Suspicious Activity

Mike has been trying to convince me for weeks to go out to the tide flats on Marine Drive during a low tide to observe the birds. So this morning I took my camera and drove out around 9:00. There were a remarkable number of birds, including several blue herons, and a few birds too far away to identify.

The real highlight of the morning, though, was being stopped and questioned by a motorcycle policeman who was checking me out because I had been reported by a lady as taking part in suspicious activity. What she meant, of course, was that she thought I might be a terrorist.

After all, it was the middle of a work day, and I was wearing a camouflage jacket, a NIsqually Wildlife Refuge baseball cap and carrying a camera with a telephoto lens. What could be more subversive than that? Any red-blooded American should have been out earning money, not wasting valuable time trying to get pictures of Canada Geese,

Canada Geese

Great Blue Herons,

Flying Great Blue Heron

or, worse yet, wild flowers.

Wild Flowers

In my defense, I could have protested that I was a loyal American. After all, I was carrying a $3000 camera and lens, and surely there’s nothing more American in Our Brave New World than buying expensive toys in order to enjoy nature. Instead of actively doing something to help preserve the birds and the environment, I was merely standing by recording their demise, something Americans have done remarkably well the last 100 years.

If I were capable of being a terrorist I would long ago have chained myself to a tree or been convicted of burning down a house that had built in the middle of the wilderness by some millionaire seeking to be “one with nature.”

No, I am no terrorist.

I can only aspire to be subversive, trying in my own quiet way to convince others many things are more important than those things money can buy.

Perhaps, the policeman wouldn’t have been quite so friendly if he’d known about this site, my opposition to the war, and my disdain for those who are actively destroying the environment we all rely on to exist.

8 thoughts on “Suspicious Activity

  1. Something insouciant about that heron…probably just a carry-over from your witty remarks. I’d worry less about the cop than the paranoid woman who was so preoccpuied with her fears of terrorism she couldn’t see the scenery. There is a naval installation half a mile west of there which is why she called. If she knew your opinion of GW Bush she’d probably take your photo herself (to hang in the post office.) I’m delighted to see that heron captured and the shot of the geese is beautifully composed. Thanks.

  2. How’d you get that heron to dip just so for your photo? 😉 Gorgeous. Sorry some paranoid idiot interfered, but of course it gave you good blog fodder to go with your photos!

  3. Hilarious, but kind of a piss-off, too. When I used to go bird-seeing more in parks and so forth, I kinda liked to think of myself as sort of invisible. You can’t make yourself invisible in America any more, I’ve concluded. But I was you, I’d get rid of that damn camouflage coat.

  4. Naw, I’m more apt to buy a pair of camo pants to go with it, ron.

    No use giving in to people’s paranoia. Besides, this is the Pacific Northwest and hunters in camouflage are a natural part of the landscape.

What do you think?