Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff


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Wind whipped the overhead wire back and forth in a tight oscillating pattern. Gripping tightly with its tiny claws the Shrike wavered slightly but, as birds do, it held on. We stopped quickly. C. and N. were beside themselves with excitement as the window went down and the binoculars came out. On their urging, I grabbed my camera and opened the car door both at the same time. The wind blew it closed on my leg that was half in and half out. I swore, pushed it open and clicked away. A sighting documented cannot be argued with. And getting on the list is what its all about.

It wasn’t the greatest day for shooting; typical November weather, grey, overcast and blustery. The Shrike was a “bird by chance” on our way home down the Allenford Road.

Birders have this unique ability to scan countryside and drive at the same time. It also helps to have good brakes since stopping suddenly and often is part of the routine.  We had been out birding. Or rather the Owen Sound Field Naturalists, heavily stacked with members of the Bruce Birding Club, were. I was just along for ride. My objective was to shoot some pictures.

November has colours all its own. November is all brown, wet, beige, golden, dark and gunmetal grey. You could see it in the grasses as they bent to the wind, their bushy beige heads waving in unison.

But, there is a chill-infused brilliance to November. You can see it when the early sunsets bring a light that is a photographer’s dream. But not today, today was typically bleak.

There was one blast of colour, though. A tiny Oxeye Daisy lay close to ground beside a big rock, the white of its petals and the depth of its yellow centre bordered by its rich green leaves, stood out sharply among the surrounding dark earth and pebbles.

It was well past its time. But for some reason it decided to bloom bold and rich in spite of the lateness of the season. Such contrast can only leave you with a smile.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

November 14, 2011 at 11:29 AM

One Response

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  1. Beautiful photography, Ed. The first one made me think of Leonard Cohen’s Bird on a Wire. Thanks for the memory.


    November 15, 2011 at 5:47 AM

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