Reading the Signs

After nearly three weeks of constant yard work, including unloading six pickup loads of potting soil, hauling another pickup load of brush and clippings to the recycling center, and faced with another week or two of trying to terrace a front yard that slopes away to total disaster, I understand all too well why paeans to Nature were almost invariably penned by wealthy gentlemen who lived in the city or by those who had slaves or peasants to handle the work in the garden.

It’s hard to idealize Nature while bent over a garden trying to fight back Nature’s many manifestations or trying to reshape Nature to YOUR concept of Natural. Why is it that Nature is so much fonder of dandelions, moss, and crab crass than Kentucky Blue? Why is that even hand-picked native plants only want to grow in the woods across the street?

Still, if for no other reason than to show my mindless adherence to my principles, I’d planned to offer another photographic tribute to nature this week. Monday was the nicest day of the year and, amazingly, coincided with the annual migration of shorebirds through Aberdeen and Hoquim. I dragged my camera AND tripod with me in order to capture pictures of distant birds. And I got some amazing pictures of Sandpipers, Sanderlings, and Caspian Terns at the Refuge.

Upon being told that six Snowy Owls had been sighted on the peninsula at Ocean Shores, I trudged the sandy shores for at least six miles in pursuit of them. In doing so, I managed to get my first pictures of Pacific Loons in breeding colors. I suppose I could also claim that I got brilliant shots of the Snowy Owls, but, of course, that’d be lie ‘cuz I never saw a one.

And I’m almost glad I didn’t get a shot of them, because when I got home Adobe Bridge and Photoshop, except for the very first image, wouldn’t recognize the images, stating they were in a format that Photoshop didn’t recognize. Heck, when I put them back into the Canon D20 it didn’t recognize them either, although it still showed that 80 pictures were on the Compact Disc.

I shoulda known that life couldn’t be that easy, that such an alignment of weather and birds was unnatural, and augured [i.e. noun historical
(in ancient Rome) a religious official who observed natural signs, esp. the behavior of birds, interpreting these as an indication of divine approval or disapproval of a proposed action] badly for taking successful pictures.

Nature obviously intended that I should be out pulling weeds on the sunniest day of the year, not gallivanting across the country trying to capture pictures of birds.