Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Close up and personal

Hi! Are you enjoying this weather? Have you figured out how to can a day like this so you can enjoy one next February? Don't we wish we could? Here's the picture of the blooming bougainvillea that was missing yesterday.

photo of Late(?) blooming bougainvillea
Late(?) blooming bougainvillea     © harrington

Some of you may know that I'm a recovering planner. While a practicing planner, I was often reminded that "no amount of planning will ever replace dumb luck." We got lucky today while driving through Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. There was a nicely posed Great Blue Heron standing there just waiting to be photographed. After a quick turn around, we pulled onto the shoulder. The heron is still there, standing still. Remove camera from case, turn on, focus, take photo. Notice that the heron is barely noticeable against the background. Change lens to telephoto. Look again. The heron is still there, standing still.

distant photo of Great Blue Heron
distant Great Blue Heron    © harrington

Focus. Take new photo. This is where the really dumb luck continues. I had expected the bird to get nervous and give us the bird. It just stood still while we took this. The difference between the two (the second was taken with a 300 mm lens) has me lusting after a bigger, longer telephoto. I need to take a couple of aspiring and go lie down for awhile.

closeup photo of Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron closeup     © harrington

Tara Bray captures much of what we saw and felt today while taking the pictures shared above. 

Once

By Tara Bray 
I climbed the roll of hay to watch the heron
in the pond. He waded a few steps out,
then back, thrusting his beak under water,
pulling it up empty, but only once.
Later I walked the roads for miles, certain
he’d be there when I returned. How is it for him,
day after day, his brittle legs rising
from warm green scum, his graceful neck curled,
damp in the bright heat? It’s a dull world.
Every day, the same roads, the sky,
the dust, the barn caving into itself,
the tin roof twisted and scattered in the yard.
Again, the bank covered with oxeye daisy
that turns to spiderwort, to chicory,
and at last to goldenrod. Each year, the birds—
thick in the air and darting in wild numbers—
grow quiet, the grasses thin, the light leaves
earlier each day. The heron stood
stone-still on my spot when I returned.
And then, his wings burst open, lifting the steel-
blue rhythm of his body into flight.
I touched the warm hay. Hoping for a trace
of his wild smell, I cupped my hands over
my face: nothing but the heat of fields
and skin. It wasn’t long before the world
began to breathe the beat of ordinary hours,
stretching out again beneath the sky.

Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily.