Speaking of Nature: Aiming for 21,000 photos


By the time you learn this column I’ll most likely be making an attempt to play via the grim aftereffects of Thanksgiving. Late nights with household, the inevitable turkey-stuffing-gravy indulgence, huge breakfasts, extra late nights and a common give up to enjoyable are all nice on the time, however the next Monday could be significantly brutal. Questions about one’s personal sanity are positive to be requested whereas getting behind the wheel and heading off to work.

And as I begin my restoration I will even be beginning an enormous push of my very own design: the push to succeed in 21,000 photos for the 12 months. I quietly hit my annual 20,000 mark again in September, however September was additionally the month that I needed to return to my indoor confinement as a instructor. Time has merely slipped by and I’ve gone weeks with out choosing up my digital camera. An odd flip of occasions when in comparison with the remarkably productive summer season that I had.

The first photograph that I’ll assessment at present is quantity 10,000 for the 12 months. This photograph was taken on one of my day by day forays all the way down to the Thinking Chair. It was Tuesday, Aug. 3 and the journal entry for that day begins off with, “57 degrees, sunny and gorgeous at 7AM.” I used to be all the way down to the Thinking Chair by 7:30 a.m. and I remained there for over two hours because the solar and temperature each rose.

All kinds of birds had been seen that day, however I used to be delighted after I heard that acquainted hum of a hummingbird’s wings and I seemed over to see a tiny flash of motion close to some of the lifeless limbs that I had piled up so birds might perch on them. It took me a second to lock in on the little fowl, however a fast transfer of its head betrayed its location. It was shut, however it wasn’t till I raised my digital camera that I actually appreciated what I used to be seeing.

This was a younger male who had simply begun to indicate the speckling on his throat that wold finally change into the beautiful ruby-red gorget for which the species is called. This little man was zipping across the meadow and visiting all kinds of flowers hidden among the many tall grasses and he apparently wanted to take a second to loosen up within the solar.

I significantly like the main points that we will see on the fowl’s face and the truth that we will see all of the barbules on every of his tiny feathers. I additionally like the truth that the fowl’s extraordinarily small measurement is highlighted by the size of the lichen that he’s perched subsequent to. Despite the truth that the lichen takes up a whole nook of the photograph, it’s nonetheless apparent that the whole lot we’re taking a look at could be very small. Not unhealthy for a photograph that has such a big quantity.

Photo 20,000 was taken two months afterward Oct. 9 and it was taken accidentally. Once once more I had risen early to go all the way down to the Thinking Chair. This time the temperature was 53 levels at 7:05 a.m., which isn’t actually an enormous distinction from Aug. 3. However, the sky was full of clouds that day and I used to be positively dressed for cooler climate.

Another fantastic morning was spent watching birds and convincing black-capped chickadees that it was alright to land on my head and take some birdseed off of my hat. Birds of notice that morning had been yellow-rumped warblers, ruby-crowned kinglets and a swamp sparrow. I left the chair after two hours and twenty minutes and as I headed up the hill I made a decision that I ought to most likely doc all of the flowers that had been nonetheless blooming in my yard.

I ended for hawkweeds, asters and even dandelions as I walked up the hill towards the home. Then I did one thing fairly atypical. Rather than merely going into the home I made a decision to take a little bit additional stroll as much as the mailbox. There had been some colourful leaves within the hedge by my driveway and after snapping a pair photos I turned and located myself taking a look at a beautiful patch of flowers that I wouldn’t in any other case have seen.

Hidden among the many tall grasses that had escaped any consideration from the mower was a big cluster of vegetation known as butter-and-eggs. These flowers actually look rather a lot like snapdragons, however they’re wildflowers and they are often discovered blooming all all through the summer season. October had been unusually heat and there have been many flowers nonetheless in bloom, however I used to be nonetheless delighted to seek out these beauties proper by the aspect of the street; hiding in plain view. I didn’t understand that I had reached 20,000 photos till I lastly went inside and reviewed my morning’s work.

So, Thanksgiving may have given me a possibility to take a seat by the kitchen window and take photos whereas making an attempt to shake off the consequences of a gravy hangover, however December is the month that I’m actually trying ahead to. The arrival of snow will enhance the quantity of birds coming to my feeders and if I’m actually fortunate I’d see one thing uncommon, like a shrike or a night grosbeak. Whoever it’s, I’ll you should definitely let the id of the fowl in photograph 21,000.

Bill Danielson has labored for the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Massachusetts State Parks. He has been an expert author and nature photographer for 19 years and in addition teaches highschool biology and physics. For extra data, go to: or go to Speaking of Nature on Facebook.