This week my husband surprised me with a new lens for the camera. I’ve abused the previous lens for years and it’s all but destroyed. He got me something similar, but different and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
I figured I’d incorporate it into one of my daily walks for the #365 project – a challenge to get out and walk each day and record what I’ve seen. I thought maybe I’d walk from the house to a little stream a little over a mile away and see what was there.
But the road between me and there was dry and very dusty. I didn’t want to subject the camera to all that dirt, so I drove into town and walked a little way down a back road to the stream. I was disappointed not to see what I was looking for there.
I was turning to walk back to the car, considering where I might go instead, when I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye and looked again.
You’ve seen a different version of this sandhill crane earlier in the week when I used it for the WordPress photo challenge lines. This angle was taken as I walked up the road. The sandhill crane didn’t move a feather, didn’t turn his (or her) head as I walked by. Perhaps there was a nest near with a spousal crane sitting. I didn’t see anything, but I didn’t wait very long, as I figured out I was only a few yards from a park entrance, a park I had never visited before. And I had a new camera lens.
I climbed the path headed toward the top of a hill and a lake lookout shown on a map at the road. As I came out of the woods into a picnic clearing I noticed a female bluebird in the grass over by a table. I stopped and uncapped the camera lens.
She soon flew up from the ground to the picnic table and I could see she had something in her beak. Breakfast.
She was a long way from me but I didn’t want to move and risk spooking her. So I used the zoom and hoped I’d get something. Wait….you say you can’t see her very well? OK, I’ll crop the image so you get a better look.
I thought she had a worm, but looking closer I can see she actually had a baby snake. Can you see the head? I know it’s not in focus cropped as tight as it is, but it’s definitely a snake.
She worked and worked to get that snake under control. She pounded it against the table top several times.
Finally she just flung her head up and the snake was swallowed.
I’m kind of glad I didn’t realize what it was when I was taking the pictures. I thought it was just some sort of larvae, I couldn’t see that much through the lens. It’s only when I cropped the photos that I saw the truth. Kind of makes me squirm.
She flew off shortly after finishing her meal, and I moved on down the path. I still hadn’t found what I was hoping for, but the bluebird drama certainly made visiting the park worthwhile.
What was I looking for you ask? Well, I was hoping to find a certain proof of spring that usually shows up about now. I found it around the next corner.
And on up the hill, tucked back in the woods I found this. Icing on the cake.
Just goes to show you never know what you’ll find when you head out on a walk.
Wonder what I’ll see today?