Why?! Really?

Where The Rubber Meets The Chicken

Where The Rubber Meets The Chicken

I know what you are thinking

And it it’s none of your damn business

Not even funny

Tiresome really

Varied Thrush – Upon Reflection

Back in the mid 70s, I spent the night at a campground in the redwoods along the coast of California. At dawn, a patchy ground fog had created that scene in a movie—deep in the woods—where some spiritual being—for good or evil—is about to make its appearance. The sound track was a chorus of Varied Thrush announcing their presence from every direction. Though I had seen them in the yard at home many times, I had never heard a Varied Thrush before, so their call, often described as “eerie, haunting and mysterious,” was all those things, and perfectly befitting of the scene. The birds themselves were illusive and it took a lengthy effort to determine what the source of that peculiar sound was. Since then, I have heard them individually on many occasions, but the multitude in the misty woods left a lasting impression.

Having this photo selected as a semifinalist in 2016 Audubon Photo Contest forced me to give it some in depth analysis, which, of course, as you might expect here at poetphoto, inspired poetry.

Varied Thrush

Varied Thrush

The Varied Thrush cheers the dawn
But then in case the day should prove him wrong
He sings a much more plaintiff song
Then with that base covered
He goes back and sings the other
So, is it the edge of winter
Or the cusp of spring?
Is it yin, is it yang or in between ?
Has it always been so
Or has it not?
Are we just a reflection the gods forgot?
Each morning’s mirror appears ambiguous
Can what I see and me
Actually be contiguous?
Before my brain has turned to mush
I think I’ll ask the Swainson’s Thrush

If you have never heard a Varied Thrush, follow this link to Audubon’s Varied Thrush page, scroll down to the bottom right and listen to the recordings. If you have never heard the glorious song of the Swainson’s Thrush, more’s the pity. Get out and take a spring hike in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, follow this link to Audubon’s Swainson’s Thrush page, scroll to the bottom right and listen to the recordings.

Junkyard Wren

I photographed this Bewick’s Wren in 2011. It isn’t the sort of Buick you expect to see in a junkyard. The juxtaposition of Nature’s perfection with Man’s…..well, not so much,  made for an interesting portrait. I used the image in one of my Haiku is for the Birds calendars.    The haiku:

Collected junk heap

I’m sure I will need someday

Life is not waiting

Bewick's Wren

Bewick’s Wren

And that is the last of my entries for this year’s Audubon competition.

Thanks for checking them out.

Phainopepla and the Dragon – Returns

I forgot to submit this one last year.  I made it the header on my webpage to remind myself to do so this year.

I photographed these Phainopeplas busy catching insects from their perch atop an oak tree. When I tiled together the photo of another oak tree with the sun coming through it, it seemed like a perfect match. I added the dragonfly because I liked the title, “Phainopepla and the Dragon.”

2016 Audubon entry #8

Phainopepla and the Dragon

Phainopepla and the Dragon

Varied Thrush

I have always liked this reflection, or what I call, a “puddle shot.” It was among my first captures for the purpose back in December of 2006. But, I had not found a suitable subject to work into it until this Varied Thrush showed up on my patio near sunset just a couple of weeks ago.

2016 Audubon entry #7

Varied Thrush puddle-

Red-tail in Black and White

The Klamath Refuge in Northern California is a great place for birding. It was a pretty foggy day when I took this picture. I didn’t think it was a particularly interesting shot until I filtered up the tule weeds in the background, and changed it to black and white.

2016 Audubon entry #6

Red Tail BW 8117-

Yellow on Red

As a college student, my itinerary for exploring Europe was determined by where I could find Hieronymus Bosch paintings to view in person. When I arrived in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands–Bosch’s home town– it just happened to be during Fasching (carnival). The train pulled into the station just as a parade was ending there. To my great amazement, many characters right out of his paintings were milling about on the steps of the depot. I made my way to his house where I found a dead sparrow lying on his front step. Whew! As a 19 yr old, that was some heavy messaging. I had no idea what it meant, but it was awesome!

Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights

Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights

Anyway, I often see crows feasting on roadkill. When I came upon this shot, it struck me as an interesting turn of events. Graphically, I just liked the boldness of the red better than the original.

2016 Audubon entry #5

Yellow Jacket Dead Crow in red-

The Garden of Birdly Delights

It would be a bit of an understatement to say Hieronymus Bosch was a birder extraordinaire.

-The_Garden_of_Earthly_Delights_by_Bosch_High_Resolution_2When I first tiled the roots and leaves together in the photo below, it reminded me of a Persian carpet, but when I zoomed in, it was an Hieronymus Bosch-like world for sure.

2016 Audubon entry #4

The Garden of Birdly Delights

The Garden of Birdly Delights


White-faced Ibis

Caught in the grass, but not the least bit embarrassed.

2016 Audubon entry #3

White faced Ibis-2