Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Final approach

Dropping out of the sky
Delray Beach, FL, December 2010
Click all photos to enlarge
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?


Anonymous said...

These landing shots are spectacular. The grace, the strength, the instinctive knowledge the birds possess... hard to comprehend, delightful to see in action.

I'll be the first to admit I handle transitions a lot like a Canada goose landing on water. It ain't pretty, but it gets the job done.

Bob Scotney said...

Man will never be able to reproduce the control shown by birds.
Crash landings? Only ducks on ice.

Twain12 said...

what great pictures, specially the first one...birds are fascinating

Anonymous said...

I'm in the midst of one now that will last for the next 6 months (or really, 18 months). I'm handling it with a lot of prayer and support from friends -- including my very best friend, my husband.

Nikki-ann said...

Fantastic shots! You'd love the Red Kite farm here in Mid Wales when they do the feeding :)

Gilly's Camera said...

i sooooooo don't handle transitions well at all

it's all about change and change is one thing i avoid and loath...deeplydeeplydeeply

however Life appears to have dictated that before i finally leave this life i WILL have learned how to handle all the many transitions that are to be faced. Can't believe I've got half way through my life and still behave like this...........