Monday, April 13, 2009
A flicker of glory
Yesterday I experienced a rare moment that rational people would call a simple lightning stroke of luck but which William James might have put in The Varieties of Religious Experience.
I was sitting desultorily on a stool at the Lady Friend's office window, camera ready for action if birds or squirrels visited the feeder or birdbath in the back yard. Now and then a couple of sparrows (ho-hum) would flit into view and occasionally a squirrel (yawn) would hop by. Now and then I'd snap a photo just to keep the camera from getting rusty.
Suddenly a whirlwind of life fell upon the back yard as if dumped by a tornado. In an instant half a dozen squirrels madly chased each other around the place. At the same time, unmannerly grackles jostled cowbirds and robins at the feeder, and a cloud of quarreling sparrows and finches set aquiver the leafless bushes. I picked up the Pentax with 300mm lens and trained it on the action.
In the middle of the melee I spotted, out of the corner of my eye at the bird bath, a gorgeous northern flicker, a species of large woodpecker common to forests and prairies but not that often seen in the burbs, so quickly do they shoot across the scene. I whirled, aimed and fired half a dozen shots. (The one above is the best.)
Just as instantly, all the creatures disappeared and quiet again settled over the place.
I will forever treasure that moment. Especially since I got a keeper of a photograph. (Click it on for a larger version.)