Today I'm going to try something a little bit different with the format of my posts. I'm going to put the initial writing above the first photo. It may not seem like a huge difference, and maybe it's not, but it's a huge difference to me. I've hesitated doing this before, but sometimes I think the story needed it. So here goes...
I had been mentioning in my last few posts about this day that the slushy icy surface that I've been walking on was tiring me out quickly. Now I had come to an area where I was walking up a mild slope for a little while. My legs hurt and I was now breathing hard. I had to stop for a rest.
Maybe a more physically fit person would be feeling better at this point, but part of the reason I do this is for the exercise. I'm not really that out of shape, but I'm no fine tuned athlete either. I'm probably the second most active person in my family, and the first is a fine tuned athlete. So I'm not doing too bad. But I was still tired.
Up to this point I had seen no wildlife out here. I walked past a few people who looked completely unprepared to be out in these conditions, and I also exchanged greetings with one of the park officials. I do that often. I like talking with people on these trails. This one was an older man who looked like he was made for this kind of thing. He was in better shape than me.
There were still no animals out here though. I came out here hoping that I would see a few animals, since the weather had warmed up a bit. I guess the other exciting things just weren't enough for me. I must not appreciate what I have. I heard some birds earlier, but I saw nothing. I was becoming tired and discouraged, and I was now thinking of leaving the park. That's when I saw them!
These birds were all sitting up there in these trees. Sure, it may not seem very exciting at first, but I've had a lot of trouble getting pictures of birds. I know that I've had some good shots of birds that I've posted here, but it took a lot of effort to get them.
This time there was a whole flock of birds up in these trees. I was already feeling better after stopping to rest. You wouldn't believe how stopping for just a few seconds can help. The sight of these birds energized me even more. I was now excited, and thoughts of leaving were now gone from my mind!
I had only walked a short distance from my rest area, when I saw these things. I stopped again so that I could get as many shots as possible. It was still in the very front of my mind that I would lift my camera, and these birds would all fly away. It's happened before in this very same spot, leaving me disappointed and depressed.
Now, as I moved my camera up to my eyes, they stayed there! They weren't as close as I would like, but I guess that's why it worked so well this time. I began taking shot after shot of these birds, expecting them to fly away at any second. They stayed right where they were. I felt very fortunate!
When I say they stayed where they were, I don't mean that they didn't move at all. This is the best part of the whole thing. Of course they were moving! Some were staying still up there, obviously resting. Others were hopping from branch to branch.
It's very hard to see that happening in these photos. It shows up as more of a blur than a bird in the air. Wherever you see a bird in these photos that's a little blurrier than the others, it's because it's moving to another branch. It was fun to watch this when it happened, but it's hard to capture it in a still shot.
Of course, in this second photo, you can see a bird flying in, to land in the tree with the rest of them. It's just to the left center of the picture. I'm always glad to get a shot like that. It took me a very long time to do it. It was wonderful seeing all of these birds flying in and out of the trees. I was glad to capture that a little bit.
After a while they all flew away at once. I completely missed getting a shot of this event. I'm still not all the way there yet. I'm not quite great at getting these flying bird pictures. I'm getting better, and I wasn't too disappointed about it. There will be other times. I still got a good shot of a few birds flying away.
It's far away, but if you look closely, you can see three birds flying away from these trees, in this last photo. I really didn't know that I got this shot until I got home, so this one is an added bonus. I think I did pretty well this time. I'm very happy with these new bird photos, and I now have some fond memories this event.
This marked a turning point in my adventure that day. I went from tired and discouraged, to excited and rejuvenated. These were the first animals I saw out here, but they were not the last at all. I have some very exciting things to show you in the next few posts. I saw some great things next, so stay tuned!
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