We were riding bikes in St Michaels. It was a bike path of about one mile in length. Don’t laugh. I know. It was ridiculously short. We ended up in a new development by the water. I saw motion in my peripheral vision and focused on a pine tree a few hundred yards away. These darned point and shoot digital cameras have surprisingly good lenses. That’s an eagle.
Next, we have juvenile ospreys. The State built roost on wooden platforms mounted to poles in the marshes near the side of the road on US 1. Pairs of nesting ospreys have populated these sites. This year was a banner crop with nearly every site in use. The birds don’t mind much if I stop and shoot. I missed mama coming home to feed the little ones. My patient companion was still patient when we drove off. I try not to overstay my welcome.
I searched everywhere for this image. I was sure I had taken it. I had briefly seen it after I took it. Nope! Nada! Couldn’t find it for beans. Darn! Hmmm?! Finally! It was on my iPhone. Who’d have guessed? I’m not an iPhone photographer. I use it mostly to document or to remind me. Yeah yeah, I know. It’s really a decent camera. Not me. I like a real camera. And I was photographing the new barn swallows with both – my camera and the iPhone. Ok, I was fooled. But I found it. Good shot. It’s darned hard to get a freeze action shot of birds flying. Believe me! I tried and tried. For a while I thought I had only imagined that I had this shot. Nope, it’s not old age, just too many images and too little time.
A pair of barn swallows built a nest beneath the eve of my garage. They were devilishly difficult to photograph. My best effort got their open mouths as mom flitted in for a brief moment. They did not appreciate my presence. I could only get a shot or two. Otherwise the parents stayed away. They were more patient than I. I gave up and left a good image for another day. The kids got to eat in peace.
Baby ospreys? There are a lot of nesting pairs along the road. They perch in high isolated nests. Traffic passes and they don’t seem to mind.
Back in 1994 before I knew what would happen, Jules named a dove who nested in her window box, Amelia. No ready water for plants, the window box had long been abandoned and was facing the street. We had plenty of pigeons. No doves. Amelia was fearless. She seemed to know the glass was protective against the humans on the other side. That little bird hatched clutch after clutch. Maybe it wasn’t the same bird, but, how do you argue with a ten-year old girl? I can only say that multiple births of one or more babies occurred across multiple years. My kids were careful to severely admonish me against scaring or annoying the birds. They stared back at me through the glass and never budged. She merely hatched another brood.
And then one day in August, 2006, the doves had a family reunion on our deck. The multiple generations gathered for that one time and quietly roosted anywhere and everywhere. There were more than twenty? Obviously, they remembered. I never saw them gather again. But on that one day, the doves that met reconnected with a memory of their birthplace. I was lucky enough to be there when it happened. It was an honor. I commend my kids for being so conscientious and caring. There are moments when you are proud of their kind and gentle souls.
Not that anyone will look, but, I posted this idea back in November 2011. Since I scanned my slides once more, I still think that this is a touching story. It bears repeating.
When do you see geese on a rooftop? It was unusual for us to comment. Backlit, I wasn’t getting a good shot. But there is the benefit of having one goose open his mouth and lift his leg. That at least added some interest. But, the original question remains. Why were they on the rooftop? The one on the left honked and his companion landed beside him. They flew off a few moments later. It was a nice little rendezvous.
Okay. I don’t know my raptors. So, it might be anything else in the group. It’s not a bald eagle. We saw one pass over the road right in front of our car. Alas it happened too fast to get a shot. Ha! So, you’ll have to settle for this image far away in a tree. He/she sat, I shot. I’d have liked to have had an action shot. But it’s didn’t move, and I didn’t have the gear to get an in-flight image.
I have a fish kiss (ing) image somewhere else. It was in my fish days. Serendipity. Totally. I just happened to be watching the squirrels raid the bird feeder. Two cardinals met for a brief moment long enough for me to get exactly one image. I admit that it is a first for me. I have no other birds kissing. And, I have never kissed a bird.
Yes. Diving. And a parrot encounter. One of the guys brought his pet along. It raised quite a stir. This picture is absent the woman holding the bird. She turned her head and folded her hat over her face. Well, WTF. You know, she wore sunglasses and I really didn’t give much care for how she looked. Besides she’s not in the photo. Sorry. But some customs baffle me. Anyway everyone went away happy. The blur is because I have my underwater housing and the lens is wet. No, I’m not opening the housing for a potential water leak. So I take what I get. Sometimes its good and others its for documentation. I wonder why the bird did not fly away. It was docile and let me pet its beak. It’s surely intelligent. I wonder whether it’s right to capture such a fine creature as a pet. But then again we domesticate, we tame, and we eat. No matter. The parrot was docile and did not mind going from shoulder to arm to head. It got a lot of attention and tolerated the strangers very well.
No telephoto and it was shady anyway. Jules wouldn’t let me lure the bird by feeding it. So I had to rely on patience. Drat (she says that). I used the fast spiffy see in the low light expensive lens and got a shot. Yes digital is very forgiving. At least I come away with an image most of the time. It’s not up to National Geographic standard, but it’s better than iPhone. And no photo, no blog post.
I had ample opportunity to explore fall foliage in Maine. Photo ops were everywhere. I don’t recall any other years so productive. It was magical. All manner of images would be in front of my lens. Reflections, ripples, and an impressionist background: what is more priceless?