A friend recently commented that she went by the rookery and not a lot was going on. But that was a few days ago, and the action is picking up at this point. The birds are flying in and out, building their nests. Once most of the nests have eggs there will be a lot of birds on nests, and that is a lot quieter. Until the chicks hatch and the decibel level goes up. Way up.
Once they have eggs the birds will be laying in the nest, only getting up to reposition themselves. After a couple of weeks you begin to hear the babies calling out to be fed. You hope that they will be bobbing up and down in a nest that you have a view of from the sidewalk, and eventually that will be true. The cycle of life.
I have had a visitor this last week, and I have loved every minute of it. Because I’m rather camera obsessed, my biggest objective was to get her out to use her new camera with it’s fabulous zoom capabilities. At home, home being NH, she said that there was a lack of color everywhere, including on the birds at her feeders who are in subdued winter colors. So she traveled all day the day before, and then we got her out to the race track the very next day. Racing back and forth, and up and down stairs, a busy first day of her visit. Lots of color and photo ops there.
I am a lucky person to have had a best friend who spans 7 decades of my life. We have been friends through the many wonderful times of our lives, and even more cherished is the fact that we have also been there for the most difficult days we could have imagined. This is just our latest visit, there will be more, next will probably be back in New England. Always where I call home…
I’m attempting to cheer myself up with my photos today. I woke up in a down kind of mood, for no particular reason. So then I decided to get a haircut, and I got scalped! So I could go crawl in a hole for a couple of weeks while my hair grows, or look at my pictures of the cute little chicks I saw the other day. I hope they can do it for me…
The current obsession among the photographers here are the rookeries that we are lucky enough to have in our area. Nesting birds have been busy building nests, and sitting on eggs, and now we have the pay off in the first hatchlings of the season being captured by the camera. We were at a rookery yesterday, along with a few other photographers, and we happily clicked away as we saw little heads bobbing up and down. But on the way home, me as the passenger, and with the camera in my lap because I had been reviewing the photos to see if I got any decent pictures, I saw a hawk land on a post as we stopped for a red light. So I rolled the window down and got a couple of pictures, and then he took off. I didn’t see the lizard until I got the pictures into the computer. I went through the pictures in the camera and did find some ‘baby’ pictures to use, but when these last few pictures popped up I felt like these were the cherry on top. You just never know what’ll happen when you head out the door.
I learned a few things about orangutans yesterday. First of all my dear friend gave me a heads up about a series on National Geographic called ‘Secrets of ZooTampa’. She had watched an episode about orangutans which included footage of Randee giving birth to little Riplee, I saw that message as we were heading out the door to go to a photo shoot with our group, to the zoo! Then a chatty little girl at the zoo told me about another episode, and at lunch after the shoot yet another mention of that series came up in the group. Since I can take a hint, we found the episode last night and watched it. For someone who was so excited to see that baby orangutan I’m ashamed to say that I was completely in the dark about that series. And the take away from the episode was that in the wild orangutans are solitary creatures. The fact that they live together at the zoo, nine of them, grandmothers, daughters, and grandchildren, plus the resident male, is unusual. Their interactions with each other is wonderful to watch, so the idea that they would live solitary lives in the wild seemed sad somehow. All this being said, I took more pictures of the orangutans yesterday than anything else, as usual. And there was still another surprise in store also.
I promised another surprise, didn’t I? Another of the young adult orangutans gave birth about a month ago, a fact that had escaped my notice completely. Apparently this event happened during the day and was witnessed by the zoo-goers who happened to be there. What a photo op that would have been.
Evidently I will have many more days of enjoying the baby orangutans ahead of me. What a nice surprise it was to see this new addition. And if Riplee was #9, then we now have 10 orangutans at ZooTampa.
Some days end in a blaze of glory. Is that day proud of itself for being such a spectacular day from beginning to end? Other days slip away quietly. Perhaps not exactly hoping that no one will notice, but possibly it feels shyly apologetic for not having made more of itself all day long. I relate more to the latter, facing the world from behind the lens of my camera, then communicating with the world from the anonymity of my computer screen. Some days are more inspired than others…