Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Early morning smile


I was thinking yesterday about what this week’s smile might include. Nothing really stood out except that magnificent image I didn’t get of the two cranes flying low across a grassy brown hillside, sun glinting off their wings. And though that made me smile at the time, it’s caused me angst since because I didn’t have my camera with me and it would have been a great shot.

My favorite photogenic trees at Katie’s park early in the morning.

I’ve been to a few parks this week with Katie-girl, she’s enjoying the cool weather, I’m enjoying the lack of snow. Several times I’ve seen pairs of cranes float by. Never had a camera. So one morning this week I decided to go out early by myself. No dog. Just me and my camera to see if I could catch a pair in flight in the rosy morning light.

Don’t tell Katie, but I went to her park. It’s a totally different experience early in the morning and without her. It’s just a little park, with a mowed walkway around the perimeter, nothing special unless you’re a dog. Or a bird seeker.

I saw my first interesting bird as I pulled into the parking lot. A pair of killdeer were hopping along the gravel path. I couldn’t get a nice shot though because he kept turning his back on me.

Trying to ignore me.

Then I noticed my shadow stretched out long in the early morning light and was so busy capturing it that I didn’t notice that robin on the last fence post to the right. He would have made a nice picture, shining red in the sunlight.

Bet you didn’t see the robin either.

By the time I noticed him he flew up into a huge tree and became just about invisible. I guess you have to be alert when you’re out looking for birds, they rarely give you a second chance.

So I headed down the path, noticing the way the sun shone on everything and sort of missing my Katie-girl. A flurry of activity caught my attention out of the corner of my eye.

Flapping his wings for attention.

I ended up with a bunch of really bad pictures of this bluebird couple who were checking out a housing unit together. When I first saw them they were both fluttering around the house opening. The light was bad and I couldn’t see anything through the viewfinder, so I just kept clicking.

He was all hot and bothered, trying to win her favor. As I approached they flew from tree to tree, she’d fly first, he’d follow and perch nearby, flapping his wings, talking all the time to her. She’d hop to the next tree, he’d pursue, not too close, and flap and talk some more.

Showing his true colors in the morning light.

I decided to leave them be, not wanting to be the negative influence that made her reject him and his housing offering. As I moved beyond the birdhouse and then looked back I could see she was standing back on the nesting box.

Maybe she’s made up her mind.

And then she flew to join him at the top of a shrub just across the way.

The loving couple shares a quiet moment together.

I think they’re going to make it.

Seemed wherever I looked somebody was singing loud and clear.

Hard not to notice this guy with his big sound.

And while I was trying to get a shot of a cardinal in the top of another tree there was all sorts of commotion in the pond behind me.

He likes to choose the highest branch to proclaim his territory.

Seems a flock of ducks had gotten into a misunderstanding, and they took off into the bright blue sky to circle around and around the pond, chasing each other, working out the hierarchy for the coming season.

All six landed back on the pond, so maybe this was just an exercise in take offs and landings.

It was hard trying to capture them as they flew in and out of the sun now blazing down on Katie’s little park. But I liked the way they looked against the sky so I kept trying.

And while I was busy with that an insistent bit of chirping and warbling caught my ear. I turned around and this little guy had planted himself quite low in a tree right in front of me.

Now just who are you again?

I’d been trying to get his picture when he was in the tree with the cardinal, but I couldn’t tell what he was, he was just too far away. I guess he wanted his turn in the spotlight because he sat there, proudly puffed up, and chirped away at me.

I moved off to the side trying to determine what he was and he didn’t seem afraid of my moving at all. He just kept singing.

Sing it buddy!

I still don’t know what he is, maybe a song sparrow? Or something else? Once he figured I had enough images of him he nodded his head and flew off to look for breakfast. Cheeky little guy.

So I wandered around a bit more but my fingers were cold and I was happy with what I had. I did hear the cranes a few times while I was out there, their calls always seemed to come from the opposite side of the park, no matter which side I was on.

So, no crane pictures from this adventure, but I’m still smiling. Because when I got back to the car the robin was still singing and this time he let me get the shot.

Did you get my good side lady?

And the killdeer couple was still bopping around, happy on their gravel path and willing to let me grab one more image, this time of the two of them together.

Another happy couple checking out housing options.

I hope all of you had at least one big smile this week. And if it wasn’t a great week I hope the birds here at least made you grin just a little bit.

And someday I’m going to show you the most amazing image of a crane couple gliding gracefully in a blue sky. Makes me smile just thinking about it.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

21 thoughts on “Early morning smile

  1. Watching the birds is always nice, and walks without the dogs (or the dog for you) can be great – yes, I feel a little guilty,but not too guilty 😉 Great early spring smile, even if you didn’t get your pair of cranes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I enjoy my walks without Katie…usually I’m walking longer and faster than she wants to. Plus I spend less time sniffing things than she likes to do. So we’re not exactly walk compatible. This time it was a slow walk but no way would I have been able to get most of these shots with her there. So it was fun. And she napped so she was happy too. Win win.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am hoping for similar sights when I get home, but this morning a friend posted a picture of snow falling there. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I particularly love the silhouette shot of the two birds back to back on twigs at the top of a shrub. Unusual and so symmetrical.


    • Thanks. I felt really lucky to get that. I glanced back over my shoulder as I was walking away. There they were, sitting just perfect with the sun behind them. Just got one quick click and they moved away.


  4. Love these. I usually go out without dogs in the early morning if I’m in a wildlife area. Too hard to concentrate on everything.


  5. Wonderful shots, Dawn. I especially like the silhouette of the lovebirds. The birds here have been making me smile, too. I sat out on the bench by the pond yesterday. It’s just under a small cherry tree and a small loblolly pine. I couldn’t believe how many birds came along to check me out. Chickadees, goldfinches, nuthatches, some kind of sparrows, even a cardinal. Then a deer wandered out of the meadow across the pond. I felt like I was in a Disney movie. Of course I didn’t have my camera.

    But this is what really made me smile about the birds: Here I was thinking the birds were visiting me when I stood up, looked down, and saw a small pile of bird seed on the ground. They weren’t there to visit with me. They were waiting for me to leave so they could dig into that food. M later said he put it there, hoping to attract the birds when he goes out to sit on the bench.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a wonderful walk- that was a Song Sparrow singing his heart out- I love to hear them. Kildeer are such beauties- I saw my first a few years ago. Thanks for the wonderful share ❤


    • You are welcome. That little guy was sure happy. He was waaaaaay up high in a tree when I first saw him. I focused with my long lens for a long time but still couldn’t really see him. I was so surprised that he came down and sat so near me. He definitely wanted to be noticed.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful photos of Spring birds, I hope Katie was not upset with you for leaving her all alone!


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  9. Loved the imagery in the first paragraph. And you’re certainly very modest, as I see some great shots of the birds caught later. Looking forward to the most amazing image of ‘a crane couple gliding gracefully in a blue sky’. Your ardent resolve makes me smile. 🙂


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