It was a day dominated by cloud, occasionally illuminated by intermittent sunshine. I found myself in our bedroom re-arranging furniture for the purposes of accessing a pair of wall-mounted power sockets. Trivial indeed.
We have a reasonably large bay window in our bedroom that has the capacity to allow in enough sunlight to drench the room in warm rays. That wasn’t happening today. The spells of sunshine that appeared and disappeared were nonetheless a welcome distraction from the mundane task at hand.
I glanced out of our window and noticed a pair of visiting birds, red and yellow, an exquisite sight. One had mounted the shed and proceeded to acrobatically flutter into an airborne state, hold position for half a second then manoeuvre around beneath the shed roof’s overhang. It was picking at something. It wasn’t hovering absolutely still of course, but its perfect control was nonetheless reminiscent of a humming bird.
It continued picking at what looked like a cobweb. Was it picking out flies? Flies that had been caught by the resident spider for its own sustenance? Could the bird be stealing a meal from another living creature? I guess it could. Who knows? Perhaps it wasn’t even picking out flies. Perhaps it simply enjoyed the rebelliousness of disrupting a spider’s cobweb.
Enjoying this moment, the urge to capture it somehow hit me without warning. My camera was situated upstairs in our living room. Yes, you read correctly; upstairs. We live in an upside-down house you see. Dare I break my enjoyment of the display and run for my camera? I decided yes.
I scurried away, socks slipping on the hard floor in the hallway like slick tyres on a wet race track. For my own amusement, I was tempted to add my own screeching sound effects as I took the corners. I refrained. Up the stairs and into our loft living room, my camera was retrieved. Down the stairs I came again, through the hall and back to our bedroom.
The birds had disappeared. That was hardly surprising I suppose. I kept a lookout. They did reappear but they were not as intriguingly active as before.
Did I lose out by not being able to photograph these creatures? Not really. Did I lose out by tearing myself away midway through their display for the sake of a coveted photograph? On reflection, yes. I believe I did.
Originally published on Jon’s blog here.