Before I was old enough to coherently remember, my parents would take the family to a beach about an hour-and-a-half out of town. It was on a lake that was connected to the St. Lawrence River system, and although my memories of these experiences are quite fuzzy (I think I was around 2 or 3), I still have somewhat vague images of playing in the sand and chasing birds floating around my mind. Either way, the thoughts still make me smile.
Fast forward to today and my wife and I are sifting through the images and stories from our most recent trip to Grand Bend beach. It's around 45 minutes from our house, on the shores of Lake Huron, and the kids have come to love the wide openness of this place. Little man, Noah, still insists on calling it "The Ocean" because, just like the real ocean near his grandparents' winter place in Florida, the waves are big and he can't see anything else out there. I can't really argue with his logic, so "The Ocean" it remains.
As at most beaches, the seagulls are pretty aggressive. They walk right up to you and grab whatever unattended food they can find. They're scavenging, sometimes-mean-spirited birds who wouldn't be missed by most beachgoers if they simply disappeared.
Consider me the exception. I love watching them fly. Their grace in the air belies their sad reputation among us humans, which makes me wonder why more folks don't take a second or two to watch them glide in for a landing. It's rather inspiring. And considering the fact that we can't fly without $150 million tubes of technology, their accomplishment is all the more impressive.
So as I watched them do their thing in the stiff wind that marked this day, I thought I should capture them in pictures. Easier said than done, because they move fast, and they're not the most obedient animals in the kingdom. So I reverted to my childhood strategy: run after them and see what happens.
This, apparently, is what happened. I couldn't plan this picture. I kept my finger down on the shutter, and crossed the fingers of my other hand.
This bird doesn't have a name. I probably scared it half to death. But this image of this graceful animal's first nanosecond of flight will stick in my mind through the cold winter ahead as our kids look forward to their next visit to "The Ocean."
Good flight, my feathered friend.
Your turn: With your permission, of course, I'd like to continue the theme from yesterday's photo:
- What three words come to mind as you view this image?
- What else should I be shooting? I have been taking careful note of everyone's suggestions. Rest assured in the days, weeks, and months to come, that your words will become pictures as well. I can't thank you enough for giving me this photographic direction. I hope you'll keep these thoughts coming.