I admit to feeling foolish when I looked at this picture. I had captured swans with the camera sitting on the ice while some were taking off from their ice flow. Good job Gary. I didn’t even notice that two of them were Canadian Honkers(geese) and two bald eagles had snuck into the background of the picture.
I should have noticed the bigger picture, set up a tripod and put everything into focus. In my defense the wind chill was minus zero, it was a misty blowing snowy day. The air was almost foggy and I was parked behind a big spruce tree after sneaking up on the birds. They were mostly facing the wind coming at me and in no mood for swan poses or looking pretty on their little patch of ice. basically giving me their backside (swan moon?). My hands froze and so did the camera and the batteries.
I was not going to get any clear pictures so I opted for “winter weather-nature” pictures instead. Context is so important isn’t it? There was way more to my iced swans than I had thought.
Well, you can see the winter weather. We have had a foot of snow and mostly below freezing temperatures for awhile. What you realize is going on is the bald eagles are watching to see if there is an opening for any vulnerable birds. The eagles are bird watching with an agenda. From experience these mature eagles know that there may be some signets that will not make it any further in the migration and be left behind. A lone swan no matter how big is no match for a hungry eagle. The eagles determine the rules, it’s natures way. For now, patience is a virtue. Not for me, I’m freezing.
As the swans began to take off and disappear to the other end of the lake, it occurred to me that cultures and governments are not much different than the swans and eagles. The ones with the most power make the rules. Regular people are just as vulnerable as the swans are to the eagle. I’m not going to expound on that as each of us has our own ice flow and cold storms to weather. The key to surviving is doing life together. The birds seem to even take in other species on the same ice flow sharing the wild rice beds for food now underwater.
This was my third time out with the camera. The weather was better the other times so I’ll share a few pictures of different aspects of the swan migration in a slide show. just click on one to enlarge and hit the buttons showing on each side of the picture.
Like the bird migrations, life has dangers we don’t see and we imagine dangers that are not there. I’m not dangerous to these birds except for the danger they put themselves in getting away from me. It’s hard to notice the bigger picture.
Life’s context is hard to see when we are in it. Did you notice that the harsher the weather the more the pictures turn out more like a black and white photo? It’s true. When life is hard the colors of life get less noticed. Finding and knowing God has been a huge deal for me. Relationally and in all areas He has put the color into my life. I do not run to the other end of my ice flow in fear of God like so many.
I love the claims of Jesus (yes, I’m a follower) when he said “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!” John 16:33.
I have one other picture of the brush in the woods I (thankfully) only partially had to go through to get these pictures after the storm. Yes, you may feel sorry for me. Sometimes hard work is required to get a good picture. Usually I just do things the hard way…sigh
Feel free to kindly comment on your insights about life from these pictures…Gary