Thus Spake Yoda
Do, or do not. There is no try.
I blame it on the beaver lodge.
No, that’s not right.
I blame it on the beavers.
Or more accurately, on the beady eyes peering up at me from the shallows near the shoreline.
Actually, that’s not correct either.
I blame it on the absence of beady eyes just above the surface.
While kayaking a few weeks ago, I discovered a beaver lodge in the cove, the first one there in at least a decade. I took a few photos of the tall tangle of branches and twigs, but was more interested in seeing, and photographing, a beaver. (I have never done that before, muskrats, yes, beavers, no.) As luck would have it that afternoon, there were two beaver kits paddling around the point not far from the den, but they both quickly slipped beneath the surface and disappeared before I could focus the camera.
So, last weekend I went back to the cove to try to photograph the beavers.
This, of course, was a mistake.
I learned long ago to open myself, and my eyes and camera, to whatever experiences and sights the lake brought forth at any moment. I had learned the hard way that “trying” to capture a specific subject meant that I would be missing out on what was unfolding right before my eyes.
I learned that mindfulness is a powerful tool for a photographer.
So, there I was last weekend in the cove fifty yards or so from the beaver lodge, scanning the surface of the waters with my binoculars, looking for a pair of beady eyes or a tuft of greenery being dragged along, trailing a small wake behind.
A flurry of activity at ten o’clock caught my eye and I paddled a bit closer and refocused the binocs.
Nope, not the eyes of a beaver: a swarm of dragonflies flitting and alighting on something, maybe a leaf.
I padded closer still to frame the swarm and through the lens realized the leaf was a feather, a single gorgeous raptor feather.
And as I was dialing down the lens for a closeup of the feather, a shadow passed directly overhead, and I saw a reflection framed on the water a few yards south – a great blue heron.
Without thinking – without having to “try” at all – I lifted the camera and fired off this one shot as the heron flew by.
Did I mention that no two days at the lake are the same?
step in photograph the same waters twice.
Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra-Extra. The water droplet falling from the heron’s talon adds something extra to this high-speed action shot.
Thanks to Paula for her wonderful Thursday’s Special Non-Challenge.
Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for hosting the Wild Bird Wednesday challenge.
A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.
Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.
Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™
The Tao of Feathers™
© 2014 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)
Great Blue Heron, Kayaking
Posted on June 19, 2014, in ardea herodias, Art, Audubon, Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, Mindfulness, Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Thursday's Special, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wild Bird Wednesday, Wildlife Photography and tagged great blue heron, postaday. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.