Saturday, May 16, 2009

Evening activity at the wetland area of VOA Park (from my field journal, Friday evening, May 15, 2009)

The evening sun, low in the sky, highlights these two gentle mallards as they weave in and out of the tall grasses and reeds growing in small channels of water in the wetland area of VOA Park. Never separating, they move into my camera's view for a moment and then out for another as they quietly go about their business, soft little quacks going back and forth between them every now and then. The female is more wary of my camera than the male, usually keeping her head held high, checking to make sure I keep my distance.


In a couple of months, these little channels of running water will be gone, baked dry in the late July and August heat, but now, nothing but new green lushness and silky pools surround the ducks. To the southwest, the sky has turned dark blue and grey. I hadn't noticed the approaching storm. Rain will arrive soon, lasting through the night and into the morning. The little watery wetland will stay flooded for a while, and shorebirds will visit. Right now, three Spotted Sandpipers are foraging on the bank of the small pond, and I've seen Lesser Yellowlegs bobbing up and down where the mallard couple is floating right now.


In the small pond across the path, tree swallows chase insects and each other through the heavy evening air. They are busy hawking their almost invisible prey, occasionally splashing in the water and coming in for a closer look at Rick and me as I hold my camera, trying to capture the beauty of this moment.

18 comments:

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
The light of the evening or morning are best to work on bird... Very nice ligh there, but I guess you should put more contrast and decrease a bit the light which is a bit too strong :-) Just to tease you!!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly. It seems funny reading about Mallard's in the U.S.
It's strange how we take them for granted, being a common bird, but when you see them close their a pretty bird.Have a nice weekend.

Kelly said...

...I know. I don't know how to do all the tech stuff yet. It's pretty much what you see is what you get. I need to learn how to operate all the options on my camera to get better raw images.

Kelly said...

Ken...so true....they are beautiful and when you study their behavior, the moment changes and you appreciate them more. They were really a devoted couple and very pretty weaving through the small flooded area.

holdingmoments said...

Great post Kelly, really felt like I was there with you.

The Early Birder said...

This is what wildlife watching is all about Kelly. Watch, enjoy and have good memories.

Anna said...

These are beautiful pictures, I love the shade of green around the ducks. Anna :)

Abe Lincoln said...

I like your photos. They are always very nice.

Moria said...

Beautiful writing and beautiful ducks! Thank you for sharing Kelly.

Kelly said...

Keith...thank you! It definitely was a lovely evening.

Frank...thank you! It was the first time I ever spent time watching the ducks weave in and out of the reads. It was very pretty....they are so graceful and gentle. It was a great memory.

Thank you Anna! The lovely spring green was very bright...and the sun lit the reeds up even more.

Abe...thank you very much! That is very kind. Your photos are always so nice too.

Moria...thank you!! I always try to write the details of the location and feeling I had down so I can remember the event later.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful snaps. One with the green head looks stunning.

Ginnymo said...

How peaceful it must be to sit there and watch these beautiful ducks. They are so pretty.

Montanagirl said...

I really like your narratives, and the series of excellent photos you always post. Love your blog.

Chris said...

HI Kelli,
Just one easy trick, just do no go too high in ISO. It is easier to correct an underexposed picture than an overexposed :-)

dAwN said...

You painted a beautiful picture with words and with photographs!

Kelly said...

Thanks, Rajesh!

Ginny...it was so peaceful. I love sitting and observing.

Montanagirl...thank you very much!! I always try to record what I was feeling so I can remember the moment in the future.

Chris....it will take me a while to get it, but that's okay. I have my whole life to practice! Thanks for the tip.

Dawn...thank you! It's just what I feel and remember.

Laure Ferlita said...

Lovely post - very serene.

Kelly said...

...thanks, Laure!