While doing the morning dishes and looking out the back window lately, I am entertained by the sight of finches using our bird bath. One recent morning, I grab my camera, stealthily creep out to the backyard and stage myself close enough to hopefully allow for an action shot of the activities. Sitting as still as possible with camera poised I wait. . . and wait; for a half an hour, at least, I wait and not one bird comes close to taking a dip. A few days later, still determined to capture the activities, I venture out again. This time trying a new location a little farther away and armed with a 100mm-300mm zoom lens. About fifteen minutes in, my mind begins wandering. Thinking back, many years ago, to when we purchased the bird bath and one of the backyard daughters, Michele, was about four years old. We lugged it out to the carefully chosen spot in the garden, placed it in the dirt wiggling and maneuvering it back and forth to level it and filled the bowl with water. Michele was excited about the new addition to the backyard and couldn’t wait for the first visitors to arrive for a bath. “How will they know it’s here?” she queried. I assured her the birds would be able to find it but she decided to help out and rode around the backyard on her pink bicycle with training wheels and streamers hanging from the handlebars shouting, every few seconds, “Birdbath! . . . Birdbath!” Unfortunately, it had the opposite of the desired effect and eventually we decided to wait and watch from inside the house. Sitting there in the yard, warmed by the sun and the fond memory, I waited once again. This time there were a few birds but they seemed to distrust me and kept their distance and a watchful eye on me and the bird bath.
No birds were brave enough to dive in that day either. Not one to give up easily, I decide maybe third time’s a charm. Same zoom lens and location, I stake out once again. A few minutes in, there goes my mind again. Thinking of the upcoming holidays and trying to decide when to begin decking the halls, I realize many of the plants in our backyard are festively red and green at this time of year. The pepper tree’s berries are just ripening.
The only rose bush flowering in my garden right now is the one with the red blossoms.
Spirits lifted by this unexpected holiday gift, I notice the loud caw of many crows nearby. Looking up, I see a beautiful hawk with a crow in hot pursuit.
Those crows are relentless.
Getting back to bird bath watch, I notice there are more birds in the yard getting closer to me and the bath this time. One is slowly working its’ way over. Finally, it alights on the bath; although it is partly obscured by the foreground plant.
It is barely there a second, as I achieve focus and start snapping away, it is spooked and takes off.
Photography can benefit from patience, also the occasional wandering mind to help pass the time and alert the eye to other photo worthy subjects in the area doesn’t hurt. I am not through yet. My spot is waiting and I dare say the birds are becoming accustomed to the occasional visitor. I will be on bird bath stakeout again soon. I want the shot of the water flying as the birds wiggle and splash in the bath and I will get it!
With perseverance, persistence and a bit of meandering,