“Hey man! Love your stuff!” I messaged a most amazing photographer on Instagram. “Love your birds!” The Australian replied. “I’ve been showing your birds to my dad.” My soul basked in recognition.
I have made it my mission to photograph birds here locally ever since my yard entertained a gaggle of Eastern Meadowlarks four years ago. If I were the photographer then as I am now I probably would have memory cards full of the majestic creature with yellow bellies and a black “V” at the top of their breast. I just had no idea how unique the moment truly was.
My mind shifts to parents recording their children at talent shows via smartphones oblivious to those around them. “The kids are only going to get better,” I think to myself. “There will be plenty more opportunities to capture their children. Must they do it now?” A distraction. Yes. But will there be more opportunities? Do families today doubt the future of their children so much so that they must record everything as if they won’t have a chance to do so again? The meadowlarks I photographed would tend to agree.
Birds and photography seem to stir the emotional bonds we had with friends, family, and loved ones of old. I used to take road trips with my grandfather where the scenery was new and adventure right around the corner every summer. Coming along the journey was my grandmother, sister, cousins, and dogs usually lasting a few weeks. At first, we’d all fit in a truck with a small camper attached before upgrading to an RV. I know we didn’t take the amount of photos then as we do now. Photographers will tell you that the purchase, manually having to load, and development of the film helped contributed to which memories one chose to preserve. There may be some truth to that.
Turns out the photographer only posts his landscape photography on Instagram. Had I not asked the photographer outright I would have never known his true passion. His bird photography of hawks and ospreys, also known as birds of prey, are hanging on his walls. His walls, like yours, are reserved for the best memories.