Unraveling

I Saw Sunday Week 17


For I Saw Sunday week 17
http://isawsunday.blogspot.com/

– I have been having an adventure with my new camera and some bald eagles. At the beginning of the week, I caught a local newscast about an unusual gathering of bald eagles at the mouth of the river that bisects the city in which I live. The film from the broadcast showed eagles soaring just above the river, sitting in trees in groups of five or six, and others diving into the ice rimmed waters to fish for the Shad that had drawn them to this area. Although having been, for a long time, on the endangered species list, the eagles have been coming back. Their normal habitat is about one hundred and twenty miles southwest of here.

It’s been somewhat difficult relearning the city I grew up in and then lived away from for almost forty years. I had no idea how to get to the place where the film originated. I had a general area in mind, but needed some directions as to how to get there. I asked both my sister and my daughter if they would like to come along, but they both pleaded the cold temperatures and declined. My knowledge of my new camera was pretty much along the same lines. I knew how to turn it on, take a picture, and had even transferred a few to my computer, but that was the sum total of my meager knowledge. I love bald eagles, actually am fascinated by all birds of prey.

So, grabbed my camera and went alone to search for eagles. And actually found the exact place where the broadcast had been filmed. There was only one other vehicle there, but again, I took the camera and walked out by the shoreline. The birds were quite distant and difficult to make out. But, I took a few snaps blindly, then hurried back to the car to warm up. After a few minutes, I saw a recognizable eagle flying over the water, jumped back out of the car, moved to the shoreline again, and took a few more blind shots. Back to the car with red hands and chattering teeth.

My first thoughts were that this all might be a waste of time, because I really didn’t know what I was doing. But, then told myself that I had to learn somehow and at least I had come here alone and tried. I shut off the camera and was about to start the car, when I looked up to see one of the eagles flying straight toward me. Grabbed the camera, quickly got out of the car, set my feet, clicked the on button, pulled the camera up to where the eagle was almost over my head, and saw a white screen with the words, “Battery Exhausted” printed on it. Slumped against the car and watched the eagle fly over me, and two more following in the same path. Got in the car and started laughing aloud. This was a classic Elizabeth moment.

Drove home grinning. When I got here, I promptly sat down and started playing with the images on the camera, learning how to use the zoom application and how to crop the photo before transferring it to the computer. Then transferred them to the computer and began to learn the first steps in using the photo gallery apps on the computer. Found this soft but wonderful blend of colors in the cloud action of one of the photos.

But, also found an eagle, wings spread over the water, in one of those blind pictures I had snapped.

Yesterday was one of the coldest days we have had so far this winter. I was restless all day, wanted to go back and try again, but the cold is really hard on my joints. Finally gave in to the urge and found a pair of socks (I never wear them, never), a good pair of gloves, and a fake fur hat I didn’t know I had (one of my Mom’s). Packed up the camera, with new batteries and an extra pair, as well and took off. Although I went to the same location, this was a new and different experience.

The original location was closed by a huge gate. But, another one, nearby, was open to the public. I parked my car and walked up to the shoreline where other people were gathered in small groups. I, again, snapped a couple of pictures, blindly, and hurried back to my car, but was aware of other people doing the same thing. I’ve written about that here:  http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/stone-8-aros/

Came home satisfied and ready to go back to work. Here are the cropped photos I took yesterday.

I am fully aware that my pictures show my barely begun experiences with the camera. But, I do have proof that there are bald eagles soaring not far from here, and others standing on the ice, seemingly alone and looking very cold. I will keep these photos, probably cherish them and smile when I look back on these experiences. Learning is a process that occurs one step at a time, and best of all these pictures prove that one is never too old to take those first steps.

Thanks for sharing my adventures this week. Please consider joining us and sharing your own.

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10 Comments

  1. I think I would squeal with delight to see an eagle flying above me, how wonderful!
    I’m looking forward to more photo’s, my knowledge of cameras is extremely limited but you captured the moments which is the important thing and the 1st phot o has a beautiful feel to it.
    Lovely!

    • Actually, I like that first one too. I might have missed it, but I was playing with the camera and inching my way across the photo and suddenly it was there and I had it. Love it when things like that happen. Thanks for stopping,

      Elizabeth

  2. A wonderful piece of writing, Elizabeth. I love taking pictures too, and I know you will continue to enjoy your camera and its (and your) capabilities. I look forward to more….

    • Thank you Mary. I’m fairly certain that was not a good way to begin, there are many easier ways. But, it certainly caught and held my attention, and made me eager to move through the process itself. I doubt I’ll ever be a wildlife photaographer, but eagles are the symbol of spirit and that has to be the best place to begin.

      Elizabeth

  3. Love the last photograph. With the slight blurring the bands of colour stand out and remind me of a ribbon, one of those fancy [expensive] ribbons done in bands of colour and different textures for each band.
    So glad to be following you on another adventure. So far, I have my phone camera only and bought the phone to have it. I take my husband when I need a good camera!That may change if I want to learn how it works.

    • Actually, I am pleased with all of them, though the cloud action one really feels nice to me. I’m just glad I went and did it. I could have let it all frustrate me, but somehow it had just the opposite affect. And by the way, my sister got a fantastic photo of a huge wild turkey that suddenly landed in a neighbor’s back yard, last summer, and used her phone camera to get it. She was so excited she called me to ask what kind of bird it was, lol. You have much to look forward too. We can compare notes, lol. Thanks for visiting,

      Elizabeth

  4. Wonderful and delightful write! Bravo! You were very courageous, how often I’ve talked myself out of something, because I didn’t know how. You will get better with the camera, and even if now, the pics are lovely! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • I have wanted a digital camera for years because the film thing always frustrated me on some level. This makes it so much easier, but coming on blogs, like your own with all your beautiful images only whetted my appetite. I have a long way to go to catch up. That just means more surprises, and maybe a few more Elizabeth moments, lol. I’m even looking forward to those.

      Elizabeth

  5. Oh Elizabeth! If you now hor familiar I am with that ‘batteries exhausted’ moment! It has happened so many times just as I was about to capture something wonderful. I do empathise. Now I carry a spare charged up battery with me, I still miss the ‘moment’ but can carry on without going home.

    It must be amazing to see bald eagles so close!

    I too love the softness of the first picture, and the last one looks like an abstract painting, actually it reminds me of something I painted a few years ago.

    Thanks for joining in at I Saw Sunday and it is great to see you getting the knack of your camera.

    See you next week.
    Susannah x

    • Thank you Susannah, it has actually been fun. And the eagles were certainly the incentive for all of it. I got a sweatshirt for xmas that says “American Birds of Prey”, on it and shows an eagle with it’s wings spread. And my sister got me a hand held bird call, as well. They know me, lol.

      Thanks for visiting and yes, will see you next week,

      Elizabeth

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