Katherine asked me to take photos of some very tiny bees in our yard.
They were too small to focus on with my large lens so, while she made dinner, I focused on a California Towhee that had flown onto the power line above our backyard. Hoping that I could get a picture of it taking off from the line, I kept snapping pictures. I was tempted to give up, but I’d invested several minutes into the project already.
The Towhee would look around, and preen, look around, and preen some more. At one point, the Towhee turned around so all I could see was her back. However, because I was snapping almost three photos a second, when she turned back, I got a picture of her mid-turn.
Well, that’s cute, I thought.
However, I was hoping for better.
And I got it.
Along came a second California Towhee.
Note the interesting posture the first Towhee is exhibiting. Hmm.
(Young children should leave the room now.)
I was excitedly snapping away but still noticed that this was a very brief act. It lasted about one second.
Is this an avian example of “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am”? Is he expecting someone to fly in on them? Is he worried about a cuckolded mate?
Off he goes, leaving her…what? Waiting for more?
The female stayed in that position for a full eight seconds.
So, what did I learn from this?
A. Patience, patience, patience!
B. You can take interesting pictures anywhere. You don’t have to go to an exotic location. Your backyard will do. (Or, local green space or park for those without a backyard.)
C. Take lots of pictures! I took 573 pictures of one or both of the Towhees and only kept sixteen in the initial cut. And out of those sixteen, I was lucky to get the five that I used for this post.
Sometimes, out of a day of shooting, you get only one shot that excites you, one shot that causes you to sit back in your chair and go, “Wow!”
Sometimes, you get none. (Those days suck! 😂)