January 16, 2021
I was able to get out for some birding yesterday. I attended my Zoom call, made a lunch to take, and took off toward three promising spots from last year. The first was located at a park associated with a lock and dam on the Arkansas River. I had photographed Cormorants there last year and hoped to do so again. I saw a Blue Heron, several Coots and lots of Sea Gulls. I drove up slowly, but the birds saw me and took off. I was still able to get pictures of the coots and the gulls. I moved to the other side of the river and got another Blue Heron and some better shots of the gulls. The day was starting well.
When I arrived at the “Bird Sanctuary” city I had targeted for my second stop I found no birds. I drove around and finally decided to take off for the lake. I stopped along the way at an overlook and got a couple of nice shots. When I got to the lake, I went looking for the Road Runner I saw last year. It was nowhere to be seen. I continued to drive around and while I did not see many birds, I did run into a small herd of deer as I came around a bend. I stopped with them 20’ away. I slowly lowered my window and prepared my camera. When I looked through the lens finder, rather than the herd, I saw a closeup of one. I had decided to only bring my telephoto, and they were too close to get them into my shot. When I realized my mistake and took a picture with my phone. Another lesson learned before going to the Wildlife Refuge.
Last year I would go fishing and after getting few bites, I would break out the camera and do some birding. Yesterday I went birding and while I did get some good shots, I ended up fishing. On my way home I stopped along a stream and broke out my fly rod. After setting up, I walked to the stream and managed to get the end of my line mercilessly tangled. I broke it off and retied. On my first cast I got an eight-inch Bass to follow my fly to the bank. While I only fished for 30 minutes (it was snowing), that was as close as I got to a fish. Still, there is no such thing as a bad day on the water.
Thoughts: The problem I had last year was being too far away from the birds I was trying to photograph. While I can get closer with my telephoto lens, I am still struggling with getting a clear focus on the birds farther away. That does not include the deer I tried to photograph who were too close to get into the picture. I was again faced with a learning curve as I had to figure how to take pictures and to get both close enough and far enough away to take a photograph. Learning something new is where the fun is. We need to learn new ways of dealing with each other to move beyond the hate and disunity we face. Only through unity will we return to focusing on finding fun in life. Do the work. Change is coming and it starts with you.