When you think of birds, you usually think of grace, no? The curve of a wing in flight, feathers fanning out, the swoop of a long white neck, the weightlessness of gliding on air. You think of sprites and nimble spirits. Hummingbirds and swans.
Kris rowed me out to a group of trees standing in the river, this morning, to photograph a rookery of cattle egrets. I snapped what I could with my camera set on continuous exposure, hoping that maybe one or two of the hundreds of exposures I made would give me a good photo of the birds, which were in constant motion.
Looking over them after lunch, I certainly did get some clear, interesting pictures of this bird community…not the sort I expected, though. I caught many birds in incredibly awkward, ungainly, and…well…freakish postures. Most un-birdlike! This was no Swan Lake photo shoot…they look more like monsters from the old Muppet Show. Or…a rooster?
This one. The unstable artist and substance abuser of the community, I’ll bet…
Cropping and choosing photos to upload to my Flickr account, I laugh out loud more than once. Kris looks up from his newspaper.
“What are you doing?”
“Editing photos of a bunch of chickens on meth,” I tell him.
“A bunch of what, on what?!”
Finally, there was a photo where these gangling, long-legged dance-hall freaks in yellow tights and orange mohawks managed to get their act together, and give me one reasonably bird-like photo that embodied, if not exactly grace reminiscent of Clair de Lune, then at least the idea of three birds having finally agreed on facing one direction. Better than nothing, theater people, carry on!
P.S. Posted from an internet café, using stuff written and edited on Kris’ laptop, and moved via flash drive. 🙂