“May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day. May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.”
This week Michelle has challenged us to illustrate “On the Way”. I’ve chosen to highlight an incredible experience I had last week photographing some baby birds “on the way” to adulthood. I observed literally hundreds of wading birds in a rookery they’d created in the center of a long narrow pond – herons, egrets, cormorants – dozens of interesting species cohabiting peacefully at every stage from egg through adult.
“A bird is safe in its nest – but that is not what its wings are made for.”
“A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
The two beautiful egrets above look nearly full-grown but are actually still too young to fly and hopped from branch to branch using their strong claws and long yellow beaks to steady themselves. I found myself wondering if they are actually as identical as they seemed to me, or if to another bird they might look totally and distinctly different 😀. Another example of “identical” siblings:
“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”
I found myself wondering what the young chick below had just tasted that clearly was not to his/her liking! Perhaps regurgitated fish isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Do wading birds eat worms? Insects? Frogs? I’m thinking his obvious displeasure could have any number of sources when judged by human taste buds!
“God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.”
Next, a little family that was working hard to climb out of the nest but unwilling to travel very far and clearly nervous about their first foray into the world beyond. It’s a literal depiction of the term “out on a limb” because a fall to the ground or water below means certain death at this age – there is clearly no way back.
“I hope you love birds too. It’s economical. It saves going to heaven.”
The most adventurous (and probably oldest) of the siblings seemed to think that keeping his head in the leaves made him invisible but my lens caught him just before the leaves did!
“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.”
“No matter wings so small, keep vision bright; just dare to learn, for you are born to fly.”
Lest I leave you with the impression that only the baby birds were interesting (although they truly were spectacular), I shall close with a few shots of some of the magnificent adult birds that surrounded them. Hardworking parents every one of them, each possessing their own unique beauty.
“Not every winged Creature is considered a bird or a bat. Some wings are made of magic.”
Seems to me we could learn a bit from our avian counterparts, who seem quite able to live together in harmony, sharing the resources that are available to them all. Perhaps we’ve lost a bit of common sense on our way to the top of the evolutionary ladder.
My real challenge this week was holding back from posting even more photos, as my experience that day was so rewarding. Thanks for sticking with me this far, and if you still have time, pop over here to see some other challenge responses to “on the way”.