My walk to and from the lake offers me a relaxing jaunt through comfortable woodlands filled with all manner of things to see, not the least of which happens to be the area itself. There’s plenty of wildlife, sure, but there’s also plenty of flora and the general scenery with which I can glutton my insatiable appetite for natural wonders.
In fact, this is the view while returning home recently from a morning stroll.
I live just behind the evergreens lining the right side of the picture. This is the hill leading from there down to the floodplain and general park area. From this particular view, the lake is behind me.
Once the plant life returns to its verdant splendor, this entire area is a lush garden topped with a thick canopy of foliage, and that in turn provides a magnificent home for a variety of wildlife.
As I made my way off the trail onto the leaf-covered grass still brown with winter’s slumber, I continued snapping quite arbitrary photos of this and that. I had already captured some images of the squirrels enjoying their breakfast, as well as a diverse list of other creatures, so I focused more on the surroundings and less on its inhabitants.
That was a mistake for I missed several opportunities that slipped by almost unnoticed while my attention remained elsewhere. With my eyes fixed on the viewfinder, small bits of movement escaped me even when they involved the very scene on which I was fixated. Only after I snapped the photo would I notice some tiny thing rushing by in front of the lens, something jotting in and out of the shadows playing around me in the early morning sunlight.
I had to put the camera down and take a direct look to realize that amongst the squirrels were several American robins (Turdus migratorius) dashing about with gleeful abandon, and like the squirrels, they appeared intent on finding a morning meal. They regrettably maintained a significant distance from me, although it was not me they were staying away from but rather it was their focus on food that kept them constantly in motion and constantly moving away.
Then imagine my surprise when I discovered this while processing the images once I’d arrived home.
I realize it’s not a very good picture, but I also happen to know it’s a tiny crop from a much larger scene…a scene where I didn’t even realize the bird had crossed into the image area while I was taking it. It won’t win any contests, yet it satisfies me.
But that wasn’t all I found of these birds as I looked ever more closely at each of the large photographs.
For example, I caught another of these wondrous little birds as it ran by me, through the photo, across the path, and down toward the floodplain where I accidentally caught that first one.
Again, not a splendid shot, especially with the light balance so out of whack for the bird’s position. It’s nevertheless a nice view of what I didn’t even know was there!
And finally, I think this might be the best (relative term, that one) photo of the robins who apparently wanted their pictures taken but didn’t want to be obvious about it.
Because they moved in and out of the shadows cast by the trees, none of the chance images I got were of very high quality. Similarly, each of the birds was a minuscule dot of color on a rather large canvas of imagery. Despite the circumstances, I still found it to be a nice surprise when I realized I had some acceptable views of these busybodies scampering around in my line of sight.
[btw, I will probably tinker with these photos a bit when it comes time to relocate them to Zooomr; I think I can get a little better quality out of them, especially with regards to light and shadow and the balance between the two, but only if I have more time to play with them; you know I’m not good with editing images like that, so I need a lot of wiggle room to see if I can improve them; if I do, I’ll let you know in a subsequent post that they’ve been updated—but only if I can make them more presentable without ruining them]