When the Fog Finally Lifts

It was one of those all-too-typical days here in the Pacific Northwest where even the sunniest day can begin with heavy fog that takes hours to burn off.

Trees In Fog

Needless to say, the best opportunities for shots of birds took place within the first hour of my Nisqually hike, when the fog was its thickest. This little Downy Woodpecker wasn’t more than six feet away, but the ISO was so high that it was impossible to eliminate the noise and, despite some Aperture and Photoshop magic, he appears much dingier than he really was.

Downy Woodpecker

Of course when I saw another one later in the day, it was so deep in the shade that the picture wasn’t nearly as good as this one. Despite the complaining, it does seem you’re more apt to see birds up close when it’s overcast than when it’s sunny.

For instance, I doubt this harrier would ever have flown this close to my head if the fog hadn’t forced him into a low flight pattern.

Harrier In Fog

By the time the sun came out and I could actually set the shutter speed up high enough to stop motion, all I could find to shoot were dragonflies,

Dragonfly Mid-Air

And this little robin who ran up to everyone walking by with his mouth open, begging for a handout,

Man Feeding Young Robin

even though it seemed he was perfectly capable of flying up into the blackberries and getting his own.

I guess, in the end the only proof I have of just how beautiful the day finally turned out is this shot of an Indra Swallowtail on a bull thistle.

Indra Swallowtail On Thistle