I awake this morning with a feeling of anticipation that is difficult to describe. Grabbing my camera and most important, my coffee, I head for the neighbors pier. A pink sky greets me as I take my blind and set up for the day. The serene lavender pink light reflects in the marsh. After giving thanks for the day I ask for a blessing and peer out of my blind. A flight of swimming Cormorants appear from around the far corner of the island. Their bobbing heads, long necks, and flashes of reddish orange beaks are about all you can see. What a sight!
Cormorants are one of several diving and underwater swimming birds in the area. Often confused with the Anhinga, Cormorants have a pronounced curve at the end of the beak. The Anhinga, though similar in size and appearance has a long pointed straight beak. Hoping that the Cormorants will continue towards me, they suddenly reverse course and go around the other side of the small island out of view. Rats! As the sun begins to rise higher, a corpuscular ray shoots through the clouds. These rays are also known as God’s rays and make for stunning photographs in the right light as they radiate from behind the clouds. In the footprint of the ray’s light in the water is a very soggy raccoon taking a morning swim towards the island, no doubt in search of unguarded eggs to raid for breakfast. An Anhinga flies by silhouetted by the sun. Suddenly, a large Brown Pelican appears gliding up the channel towards me. My heart begins to race. It is like I am seeing a slow motion movie. I press the doohickey again and again. This magnificent bird continues directly towards my blind. The pelican suddenly pulls up and seems to hang in mid air in front of me (click) and then heels over and goes into a dive. Splash! It takes off and does a small circle and lands just up stream from me. The pelican then looks right at me as if to say, “You better get the camera ready again, because HERE I COME! In apparent slow motion, the pelican begins to flap those huge brown wings as it lifts off the water. One beat, two beats. I catch each one. Continuing straight towards my blind, the bird’s massive wings fill my lens and viewfinder. The face looks almost prehistoric as it goes by and peers into my eyes, missing my blind by mere inches. The Pelican lands once more in the same spot and again looks at me. Adjusting the lens to capture the entire view this time I press the doohickey once more. The bird begins to lift off. Click. CAMERA FULL! AHHHHGGG!! I don’t know which had more in it, my full memory card or my veins with adrenaline pumping in them. My spare card is in the house. Done for the day, I gather my things and give thanks for the show as the pelican wings by once again.
As I process the morning photos one striking image catches my eye. It is the pelican just beginning to go into the first dive. The bird’s outstretched wings fill the frame. My shot of the day! I know now why I had such a feeling of anticipation. I was blessed indeed. That is how our Father is with His children. He won’t give you a stone when you ask for a loaf of bread. And He always gives you more than you can hold. Just like my memory card! Be Blessed. Harry