It’s only Tuesday, this is beginning to be one of those busy weeks; I don’t know how I got anything done during my working years. Doctor’s appointments on line are great, they save us a lot of time and Mrs. Lebec doesn’t have to drive me to the clinic. But still after lining up two in one day it still takes up a lot of time; plus we’re still dealing with the insurance company and contractors because of the house fire we had at the end of January. I’m not complaining it all has to be done, my whole deal is being surprised how much time all of this takes.
It’s not all vinegar and cabbage however, it does afford me to spend time on the deck waiting out the critters between phone calls and contractor show ups. Although it was mid-day after I adjusted the light meter most of the shadows were eliminated. This Great Blue Heron hung around from early morning until late in the afternoon. Looking at his bright coloring I suspect (I’m not sure) this is a young bird possibly fledged this past spring. His plummage is very colorful and well defined.
During the late afternoon he was on the dock for over one hour just posing. I waited for him to take off which gave me an opportunity to mess around with the camera settings. It’s easy to see the wind effect on the water as it is turbulent causing the Heron to crouch and bend into it. As I was watching and waiting for the big event a gust came that nearly knocked the big bird over; even the professionals struggle in it.
While waiting on the Heron to make a decision I was fortunate to have an opportunity to catch two Hawks just barely within range. If I were to attempt to bring this image closer ti would have appeared pixelated and out of focus. I believe they are driven by hunger, I suspect they are still feeding their chicks.
Their brood must be large enough that enables the parents to have confidence they can leave them alone for brief amounts of time. Hopefully we will be able to capture some photos of them learning to fly and hunt. The snag in that plan is their nest is 900 yards to the West, I can see it with my binoculars and 600mm lens. However seeing it is the entire story, I can also see the Sierra Nevada’s 125 miles to the East but taking a photo of them would not result in a quality image.
It was a nice break to scope out the Hawks but then to return to the Heron apparently laughing at me may have been insulting if I wasn’t so mature. He did not move from his spot no matter what I did and I was within 50 feet of him. By this time I was growing tired of being beat up by the wind; beat up so bad I was threatening to buy a new hat. Mrs. Lebec walked out to offer a few suggestions which are always nice to hear; I took advantage of the situation and asked her to chase the bird off of the dock. She complied by waving her arms shouting and jumping around; the bird finally took to the air. I was ready, cocked and aimed successfully executing my goal I took several take off pictures. Unfortunately my settings were wrong, each and everyone was over-exposed and didn’t last long in the fresh air; I earned them a trip to the trash.
Oh the indignity of it all he flew from the dock to the far side preceding to stand in the weeds for who knows how long. They are interesting animals; they will stay absolutely motionless for an unbelievable time. They are wonderful to take pictures of while they are static, although even in motion they are not bad. The secret for a unique image is to capture them on take off or landing as that is the time things happen. They happen quickly which makes enabling the camera to take high speed images pays the freight. I am dedicated to capturing as much detail as possible with each subject; to have a photo with good detail and the subject doing something interesting is my goal.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance