Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What I'm waiting for...

Last night I was reading Thoreau’s Life in the Woods and was captured by his thought, “You only need to sit still long enough in some attractive spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns.” I think banding this sentiment with the advice “try to tell a story with your pictures,” once given to me by photographer Michael Forsberg, defines the quintessence of nature photography.

One of my favorite places to go birding in early May is Baxter’s Hollow in the Baraboo Hills, and it would be my judgement that it’s pretty difficult to take a poor picture there that time of year. Because my focus is on birding and bird photography, I sometimes forget to publish or share a particular picture on account of its singularity when surrounded by other images of nature I’ve taken that day.

Maybe it was Thoreau’s words combining with cobwebs in my head as I began to doze, but it somehow jarred a memory. So this morning I immediately began searching for this particular sequence of unpublished photographs taken at Baxter’s Hollow last early May.

(click on image for larger version)

A spring storm had just passed through, elevating the decayed woodland smell. Even over the stream's rushing water, I heard the rapid and melodious song of a Winter Wren. I selected nearby cover and prepared my scope and camera...and waited. Though I never saw the Winter Wren, this Veery popped up from seemingly nowhere just long enough for me to capture a single frame. There were other pictures taken that day – the stream, the fresh marsh marigolds and many other wonderful living things.

All images © 2006 Mike McDowell

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