If this house sparrow — among the world’s most common birds — was the only one of its kind, nothing would surpass its beauty. Commonality, however, renders it unnoticed and unloved.
How extraordinary life would be if seen from an altered state of mind, seeking uniqueness in all creatures. To recognize that this truly is the only bird of its kind. And to know it’s beautiful.
I’ve learned a lot about birds by photographing and attempting to identify them. For instance, the Gray catbird is aptly named for his obnoxious call that sounds like a dying cat. Plus he’s gray, which is genius.
The Goldfinch has the most interesting flight pattern of any bird I’ve seen — coasting downward from great heights then swooping back up, over and over like a wave. He seems to sing only on the uptake, as if the act of beating his wings pushes the noise from his tiny body.
I don’t know much about the Towhee yet, and I don’t believe I’ve seen one until yesterday. He was very shy and quiet. I identified with him the most.
When I was young we lived in a small house in the woods. My brother and I had few friends, no videos games and the only phone was rotary and connected to the wall. We sometimes had to make do with critters for companions. It was all very “Little House on the Prairie”.
Every spring, raccoons would nest high in an old tree close to our front door. Occasionally a newborn would take a tumble. If it survived, my mom would nurse it back to health, keeping it safely caged on our front porch.
Without fail, on a night when she knew her little one had recovered, the mama raccoon would open the locked cage and whisk her baby back up the tree.
Of course I would cry upon learning my new little friend had vanished, but my mom just smiled, as if she’d planned it all along. Turns out, she had.
“The wolf said, “You know, my dear, it isn’t safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone.”
Red Riding Hood said, “I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must be on my way.”
~James Finn Garner, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: A Collection of Modern Tales for Our Life and Times
Deck at sunset.
I’m often asked what camera I use, and the answer most of the time is Canon 60D. Occasionally, though, I like to walk around with nothing but my iPhone.
While limited and vaguely annoying, the camera phone does have its place. Candid street photos come to mind…or occasions when you just can’t set up fast enough.
In my case, putting away the Canon allows me to concentrate on simply framing a shot without the distractions of settings and lenses. I enjoy the challenge of making an interesting photo with basic tools, keeping the “art” side of photography as sharp as the technical.