Spring is in the air. I enjoyed a beautiful sunset photo shoot under one of our many bridges in Jacksonville this week with a group of photographers. The Editor could not believe I was not out “shootin birds” for a change. Landscape photography is a "whole other world" requiring different lenses and camera settings and techniques. There were some very experienced photographers there and I picked up some up some great tips and pointers. I feel I am just starting to scratch the surface on that skill set. Couldn’t resist sneaking in one bird shot though.
Speaking of just scratching the surface, the Black Skimmers were back and capturing them skimming for food has been the challenge of the week. Fortunately for me the tides have been low during the day but, unfortunately, the light was not always the best for photography. I managed to capture a few keepers though. According to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology “The remarkable bill of the Black Skimmer sets it apart from all other American birds. The large red and black bill is knife-thin and the lower mandible is longer than the upper. The bird drags the lower bill through the water as it flies along, hoping to catch small fish.” This week I captured some images of a pair of these unusual birds skimming the muddy channel at low tide. Sometimes you see the bill and head snap back as if they caught it on something. On one pass a skimmer’s head went completely underwater. I thought it was going to go into a somersault, but lo and behold it came up with a nice catch. So did I.
Like these birds, many of us just go through life just skimming the surface. Oh, we get enough to eat on the tidbits we pick up, but if you really want to learn or feed on the big ones you have to be willing to skim a bit deeper at times. Many don’t want to risk the potential dangers and snags that lie unseen below. It is much easier to just skim along the top. But for those willing to dig deeper, huge rewards can be found. Who knows what treasures you might find? Be blessed. Harry