Let me begin by saying I am humbled by many things these days: stairs, buttons, opening jars, people who don’t like me, aging … very much this last one. But the most humbling experience that I subject myself to with surprising regularity is bird photography. 

As an example, Friday was a perfect photo day. Overcast, but no rain. There was interest swirling in the cloud formations and bursts of color along the trail. Clear blue skies are lovely too, but the light feels very authentic and soft on these sunless days. A bit muted even. A softened background where color can pop is my favorite. 

Enter humility. 

To get this yesterday

I had to get through a lot of this.

To get to this

there was this

Sometimes I like the effect of a blurry photo better than the photo I intended to take. 

Sometimes I take a shot and don’t even realize what I’ve captured until I return home. !

At the root of all of it is a willingness to be constantly humbled by circumstance. If 2020’s job was to teach me patience and determination, then 2021 is here to teach me to love what is. Where I am. What lies in front of me. Heron legs or art ? (And does it really matter after all ?) It is as it is.

Photographing birds is a bit like a carnival game. They flutter around with you in hot pursuit. It seems that no sooner do you spot them and focus that they are gone again and maybe if you’re lucky you get this …

Mostly, I get this

Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

While humbling, it also teaches me discipline. Every time I step outside my door I am learning and growing. I know not to rush things. I know that the moments I am in are the only ones that really matter. I’m grateful for the moments we share here, too. Happy Sunday ♡

Here were a few of the hundreds of photos I took Friday. A lovely day !

18 Comments on “Humbled

    • Thank you. Yep, photographing birds is a four-letter word alright. LUCK. But maybe we should change that to WAIT. Both reliably true. Thanks for writing.

  1. Bonnie Rae I really liked this post because you shared the types of pictures I do best. The blurry ones!!!! Your outside-of-the-box thinking always intrigues me. Thanks for sharing a refreshing look at the world.

    • Thanks, Keitha. I get just a handful of really good shots for every hundred I take. And that ratio is perfectly fine with me. Cheers to imperfection !

    • Thank you so much ! When my niece and nephew were young we had a mantra … “there’s no such thing as a mistake in art”. We liked to see everything as an opportunity. This mantra also works for life. And bird photos too, so it seems !

  2. Well this makes me feel a teeny tiny bit better about myself. Okay, not that much. Bird photography seems just short of impossible. (Clearly, not entirely, because yours are spectacular.) Persistence + patience=perfection: you have the Ps down. Good thing you’re not dealing with Pfilm, huh?

    • Thanks for the encouragement ! I love that: the three P’s. I remember not long ago attempting a challenge you suggested about pretending I have one roll of 36 exposures. I failed miserably, but hope to attempt it again some morning. Your photos are pretty spectacular too. I know you appreciate the nuance of a good capture ❤

  3. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to visit your page. What a lovely thing to come back to.

    The blurry one of the eagle looks like an intentional art piece; like a spirit eagle. I really like the gray blurriness, the feeling of capturing the spirit in flight.

    I also really admire another photographer’s work knowing it often takes many shots to get the one we really want…but that doesn’t mean all the other tries are for nothing. Every effort is a flare of excitement, a beat of our hearts, a quickened breath (or holding our breath!).

    • Thanks so much, Jennie. So glad to see you back here. I love them all too. I started a couple different albums of blurry bird shots. It is definitely a delicate mix of art, science and patience ! Hope all is well with you ⚘

      • I am well. I just finished my Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and Sociology, graduating magna cum laude! I feel very proud of myself accomplishing this goal at 48. Now to catch up on projects that have been percolating. 🌱

        • Congratulations ! What a year for learning in so many ways. I sure hope your blog is one of those projects ! I always feel like you have so much to share. I’m listening … 🌿

  4. A beautiful moody shot of the lighthouse! It was so fun to join you and watch you shooting!

  5. … years ago when I was an active shooter (how the times have changed the meaning of that phrase!), I would pick my subject and fire away, hoping that in a burst of captures, one or two would stand out, once I got home. I did not have your patience to sit and wait for the perfect moment, or at least, not very often. You bring that discipline here and it shows, Bon …*

    • I employ that technique often with the little birds. The herons and eagles are lovely subjects in their stillness. The hummingbird is my challenge. Yes, active shooter … sigh. Thanks for being here.

  6. I have a whole bunch of those too! Some days you get something really good, and some days you get a bunch of blurry crap……..such is bird photography.

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