Dropping out of the sky
Delray Beach, FL, December 2010
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About this photo: Thematic. Transition. Here. Much fun. Really.Birds are designed to fly, with bodies that, thanks to countless generations of evolution, have been remarkably optimized for flight. So when they're efficiently cruising through the sky, everything about them is precisely as it should be: Light, streamlined, agile.
But what goes up must eventually come down, and all birds will, at some point, have to land. And when they do, the nature of these incredible flying machines changes radically. Wings go from streamlined and tapered to draggy and curved. Legs go from tucked in to fully extended. Airplanes do the same thing as they prepare to land, with flaps extended, gear down and nose flared. But birds do it so much more purely. As they should. Because they invented it.
When I watch the gulls prepare to return to terra firma, I realize how tenuous this period is. A breeze, a mean-spirited neighbor-bird, a curious child...anything can throw the bird's careful balance off at this critical aerodynamic moment. Yet somehow they always manage to recover from whatever it is that hits them, and they always manage to hit the ground in one piece (seriously, have you ever seen a bird crash-land?)
We would all be so lucky to handle transitions - flying or other - so gracefully.
Your turn: How do you handle tricky transitions?