Wind, Rain and A Great White Egret

Rain has been predicted for Thursday followed by more a few days later. During the same time the Wildfire alerts have been activated, these are the first this year. It will take a lot more rain than we have had plus what is predicted to solve any of our water issues. Any amount is a good amount, I sometimes wonder if there is a chance of rain all summer long. Hey why not with the climate changing who’s to say it’s not in the cards? Most of what the rain brings is good, there are a few pitfalls but I stay away from the negatives. When snow falls in the mountains it doesn’t fool around a lot of snow falls then it melts almost as rapidly and flows to where the dams were built across a canyons to capture the water. There will not be enough rain or water for several more years if ever, this is a State who’s normal is drought interrupted by rain every 5-7 years; there is no “normal” rainfall. If there was it would be closer to zero than to one inch annually.

I went out onto then Levee at noon today mostly to exercise Skunk Puppy as she hadn’t been out all morning. Much to my surprise I was greeted by a Great White Egret 70 feet in front of me on the old dock. I saw him from the closed sliding door which gave me time to set up my camera and make a plan. I began taking pictures after I got on the porch then slowly creeped towards the bird. I had a feeling one of two things may happen 1) it may see me and take off or 2) Skunk Puppy would see it and chase it off. I managed to get within 30 feet of it while he/she was behind the Tules.

Taking a decent photo while the subject has obstructions between it and the camera is not a walk in the park. The focus must be made between the stalks then taken before the wind blows them back in the way. In this case I take at least 20 of the same image; granted at times the subject moves but that’s part of the challenge. There are times when the bird will move into a better position not to be discovered until the frame is in editing.

These were taken during the noon hour with the Sun directly overhead and the dog dropping the ball at my feet every minute or so. Taking the photos in the bright Sunshine takes a strategy to avoid over exposure; fast shutter speed 1/1250 or above, ISO around 500-650 and the aperture 6.3-9; the light meter set 1 step on under exposed works OK for me. Staying alert and on my toes is the most valuable adjustment I can make. But that means finding a place to set my coffee; that in itself at times dominates the efforts. Fear not I have a cup holder I am able to attach to my trip-pod or other device with a pipe to clamp it on to. I dropped it once and it rolled all the way to the bottom of the hill, Mrs. Lebec was happy to go to the bottom of the hill and bring it back up to me. OK happy is not the best word to use it was more like “can it wait until Saturday when Santiago comes to paint? He’ll do it.” I mostly relent but that was a Monday and I’d have to use my spare cup; that just won’t do I’m afraid. Old people are strange sometimes and I’m no exception; some say I’m eccentric, I don’t think so but each to their own.

The photo above was not taken this morning, I like to use daily images however there are times older ones work a bit better. The wind was up during that day; but it is many days on the Island.

I made the comment on FaceBook when a lady mentioned the wind, my comment was it will be with us until September. A different lady commented “We have it a lot worse”. It took me a bit to attempt to decipher what the heck she was talking about. I asked her what Island are you on? I didn’t say much else I remain curious because on my side 80 mile per winds erupt once or twice a year; mostly one event. The lady didn’t answer I believe it’s because she may be my neighbor; in a discussion always leave the other person a way out to save face. I may have not done that if she lives on this Island which I’m sure she does, but that’s alright they are both harmless comments.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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