It’s been exactly a year since I started shooting with the Nikon my kids gave me, hoping it would get me out of the house and give me something to do in my dotage.
It worked. Maybe too well.
There are times I fear I’m turning into a psycho bird photographer and/or a social-media slut.
This spring, as the weather improved and daylight lingered, I found myself going out twice and sometimes three times a day in search of feathered prey and the perfect picture.
Spent way too much time obsessing over my failure to capture the smorgasbord of warblers and other pint-sized migrants supposedly infesting my neck of the Canadian woods. Got pissed off every time I saw a colorful little bird flitting around in the treetops, only to depart with the exit velocity of a Giancarlo Stanton homer when I raised my camera.
About all I got for the effort were a couple of decent shots of brightly hued transients …
… and a serious case of warbler neck that still has me rubbing on Icy Hot and gobbling extra-strength Tylenol.
I have to keep reminding myself that I’m just a point-and-shoot hack with a camera – and accept that big birds and mammals are more my speed.
Herons at Sam Smith park off Lake Ontario in Toronto have been especially cooperative.
That green heron, which landed on a log right in front of me in early May, may be my best photograph yet.
Though a contender is this one from among fifty-odd frames of a great blue taken last week at Sam Smith.
Most days, I also spend about an hour before sunset walking the trails in the Rattray Marsh near home.
Lately, deer appear nearly every evening. Often up close.
Coyotes and foxes sometimes cross my path.
I shoot anything that moves and comes into focus. Reflexes aren’t bad for an alte kaker.
I’ve shot squirrels and chipmunks and rabbits and raccoons and beaver and muskrats and minks only because they’ve made my trigger finger twitch. Really don’t interest me.
Neither do turtles, frogs and all their reptilian and amphibian kin. Ditto insects.
Post photos daily on Facebook and/or Instagram, seeking approval of my work from friends, acquaintances and strangers. Likes are the currency of my new economy.
The other day, a neighbor approached my car as I was pulling out of the driveway. I lowered the window.
“Writing anything new?” she asked.
“Nope,” I said, lifting the camera off the passenger seat. “I take pictures now.”