June 15, 2019
Yesterday. It. Did. Not. Rain. I say this because it seems like it’s been raining forever! So a day without rain seems like nothing short of a miracle. I was prepared to take full advantage of the miracle and the endless possibilities! Should I go for a picture walk at a new preserve or should I go to an old one? Should I drive 40+ miles or stay closer to home? Should I go early in the day or wait until the afternoon? After a long, animated discussion with myself, I decided to go someplace in the afternoon to a place I’d been before that was not close to home– Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary in Bellvue, Michigan, a mere 44 miles away.
It’s pretty hard to convey in words how excited I get anticipating another picture walk—especially if it’s someplace I’ve never been before, or someplace I haven’t been in a long, long time. But the possibilities are endless– even if it’s somewhere I’ve been a million times before! Will I see a new bird or butterfly or moth? Will I get a picture that I’m really, really pleased with? Will the weather cooperate or will it rain on my parade?
Yesterday, the trail ahead was so incredibly quiet– just the sound of the wind and the birds to soothe me. And I was surrounded by wildflowers– thousands of delicate yellow blossoms interspersed with tall, deep purple lupine. Flitting around among the flowers were a variety of butterflies and ethereal looking dragonflies. Then, against a perfectly blue sky I saw cardinals, bluejays, yellow warblers, orioles, kingbirds, sparrows and rose breasted grosbeaks. I didn’t get pictures of most of them, but I sure enjoyed watching them.
One bird that I did manage to capture was a tree swallow. There were dozens of them flying overhead scooping up insects as they went. I was eager to see if I could get a good shot of one of them in flight– it’s a fun photographic challenge. The swallows, however, were not happy with my plan. Apparently, I was way too close to their nest boxes. They immediately started to dive bomb my camera! I couldn’t believe how fast they were and how close they came to the tip of my lens before veering off! It was unnerving– but I got the picture, both literally and figuratively, and left them alone.
When I go through my pictures at the end of each day, I often turn to Mel with a smile on my face and say, “It’s just like going on a treasure hunt!” I never know what I’m going to find or where I’ll find it, but I almost always bring home something that delights me—sometimes a picture, sometimes a story, sometimes both.