Feathers Worth Their Weight In Gold.

Our weather is nice, I’m not sure what is going on in the San Francisco Bay Area but it feels like November. The wind is up for sure with an ambient temperature of 60º F it feels as if it’s in the mid 50º F neighborhood. All around us the mercury has been over 100º F with no or minimal wind, I won’t be a bit surprised if we were to have a rainfall this summer. I’ll take it for as long as it lasts, which I see no end to.

I was able to take a few images of the Great White Egret, one of my little Grand-Daughters and I named Edgar. I know better than to name the wild ones besides the fact I am not able to tell Edgar from Edmond; it’s fun to do with a 5 year old.

I used different camera settings in an attempt to produce finer detail; it worked out well.

The Egrets frequent common hunting spots on both sides of the slough allowing me plenty of opportunities to capture some nice pictures. Yes it entails a considerable amount of viewing in Lightroom Classic to weed out those that are not worthy of being posted. I like to choose those that help in telling the story; it’s not easy telling a story of birds that don’t do anything. These Egrets have taught me a lot about taking images of light colored subjects in bright sunlight.

During a photo session while concentrating on a single subject I never know what to expect. I like the picture above it’s a bit of a illusion which inspires my creativity and imagination. I am tempted to Photoshop it by adding the same mirror image joined to appear to be two arms. From there I would be able to add any fashion of head; I may do that for a Halloween freak photo. I had a doll I planned on using to make a freaky, scary Halloween prop. That idea fell through after a different little Grand-Daughter wanted to take it home. Mrs. Lebec laughed at my misfortune, but hey it’s all about the kids for me.

They are beautiful birds it’s no wonder people are attracted to them, I for one continue to take images of them. They are apex predators being successful hunters but I suppose it helps when anything and everything is on the menu. They have as much time as I during the early morning hours, patience is the name of taking nature pictures. Minimal preparation was made for this session, I concentrated on what camera settings to use then merely waited for an opportunity.

During the later decades of the 20th century they were driven to extinction in England.

They were driven to extinction due to being a source of food, much like we enjoy Turkey today. A much more devastating reason was they were killed as a vanity demand; Feathers. There is no denying the long silky feathers are pretty while on the bird, not quite up to snuff while decorating a Ladies hat. Hats weren’t the only use that drove the price to the same level as the price of Gold. Boas, Blouses and Shaws were some of the other items in demand.

Happily the Egrets have made a come back beginning during the 1960’s when about 30 flew up from Africa most likely blown North in a high wind. Today they have an established colony in several parts of the country.

If you have wondered why we have the same people that drive animals to extinction then they become the ones to “save” them; in modern times it’s a simple answer. It has been politicized, when a species is wiped out (a good example is Wolves) and eliminated from their ancestral habitat they are re-introduced. It’s done that way to skirt the endangered species act. The animal will be re-introduced as an “invasive species” which then has no protections and may be dispersed of as the Government wishes. It is taking place as I write this in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, the perpetrators just don’t get it.

Enough of the doom and gloom I prefer to stay on the positive end of the stick. It’s a bit distressing watching a documentary until the last 5 minutes when it is ended with the narrator telling us all how the end of the world will come about. It’s a lot like being told we’re having lutefisk for dinner, now that’s funny.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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