14 January 2013 Reflections
The North Jax Monthly interview went well I think. I should hear back this week sometime. Also I should get a replacement lens by the end of week hopefully. In the meantime I have a little story to tell. After Friday’s drama I thought we would lighten things up a bit today. This happened last spring but its lesson is still very relevant today. The Broward River flows into the Saint Johns River and on into the sea about 20 miles upstream from here. Along the northern bank near the mouth of the river is Huguenot Park, a state run beach area where you can drive onto the beach, camp out, and enjoy the river on one side and the ocean on the other. It is also a major breeding ground for the Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls and other birds. I bought my first camera a year ago and took my second photography workshop last spring here and was able to capture a moment in the human-like interaction between a couple of Royal Terns. Getting a few photographers together to "capture through the lens" bird nature like this is the kind of activity local photographers can do for fun. I enjoy making little humorous slide shows of the interactions and sharing them with friends. I call this one Royal Tern Rejection, a Story of Ralph and Rhonda.
My instructor for the workshop was Mr. Maxis (Max) Gamez. He is a self-taught, well known, and published bird photographer for publications such as National Geographic. Max taught us what to watch for in the interactions we observed. Mature mating Royal Terns have a jet black plume of feathers on their crown. Immature Royal Terns have speckled crowns on their head that make them look almost like they are graying. This speckled look apparently does nothing for a female Royal Tern looking for a mate. In this brief encounter of courtship, a speckle headed male flies off and drops in on a prospective female. The female was not impressed with this young show off and let him know it in no uncertain “terns”. She nearly pecked his eyes out when he landed. He is soundly rejected and very upset about it as you can see in his actions. Yes, birds have feelings too!
Sometime, somewhere in life we have all been rejected. We ask “Lord why did you let this happen?” One answer can be found in a popular country song by Garth Brooks called “Unanswered Prayers”. When I go back this spring I hope to see Ralph with a mature plumage of black. Maybe Miss Rhonda will be there too. Hope springs eternal. Be blessed. Harry