This photo walk out of the Chinsegut Conservation Center was a bit of a back to the beginnings trip for me. Early one morning I saw a Facebook post about a bird photography class that was happening at the center, and I wanted to go. I had a new digital camera at the time, and was barely functional with it, so I called to see if they had room for one more. Not only did I begin to learn the camera, but I found friends, and I probably would never have begun blogging without another class that I took at the center later on. Yes, a coming home of sorts,
But I’m not the nature photographer that my friends are. Not every walk in the woods leads to great photos, and I confess that the description of this trip left me skeptical about the photos I might get. So to hedge my bets a bit I got to the center early in hopes of seeing birds at the many feeders there. And they were there. A Downey woodpecker, a red-headed (but not cockaded) woodpecker, a summer tanager, and a tufted titmouse pair that entertained me for quite a while. That meant I could relax and just enjoy the field trip and not worry about the pictures we’d get.
Off we went into the woods, and 20 miles in we found the banded trees that indicated the habitat of the red-cockaded family in question. It was then that I discovered that we weren’t waiting for a flock of these birds to arrive en masse, but just one family. And the banded trees each had the little holes where nesting activity was potentially happening. Young males stay with the family helping to raise the young and doing the necessary tending to the nests which keeps the sap running. The sap is their defense against their nests being raided by snakes. Clever, don’t you think?And it was a successful trip. Yes, one of the birds in question did show up and zoom into the hole in the tree and disappeared. Not one of us got a shot of that. The leader of the trip said that he felt that that was it, the event was over. But he had one trick up his sleeve. He used his phone to play the call of the red-cockaded woodpecker, rather quietly I thought, but it was enough to get this little guy to stick his head out of the nest to see what was going on.
No, it wasn’t a dramatic story. But these are the dramas that are happening all around us everyday, and we are too busy with out own lives to notice. But when we do take time to notice it doesn’t disappoint.