Light at the End of the Day

Busy is more than a state of being, it is an oft' used excuse to not do anything. A bit of a conundrum whereby we can't get to it to do it, and so we often don't get it done. Like me. Writing this blog! The picture taking part is easy, and I carry my camera with me at all times. As well as my phone, which has a camera, and my iPad which also has a camera. So lots of pictures get taken. Almost every day in fact. They even get downloaded, sorted, and filed into a generic sorting system I've developed based on seasons, and then within the seasons, special events or  trips or whatever strikes my fancy. I'm pretty good at doing that much.
Where the whole system begins to drive me absolutely insane deteriorate is when I then have to go through all the photos I've taken on a whim and whisper of some wonderful idea, and I actually have to then crop, manipulate, resize, name, discard -all the tedious shit  time consuming, but important, background work that is crucial, before actually sharing any of the shots I've taken in order to illustrate a thought, rant, or point of view!
I have started writing for Bird Canada (http://www.birdcanada.com/) on  the 16th day of every month, not just to help shine a light on birds of the Ottawa Valley in eastern Ontario. It's  also an exercise in stick-to-it-tive-ness, it's a way for me to keep writing, even though I have been too busy to do so lately. (See opening statement.)
ALL THAT BEING SAID!! as I sorted through a whole bunch more shots  today, I thought that I should do something with them...and remembered (insert winking smiley face here) that I have this blog I've been neglecting lately.This one. The one that you, Gentle Patient Kindly Reader, are now reading.
As the light here at home on the shores of the Ottawa River begins to fade, let me show you some of the pictures I've taken over the last little while. Pictures that I HAD to take, because the light was incredible -and unbearable, with apologies to Milan Kundara. He wrote that "when the mind speaks, the heart finds it indecent to object" in his book The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I agree. And here are the photos I just had to take to someday share with you. In each of these shots it was the light that commanded my attention.

I have dozens, no, tens of dozens more photos. But, I think that's enough shedding of the light for one night.
I am a lover of light. My home has no curtains. And to quote Leonard Cohen, 
"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."


Windy, Wet, and Worth It.

The temperature is hovering around 5C+ and there's a stiff breeze off the Ottawa River. My hands are numb, and my feet are wet, as I completely forgot to pack gloves and rubber boots for this annual field trip. Clearly wasn't thinking clearly! We've trampled around the public marina, and seen a few birds, but because Spring has been late this year, there aren't many about this morning. In fact, there's more people than birds! 
But, the people are happy. Everyone is smiling, chatting cheerfully, and there's a low thrum of anticipation. Because you just never know what might appear out of the blue, and take your breath away. We are the watchers and the waiters, and  after a long, cold Canadian winter, the wait is almost over!

The Pembroke and Area Field Naturalists  club hosts a number of guided field trips throughout the year, and each one is unique in that there is always something thrilling that sets the tone for the event, whether it be a record number of owls spotted at the Owl Prowl in March, or spotting a Kingfisher during a recent Christmas Bird Count, or, as was the case yesterday, coming upon two Sandhill Cranes engaged in their courtship dance!

(forgive the quality of these two shots, my 20x optical zoom wasn't quite enough to capture the magic! )

We stood and watched from the top of a small knoll, looking down at the two cranes, as they swooped and pirouetted  displaying their feathers to one another oblivious to their captive audience of 20 people! This is a memory that will last for many who were there to witness it. You can't buy an event like this, you can't create it at will, you just have to show up and be hopeful that your persistence will pay off. 

The wait is over. 

Spring has arrived, and every morning for the past week, I've watched a feathered flotilla drift by my kitchen window. It make me perpetually late for just about everything, but gives me renewed strength, calm and sense of purpose. This year, the parade has been awesome!

And the best part? It's not over yet...still waiting for warblers, and the thrill they bring to a simple walk in the woods. I don't  know of any other activity that can engage all of my senses so quickly and so completely than a simple scan of the yard, binoculars ready, camera too. 

My collection of bird books, bird apps, binoculars, and bird art continues to expand and so does my curiosity. And perhaps that's why I'm a birder. It feeds my soul.