The Fun is in the Chase

Although we did a lot of things while at my mother-in-law’s house in Santa Rosa, I probably spent more time in her backyard than anywhere else, at least while I awake.

The first morning we were there I saw this Scrub Jay out in the front yard while getting the paper off the porch and knew I had to get a picture of it. It wasn’t nearly as easy to do as a I thought it would be. There was actually a pair of jays living somewhere nearby. Despite their willingness to loudly announce their presence, the jays seemed just as camera shy as any other bird whenever I pointed my camera with its 400 mm lens on them. I didn’t get this shot until the last day.

Still, the jays were relatively easy to photograph compared to this Mockingbird which also seemed to live nearby, but insisted on sitting on the other side of this tree. I never saw it in the open the eight days we were there.

The bird I most wanted to get a picture of was this Varied Thrush that showed up every day about the same time but spent the whole time behind the rhododendrons or behind the ground cover in the shade. I finally had to set the A.S.A. to 800 to get a picture at all, which explains the graininess:

Still, the challenge of capturing a picture made the hours I sat on the patio reading a poetry book with a camera beside me far more interesting than they might otherwise have been.