I want to take a moment to thank you all for encouraging me to do this! Before I started the blog I was approaching a point in my life when I realized I had to make decisions about how I was going to be spending whatever “free” time I have, as there is so little of it left to my own discretion. Maybe in the back of my mind I did realize that keeping up the blog was going to consume a lot of that time. There was an “oh no” moment when I wondered what I had gotten myself into, but it didn’t last long.
And the blog took a different turn than I had originally planned. It has strayed more than a bit from the music and is often more about the birds, and in particular, pictures of birds. But in pursuit of those pictures, I find myself even more connected to the original conception.
I never set out to be a photographer: I only wanted to capture the birds’ images. Looking at them through the lens and later developing the images continues to inform me of the nuances in appearance and behavior, and reinforces what I remember from my encounters with them.
Indeed, they are encounters. One reason why I love to go looking for birds alone is because there are often one-on-one exchanges between us, when we both become creatures inhabiting the same space for a moment, and we acknowledge each other’s presence: it’s a form of recognition, of greeting, of communication that I find so special I am drawn to seek further encounters, wherever and whenever they may occur.
And therein lies the magic of it all. By making photography part of the obsession, I now go out more often, have more encounters, learn more, and feel inspired by the whole quest. And lately I have had this feeling, which I know I should distrust, but that I am becoming perhaps just a little bit better at it, with the sounds and the sights, of birds. I will never approach the level of those who have been searching after birds their entire lives, or certainly anyone who has years more of field experience than I do, but it is indeed a cumulative thing, and every year I feel more confident, more informed, and all the more curious. I have to keep reminding myself never to assume I know anything because a bird will surprise me when I least expect it to.
The birds are watching us all the time. They are curious about us too. We’re all in this together.