December 25, 2018
It was only 32F degrees out today, but it didn’t feel very cold—maybe because the wind was almost non-existent, or maybe because I was totally over-dressed. Whatever the reason, I was plenty warm and I stayed outside for almost four hours happily engrossed in nature– and photography.
Mostly, I was looking for birds to photograph, but what I found were deer—and wild turkeys. The deer in our nearby woods, where I was walking today, are, for the most part, quite used to people. The deer I ran across today, though, seemed well beyond being ‘used to’ people. When I stopped to take their picture, one of them started walking up to me—while the others looked on with avid curiosity! Through my camera lens, the approaching deer kept getting bigger and bigger until he filled the entire frame! Finally, I put my camera down, wondering just how close the deer was going to get! He stopped within 10 feet! I started thinking that these ‘neighborhood’ deer have probably been fed by humans. They seemed to be expecting a handout from me–especially when I pulled a plastic bag from my pocket to remove a lens cleaning cloth! When I turned to walk away, the deer that had approached me, started to follow!
Towards the end of my walk, when I was back behind our condo, there were birds everywhere—dark eyed juncos, black capped chickadees, house sparrows, white-throated sparrows, song sparrows, downy woodpeckers, red bellied woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, a northern flicker, white breasted nuthatches, red breasted nuthatches, blue jays and cardinals! My head was spinning with so many birds to look at!
The irony is, I had just spent a good two or three hours wandering around the nearby campus looking for song birds to photograph– and found nothing. All of the birds I needed to see were in my own backyard–literally. I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. The condos in our complex back up to a creek and a woods, plus– almost all of our neighbors have bird feeders, including us. Why wouldn’t the birds be here?? It was a great big birdie Mecca. Next time, I should just drag a chair down to the creek and sit!