Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

I’m not one of the crazy Washingtonians who pulls his shirt off and dons shorts at the first sign of sunshine, but I was lulled into forgetting that it is still the middle of winter around here because the sunshine I missed yesterday was still around when I got up this morning. So, I grabbed my camera and headed for the waterfront to get more bird pictures. I wasn’t disappointed, either. I loved the shadows framing this Western Grebe

But I hadn’t been there more than twenty minutes when clouds blocked out the sun in the south. Though the blue sky in the north still provided plenty of sunlight, the shadows have virtually disappeared in this picture of a male Surf Scoter:

Before long I noticed that the shutter speed on my camera had dropped well below acceptable levels, and I had to turn the ISO up to 800 and finally 1600. Even at that level I lost much of the detail on this female Red-Breasted Merganzer:

By the time I got home at 11:00 the sky was slate grey, a fine rain blasted my face, and my fingers seemed to have gone numb. There’s no sign of snow in the future and many flowers have begun to bloom, but it’s still winter here in the Pacific Northwest. The seven-day forecast is for rain.