More Practice Needed

I’ve always wanted to take a picture of a kingfisher diving and getting a fish. I stood around watching this kingfisher on a tree. It was fairly far, but I figured with some post processing I can get a decent picture of the bird catching a fish. I stood in a spot for twenty minutes. The kingfisher perched on a branch the whole time. Which tells you that I wasn’t that close to this skittish creature. Suddenly, the bird flew off the branch. Not towards the water and a fish, but towards me. Oh, I got a picture off. Turns out a kingfisher, head on, has little contrast between the grey and white colors of the feathers and the grey beak. And even though the shutter speed was at 1/2500 of a second, it was barely fast enough to stop the motion. More practice needed. And here is the kingfisher, calm as can be, a few minutes before it flew my way.

I edited the branches out of the picture. One day, the bird will be close enough, not be scared, and perch on a branch that is clear of obstructive details. Until then, post processing, when it doesn’t change the actual details too much, will have to do.

Fall is Here

Can it be? It’s autumn in the northern hemisphere? Where did summer go? Heck, where did the year go? It has been a rather challenging year for almost everyone. With a scant three months before the page turns and 2020 becomes a memory, it is probably a good time to remember that the hardships and challenges we have endured are what life is about. It is not about jetting to some far off destination. Experiencing the delight of other places or tasting yet another new dish. Life is about living each day the best we can. To be kind and respectful. To watch and listen and learn. We don’t have to agree with what everyone says. Or what everyone does. We must do our part to not harm others. And this means respecting each other as if we are all borne of the same Father. That we are brothers and sisters in the most basic thing that defines each of us. Our DNA says so. Our RNA says so. Does our heart tell the same tale, or do we insist that enlightenment is only for the few? I tend to think it’s for the few. Oh. Check that. That kind of thinking, of allowing ourselves to think that we are better than the other only brings ruin to a community. If this pandemic wracked world has something left to teach us, let it be a simple reminder. A smile, even beneath a mask, still radiates warmth within. We cannot love everyone, but we can respect everyone. And in doing so, perhaps, that respect will become something greater. Something better. Perhaps.

Bluebird and Company

The most beautiful thing in life is what inspires awe and love for the world and the people around us. Sometimes, all it takes is a small blue bird. And some company.

Even when the focus is not quite there, it’s still a beautiful bird to behold.

The Spider and the Fly

With summer drawing to a close, these insects should be less troublesome while walking through Huntley Meadows. Of course, the birds will start their fall migration soon (some have already migrated).

After Saturday’s Rain

It was a nice, cool (for August) mid Atlantic morning. The sun was above the horizon for a scant thirty minutes when I arrived at Huntley Meadows. It appeared that there was quite a few people interested in walking around the park, through the boardwalk, to breathe the fresh air from the wetlands (in the midst of suburban Alexandria, Virginia). I was surprised by the great number of photographers walking about. It is that rare day in August that offers abundant sunlight without the high temperatures of the Washington summer. And so it was that I came to the park, to once again look for warblers or kingfishers. As has become my custom, I got distracted. I did not mind the slight detour.