A New Month / A New Bird
My February started off with a bird I didn’t recognize. He was on a fallen branch on the other side of our lake. At first, I thought he was the great blue heron that sometimes fishes there, but his body looked too chunky and short. I zoomed in with my camera and couldn’t identify the bird in my sight, so I took a few shots and researched using my “Picture Bird” app. He’s a juvenile double-crested cormorant. I don’t remember ever seeing one before and certainly not in our neighborhood. For me, that was an exciting start to a new month!
The cormorant also spurred other thoughts about starting a new month. At this time last year, life was still “normal” in the U.S. We were blissfully and innocently unaware that our daily lives would soon be upended by a virus.
What lies ahead in 2021? We used to be able to predict with at least an acceptable amount of certainty, barring any accidents or unexpected deaths, what our next few months of existence would yield. Now, I can’t see beyond this week — sometimes, not beyond today.
With the unpredictability of life right now, I find my photo-a-day habit is reassuring and comforting. I am honoring and celebrating what is normal and routine in my life while being attentive to anything that is outside the range of commonplace. I am more aware of my surroundings and what constitutes the ordinary and the extraordinary.
I am fortunate to have a few other photographers on this journey with me. Some have posted once, some a few times, and some with great regularity.
The requirements are simple: take photos every day, choose one to represent your day, share them with us. I post weekly and give my photos a one-word description but those are suggestions, not requirements.
I hope you will join us!
And, here is the first week of February in my world:
This morning I had two surprise sightings but both happened so quickly I wasn’t able to get photos. The first was a sighting of one of our neighborhood foxes. As Syau and I reached the end of our block, the fox was walking down the middle of the road to our right. He froze for a nanosecond before sprinting into the woods.
The other sighting was extremely unusual — in fact, the first in my lifetime. As Syau and I walked down a street of single-family homes, she was keen on all the squirrels in one yard. Most were near a tree close to us, but a few were in the backyard, several yards away. That’s when I spied a squirrel with a pure white tail! Not an albino squirrel because the rest of his coloring was normal — only his tail was shockingly white. The distance and his fast scampering made a photo impossible but click here to see an online photo that I found. You can bet that I will be on the lookout for that squirrel every time Syau and I take a walk!
Lead photo taken with a Canon Powershot. All others taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ phone camera.