It wasn't a minute after Rasputin flew off that a earful of Cedar waxwings landed on the branches before me and began to chow down on cherry blossom petals. Aha! This is what a cocktail of good planning, patients, and luck tastes like! I congratulated myself knowing these birds wouldn't be going anywhere for a good two minutes and I had 'em right where I wanted them. I clicked off a couple of test shots to double check exposure, can't be to careful...wait...what's that on my screen?Please change battery!
Now for the walk of shame back to the house... past the snickering coffee pot to retrive the extra battery and sprint back to the tree. Like a swimmer who's lost his suit in the surf, there was no graceful way out of this jam.
Cedar waxwings are not easily spooked, would they wait for me and spare the tattered remnants of my self-esteem?
Thankfully, a couple birds lingered and I chased a few others into my neighbors orchard where the waxwings dined on apple blossoms. Normally serendipity is not to be trifled with and as if to illustrate the point, it turned out only those first few shots before the battery went down were usable. I am all the humbler for it.
Out on the road yesterday, April showers swept over the flatlands and marshes south of the bay. A good day for fishing if your a Common tern. I hunted for bird pictures more out of reflex than the thought of getting anything as good as his fat minnow.
The Great egrets have come back to Saginaw Valley's wetlands in mass and along about Five o'clock one held for me as it preened and fished. Unaccountably warm brown tones juiced the edge of the reed bed. I had my header picture in the bag and was happy at the end of this weeks adventures!
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