So. Let me see, where was I? Ah yes, casually racewalking into the woods. I had left the more traveled path behind, along with with the pesky turkeys. If only real life could be that easy.
It was quiet back there, and the sun was shining down on me walking silently on a cushy bed of fallen oak leaves. There was something pretty no matter where I looked.
I notied a lot of green shining in the morning light, even though all the summer’s leaves had long since dropped.
I wanted to get a good shot of some moss. It was hard to get it in focus and I’m not sure I succeeded, but if you just think of it as abstract art you’ll be fine.
I finally got myself back on my feet and headed down the path again when a slight movement caught my eye off to the right.
She wasn’t very far off the trail, just enjoying the sunlight and chewing her cud and she wasn’t disturbed by my being near at all. I whispered that she shouldn’t get up, she telepathed back she hadn’t planned on it, and I quietly moved along.
Her eyes followed me, and then she turned her head away. At the time I thought she was pulling a Katie – – not wanting to look at the camera unless there was something in it for her. I even said “You little stinker” as I took the shot above. Turns out that she had just noticed something else and had written me off as nonthreatening.
I was working to get this closeup of some fungi when I heard footsteps approaching. Thinking it was the deer, I glanced over my shoulder.
It wasn’t the deer, just another woman walking through the woods. I asked her if she had seen the doe, and she looked confused, then said no, she was too busy with her own thoughts. I smiled and she walked on by. I’m pretty sure the doe saw her, and that was what made her turn her attention away from me.
I didn’t see many people on those back trails. When we did meet we generally just nodded or said a quiet “good morning.” It was sort of like being in church.
I got to an intersection. I had another choice to make. I could go straight and be back at the car in 15 or 20 minutes. Or I could turn left and make another large loop up and down some hills and through a meadow and a wetland. I almost headed back, I was certain that was what I was going to do. My neck and back were getting tired from carrying the camera with the long lens. I was hungry. I had pictures of large birds and a doe.
My work was done for the day.
But I stood and studied the map considering. And then I turned left. Almost instantly I hear the familiar sound of wings near my head. Interesting. I never have birds begging on these back trails. There are very few people and the birds aren’t as trained.
But lucky for them I happened to have quite a bit of seed left in my pocket, seed those pesky turkeys didn’t get. A few little birds came down for a treat. The woodpecker stayed around begging but waited till I left him something on the ground to grab lunch.
The path led past one of my favorite benches, though I’ve never sat there. I just think it’s in a pretty spot.
Then the trail burst out of the woods into the sunshine of a grassy meadow. I thought this made a lovely shot.
And as I made my way to the meadow I found a couple of birdwatchers looking for something special. I hope they found it!
They obviously weren’t looking for this little guy, as he was right behind them. He came down for a bit of a snack after they moved on.
The trail took me back toward the road, and when I got out there I noticed a tree I had seen on my drive in. It was covered with ornaments and I’d thought I’d stop there on my drive out after my walk. But it wasn’t that far away, maybe about a quarter mile. And I was right there.
I decided to change to the short lens and walk over there. After all, who knew what the light would be like by the time I was driving past it later? So there in the woods I switched lenses and then I walked out of the woods and down along the road toward the tree.
As I got closer I realize not all the sparkles were baubles. The trees were filled with bluebirds! And me with the short lens on the camera. I stopped right there on the side of the road and switched back to the long lens. Still, the birds were flitting back and forth, up and down from the tree to the ground. I’d catch a flash of brillant blue, but couldn’t get the bird in focus.
Finally one dropped down to the ground and stayed there long enough for me to capture him. He was adorable! Then he took off with that acorn cap and I reflexively shot.
I got some of him in focus accidently. But I was thrilled just to see them all there on a mid-December day.
After the bluebirds left I concentrated a bit on the tree itself.
There was another tree across the street decorated all in fishing lures an bobbers. I have no idea why, but it also was pretty.
After the bluebird interlude I put the short lens back on the camera and headed back into the woods to finish my trek back to the car. As I got closer to the nature center the little birds began swarming my head. They were quite insistant. So of course I had to take the obligitory picture of a bird in the hand.
Or, in this case, two birds in the hand.
The big hawks were gone when I walked past their trees. I wondered which photographers were patient enough to wait for them to lift off in flight. That would have made a cool photo too. But I was happy with my menagerie of images. Plus I’d gotten over 3 miles of walking in.
Choices, choices. Every choice has some kind of consequence, good or bad. I think I made the right choices on Friday when I visited my favorite park.