birds, photography

How to Hide in Plain Sight

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K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge:
Hiding In Plain Sight: Photo Elements You Might Have Missed!

The challenge illustrates a familiar way to hide in plain sight, by being a small part of a complex scene.  My response illustrates another way, by being quick and unexpected.  While a classic experiment using a fake gorilla provides one example, my response uses a genuine wren.

So long ago that I was using color negative film, I took a photo of a wren feeding his/her chicks.  When I eventually got the print back from the lab, I saw something I had never seen before and have not seen since:

Wren-Feeding-Chicks_840x1112

The parent’s tail feathers fan out to brace against the outside of the nest box, forming almost a half-circle.  Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.  The shutter clicked at a lucky instant, freezing a detail of the momentary handoff that I have never seen in real time.

To get a web image, I scanned the old print and looked more closely at the scanned image while deciding how to crop it.  A bird splat on the nest box was hiding in plain sight (the familiar way) and was now a distraction.  No problem.  Any decent photo editing software could remove it, as mine did.

Sad to say, all my instances of hiding in plain sight the familiar way are like that banished bird splat.  Experiencing a scene in real time, I either do not notice or can easily ignore power lines, bright reflections, and whatever else detracts from the good stuff.  Examining a photo later, I find that whatever hid (by being a small part of a complex scene) is now so distracting that I must tone it down if I cannot remove it.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The invisible gorilla experiment is a classic example of hiding in plain sight by being quick and unexpected.  The resulting book is a good read exploring several ways that people often overestimate their abilities.

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birds, humor

Dirty Look Thru Dirty Window

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My seed feeder is hung just outside my living room window.  Please pretend that the white specks in my hasty snapshot are snowflakes, not crud on plexiglass that refuses to stay clean (but is springy enough to prevent serious injury when a bird tries to fly thru it).

hungry-chickadee_A-ME-De0_800x498

Hey, stupid! The feeder’s empty!

When I am slow to refill the feeder, birds rummage in the tray and sometimes find a seed among the debris that has accumulated.  Then they usually go elsewhere for a while.

Sometimes a chickadee (but never a bird of another species) has a different response.  The chickadee sits on the edge of the tray (looking into my house) and glares at me.  Corvids and parrots are not the only brainy birds.

birds, haiku, humor

Warned by a Shadow

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From some viewpoints, a shadow has a bright side.  An example is my response to

Carpe Diem Haiku Family — A New “Shadow” Challenge

hawk-shadow_800x356

Image cropped from © Ryanfaas | Dreamstime.com

Lost Lunch?
|Sunlight breaks thru clouds
|and sends hawk’s shadow downward.
|Prey darts for cover.

birds, haiku, humor, photography, politics

Amazing Photos Out There

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While I did not take the photos shown here, I did write the haiku.
coming-storm_350x466

Many amazing photos have been submitted to the Weather Channel’s It’s Amazing Out There / 2016 Photo Contest.  The contest has both expert judging and voting for the “fan favorite” by anybody with a Facebook account.  U can vote daily until 2016-08-26 and distribute those votes however U like.  Having viewed only a few of the submissions, am I competent to recommend votes to other people?  Not really, but Donald Trump has set the competence bar low enough to be cleared by a garden slug.  Being a little more competent (and a lot more honest) than Trump, I will share my enthusiasms anyway, with cropped/resized versions of 2 submissions.

While I have been voting enthusiastically for Coming Storm by CJDraper (aka Dancing Echoes on WordPress), I also want to salute the fan favorite as of the last time I looked:  Ozzie (a bald eagle) by Davedc.  The latter already has plenty of well-deserved votes, so I wrote a haiku inspired by it.

Mythornithology
|When we saw himself,
|Narcissus forgot to drink.
|Eagle had more sense.

eagle-drinking_350x266

birds, haiku

Swamp Colors

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Great blue herons are really bluish gray but are sometimes seen in colorful surroundings. As the “great” blue is the only “blue” heron anyway, I consider the word “great” to be superfluous. Blue herons where I live usually fly away before people can get at all close.

One day in June of 2010, however, was magical. The weather was warm and dry rather than the usual hot and humid. I was able to walk on a road beside a swamp w/o feeding every mosquito in the county. A blue heron foraging in a sea of water lilies was so intent on feeding itself that it ignored me. The view thru binoculars was almost as good as in a nature film, and there is something special about actually being there.

The resulting haiku is my response to Carpe Diem #922 sight (colors).

Swamp Colors
|Ignoring pink and
|yellow lilies, blue heron
|stabs and swallows fish.

birds, food, haiku, humor

Spring from Another Viewpoint

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A few seconds late in the delightful music video from

Carpe Diem Special #194
A Trip Along Memory Lane — with a twist

have inspired another response from me.  I consulted the plants in my yard for my first response, but I did not consult my plants this time.  They might be shocked.

Spring from Another Viewpoint
|One fat little bird
|welcomes spring in its own way.
|Cherry buds are food.