Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Into the woods we go


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.

I couldn’t ask for a prettier day.

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.

Oak leaf caught in sunlight.

I notied a lot of green shining in the morning light, even though all the summer’s leaves had long since dropped.

Nature’s art was everywhere.

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 enjoyed the delicate green enjoying the sun.

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’d been watching me while I was busy with the moss.

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.

Enlarge this image. How many faces do you see? I never saw the others until I looked at this on a big screen.

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.

Fungi art.

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.

Another photographer, going the opposite direction. I’m sure HE saw the deer just around that next corner.

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.

Light shining through yesterday’s leaf.

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.

Seriously hungry here lady, toss me something good!

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.

A nice place to sit in the winter, in the summer you’d be a meal for the mosquiteos!

Then the trail burst out of the woods into the sunshine of a grassy meadow. I thought this made a lovely shot.

The beautiful day in all it’s forms shone everywhere.

And as I made my way to the meadow I found a couple of birdwatchers looking for something special. I hope they found it!

“What’s that over there?”

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.

I don’t know what the significance is of this tree, there’s no sign. But it was pretty.

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.

He has an acorn cap in his beak.

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.

He still has the acorn cap in his bill.

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.

Pretty in the sunlight.

There was another tree across the street decorated all in fishing lures an bobbers. I have no idea why, but it also was pretty.

A fishing theme far away from the lake.

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.

“HEY! That was the biggest peanut and it was MINE!”

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.

Don’t you?

Follow youe heart, you never know what you’ll find.

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.

16 thoughts on “Into the woods we go

  1. You did great! The doe, the Christmas trees, the birds eating out of your hand–which never fails to fascinate me..!! I really like the photo of the birdwatchers, both with their hands up scanning the woods. It is a very pretty shot.


  2. You’ve transported me from my living room into a wonderland.


  3. Love the bluebird! My general comment: your work is looking more and more professional. A new career?


  4. You’ve just given me a wonderful idea for a fishing theme Christmas tree next year. Thanks, Jamie


  5. oh my did you ever make the right choices! 🙂 I always pick my favorite photo in each of your blog posts, and usually it’s easy, this time it was NOT easy. In the end, it is the oak leaf caught in the sunlight. But what a thrill to see those other faces in that one particular photo too. And the very last photo with those wings, oh my. Thanks Dawn.


  6. You sure got absolutely fantastic photos. Love your last shot the best. 😀


  7. The bluebird with the acorn in his beak is my favourite. Sighting them here in Ottawa is very rare – I guess we’re just a little too far north for their liking. What a great outing you had!


  8. I think those fishing lure decorations are so creative!


  9. Dawn, this made my morning!! I love the doe and her friends, as well as the trees with ornaments and bobbers. But those birdies eating seed right out of your hand captivate me — how you can do that juggling a big camera and getting a clear photo, I’ll never know (but I’m glad you did!!)


  10. I do especially like the moss picture–it does look like abstract art as well as moss. Your walk in the woods is making me miss fall already though. It’s pretty much winter here with about five inches of the white stuff on the ground. Wondering if it will stick around through Christmas or melt before that. The long-term forecast looks pretty dry thus far.


  11. You made a great choice. The doe was a sweetheart. And the bluebirds were such a treat. Such a lovely walk you took into the forest. Even some decorated trees!
    Merry Tuesday!


  12. Oh the ornaments are so pretty! How lucky are you to see Bluebirds!! What a fun day!


  13. All of the pictures are stunning, but Lift Off made me gasp with pleasure.


  14. Hi, Dawn,

    Thank you for sharing your nature walk. The woods look so peaceful. It is nice that the few folks you encountered were also quietly enjoying nature. What a wonderful place to get away from the stress and craziness that seems to be the new normal. I am still amazed that the birds eat seed and nuts from your hand. And even a woodpecker – wow! I bet Katie was upset that you went to the park without her!

    This weekend when I was driving home from running errands, a male golden eagle flew across the road ahead of me. What a treat! He was beautiful! I have seen him several times over the last year or two in the same area. I wonder if he has a nest nearby.

    Thank you for sharing your awesome photos! Managing to balance a dslr with a heavy lens and capture the birds feeding from your other hand is quite a feat!

    Please give Katie some pats for me. I hope you and your husband are well and have no lingering c19 issues. Take good care of yourselves. Have a great week! 😊


  15. Great pics. I wonder what the idea was of the ornaments and fishing tackle on the trees was. The idea was pretty creative for some added color. I need to find me some woods but really the good woods would be to the East Texas piney woods. Our temps are to cold for me right now I need a warmer day to get out and about.


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