Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Luck and patience

Around lunchtime today I decided to strike out into the snow to try to capture some wildlife pics. I brought my macro lens with me, and little else, hoping not to accidentally ruin any extra gear.

I descended down through the knee-deep snow towards the nearby pond where many ducks hang out year-round. Once I got close, I painstakingly made my way down the steep, snow covered banks of the water as to not disturb the flock.

I took off my lens cap and tried framing a few shots of the mallards resting in slushy ice.... As it turns out, brownish-grey ducks on a white background look about as interesting as one might imagine. I got up and left soon after.

On my way back towards home, I was keenly aware of many birds chirping away in the trees above me. As I saw one that got close enough for an interesting photo, I actually snapped off a frame that had serious potential, and then went to check the result:


...As the curse words poured from my mouth in an endless fountain of frustration, I most likely managed to scare off any remaining animals nearby. I didn't even think to check within the inner reaches of my pack to check where I usually keep a spare memory card. I was done for now. Defeated, I made my way home.

I headed inside to warm up and commiserate with Andrea, who always reassures me that I'll get the shot next time. This turned out to be incredibly ironic, as after I informed her of my folly, I then said "I would have killed for a shot of a male cardinal or something"

Andrea, who happened to be standing next to our backyard sliding glass door, then immediately says "Oh look, there he is now!" as a gorgeous bright-red cardinal landed on our back fence....

I sprinted into action, re-gathering all the winter gear that I just took off, as additional curse words were exclaimed. Andrea gave me some bread to throw out in front of me as I took up a position, lying low in the snow, partially shielded by some bushes where the birds were fluttering about. I stayed there perhaps 20 minutes as the snow fell around me, barely moving.

Here are my favorite results:

The elusive cardinal:

Female Dark-Eyed Junco

Cardinal returns. Hide and Seek.