Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Photo surprise


Early Saturday morning, just before the sun made it out of bed, I headed out to a park about a half hour away to meet other photography students and an instructor. We explored the Hawk Woods Nature Center, with it’s large pond and trails.

Then the sun began to push through the clouds.

It was cold, only 44F degrees (6.66C) and I hadn’t dressed warm enough. But I figured once we were moving, and in the woods, I’d be fine. I was wrong.

This park, on this particular day, challenged my belief that there’s always something to photograph. Though there were beautiful purple asters I wasn’t noticing much else in the way of fall color.

If you look closely there’s a bit of color, no matter where you are.

The pond was fringed with tall grasses, making it hard to appreciate. But I did notice this guy sitting across the way when I passed a break in the grass.

Hiding in the grasses.

But still, what else to shoot? The class stopped at a wildflower garden, but I wasn’t really into it, as I have the same flowers in my own yard. So I meandered away from the pond and into the woods.

This path looked interesting.

I am always most comfortable in the woods. Not much color in there, but still, it drew me in.

After a bit of time in the dark green woods I went back to where the group was still concentrating on the flowers. I moved on down the trail that circles the pond, looking for anything interesting.

The sun began to peek out and the grass began to glow.

Brown is a color, right?

If you make this bigger you’ll notice the intricate texture of this dried queen anne’s lace.

Down at the end of the pond I came across a couple fat warblers and a chickadee hopping about in a shrub. I didn’t have the right lens, and while I was changing lenses they flew away. But I was happy to see them.

Not peak color yet, but still pretty.

By now my fingers were freezing, and my broken little finger was aching, a combination of the cold and carrying the camera, so I decided to pack it in. I’m not writing this park off, I think if I had dressed better I’d have stayed and found more pretty things, and given it’s not so far away I will definitely go back.

On the way home I stopped and got a warm drink, trying to make my finger feel better. I stopped at a rest stop along the freeway, to toss the cup when I finished the drink, and as I was getting out of the car I noticed a flurry of activity in the crab apple trees lining the sidewalk.

Could it be my favorite birds? I heard the distinctive excited chirp. My camera already had the long lens attached and was sitting in the passenger seat. My fingers were no longer cold.

I grabbed the camera and crept up to the trees. AMAZING. There were adults…

Notice the yellow feathers at the end of his tail.

…and juveniles.

Notice the stripes on his breast.

I know people stopping at the rest stop thought I was insane as I was creeping around the trees with a big ole camera. But I ignored them, except when they slammed car doors and the birds rose up into the air as one. Then I scowled at the clueless drivers. (Not really, it’s a public rest stop after all.)

Three in this one shot!

There were so many! They’d fly from the trees near the bathroom over to the trees on the other side of the parking lot, and back again.

The trees were beautiful too.

I was having such a great time. And in a rest stop. But I actually squealed when I got home and looked at the images. Because I had captured this:

My favorite shot of the day.

So the point of this post is that there always is something interesting or beautiful or original, or fun to shoot. And you should always have your camera ready to go, because you’re never going to know what you’ll see when you keep your eyes open.

Years of sitting quietly in these woods.

Many thanks to Bob DiTommaso and his wife Juliann for hosting the meetup. If I hadn’t gone and wandered at the park I wouldn’t have stopped for a warm drink and to toss the cup and I never would have seen the cedar waxwings.

Plus I found some pretty things at the park too.


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.

24 thoughts on “Photo surprise

  1. Look at your 3-in-1 shot! Berry in the mouth–that’s the first thing I noticed. These are wonderful, Dawn. Sometimes you just gotta break away from the crowd and find your own groove. Which you did!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The waxwing photos are marvelous. Made me smile. And I liked your other photos too. You always find something interesting to photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate the effort you went to while taking these photos. I hope that your scowl taught the clueless drivers a thing or two. I enlarged the Queen Anne’s Lace and it is wonderful. Great photos of birds, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you’ve thawed out (and your finger didn’t suffer any lasting effects from the cold!). These are fabulous shots, and I’m most impressed with your quick-thinking, leaving that camera right where you could readily grab it and start capturing these splendid scenes!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That tree trunk was huge!!! Years of being there big time
    Glad you had such a good time and worth getting up early for 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That sounds like a photography excursion that I would have loved to join. Your photographs are stunning…and well worth the cold and effort!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your favorite shot is mine too- though all of them are wonderful. I was so excited and happy for you- I know that feeling of coming upon the unexpected when ready to call it a day. Wonderful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I know the feeling that there is nothing to photograph, but I have also learned that by just keep on looking, at some point, interesting subjects and photos will present themselves. In the end you got quite a handful of lovely images.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Berry in the mouth is an awesome shot! I’d have squealed, too.
    I’ve gotten some of my favorite shots while looking around at things other than what we were there to look at.

    I’m pretty sure that you’ve seen these, but for example, this one: We were hunting in the scrub for a geocache (and found it) near the top of a cliffy area along the coast. As we headed back, I caught a brief glimpse of a beach below, and worked my way through the brush to see better.

    And this one is at Arches National Park; my photographer friends and everyone else in the universe were behind me, looking at, photographing, and climbing around on a couple of arches. I looked around for scenes that didn’t have people in them, spent about 10 minutes working this wonderful old tree. Friends said they never even saw it.

    You do a fabulous job of “Look around!” as another facebook/agility friend says as she posts wonderful shots of things that other people might never notice. And your shots always inspire me, too, to look for differentkinds of things.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes the Waxwing with the berry is just perfect! You go0t some greatr photos! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love how you’ve taught yourself to differentiate juveniles of different species. I still can’t do it. Young birds all look like house finches to me.


  12. Pingback: Bits of gold flit over the pond | Change Is Hard

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