Wednesday, January 17, 2007
A tale of two birds
Egret takes a walk
Deerfield Beach, Florida, January 2007 [Click to see the beak close-up]
All parents eventually find their way to the local pharmacy. And when they do, it's usually because at least one of the little folks responsible for them being parents in the first place is emitting bodily fluids in ways that suggest something is not quite right in Pitkinville. I know that's gross. Then again, so is cleaning the bathroom after a six-year-old's had his way with it. But you don't see me complaining.
Thankfully, my trip to the Walgreens was for nothing more than picking up doodads that kids invariably need when they head for the beach. A happy visit. Phew.
Now, a quick word about parking: I always park as far away from others as possible. I find people to be incredibly rude about how they open their doors in parking lots. They routinely smack the car next to them without so much as a second thought. This fundamental lack of basic decency bugs me. And since I can't change the world, I can at least do my best to keep my vehicle from looking like it's just served as target practice at a driving range.
(Bear with me: I do have a point.)
So I parked waaay off to the end of the parking lot. Beside a stretch of grass next to a leafy clump of bushes. A mere couple of feet from three lanes of traffic rushing to beat the other three lanes of traffic onto the I-95. And I saw a whole whack of birds with their beaks buried in the grass.
Cool, I thought. Lovely white birds with long beaks. Didn't have any like this at home. So I slid the camera out of its case and quietly stood beside the car while I assessed my options. Despite the fact that I was nowhere near them, they sensed my presence and slowly edged away from me. I zoomed the lens to Embiggen Max mode and started shooting anyway. They kept their heads buried.
Eventually, this one lifted his (her? Someone please help me with my fowl-gender-identification skills, as I essentially have, um, none) head and stepped away from the madding crowd. I stabbed the shutter before the magic moment ended. Sure, I ended up filling the card with useless pictures. But I also got The One that was worth keeping. That, I'm learning, is the way things sometimes work in this photography biz.
But wait, there's more...
(I know: You're thinking that Ron Popeil has taken over my blog. You're thinking that pretty soon, a fiendish combination of Ginsu knives, K-Tel records and Popeil Pocket Fisherman products will rise up and try to sell you useless crap with a voice that would make the stereotypical used car salesman proud. And you could potentially be right. Come back after the next picture for the end of this long and winding story.)
Deerfield Beach, Florida, January 2007 [Click, big head, etc.]
And we're back...
So as I savored the successful egret photo, I turned to walk into the store and saw...a scovie duck. He (again, she? It? Does it even matter?) was hiding in the shade while I stalked the egrets. He didn't move, and instead stood there as if he was posing for a magazine. Far be it for me to disappoint a bird with such a pretty red head. I raised the camera and once again brought home pictures of a bird. Yup, still more photos of flying feathered animals. My photographic legacy. My mother would be proud.
Eventually, I put the camera away, went into the store and found the requisite kid-beach-doodads. I came home late but happy. And the next day, our properly equipped children played happily in the sand.
I have no idea where the birds ended up. Wherever they are, I hope they're happy, too.
Your turn: This entry turned into a long and winding avian journey. It wasn't my original intent, but I had fun writing it. More?