Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Photo Essay of the Week #2 - Birding?

Yup, so I went birding.  I thought it would be a great way to have a nice and mellow photo outing without having to haul 65 lbs into the backcountry for once.  And since a buddy of mine happened to have a lead on some great places to photograph birds, it just seemed like the right thing to do.  So, we grabbed a flask of bourbon and headed up to Fir Island.   It's an isolated little area in Washington State's Skagit County - just about an hour north of Seattle.
 I have to say that people really get into their birds up there.  I mean, they are intense about this stuff.  Within our first 5 minutes of scouting around a river we stood stupafied as one particular arcteryx-clad birder had a complete meltdown about the foggy conditions.  The guy dropped a multitude of f-bombs and shouted his disappointment at the current weather conditions.  "I drove an hour up here from Seattle, and I can't see a mother-f****ing thing!  I can't believe this shit, my day is ruined!!"  Looking at my camera rig, he motioned, "This must be a terrible day to be a photographer.  You're totally wasting your f***ing time out here in this f***ing shit!"   After coming to the abrupt conclusion that this guy was bat-shit crazy, we began a hasty retreat to the car.  In hindsight, we probably should have just given him a pull off the flask.  Clearly he needed the bourbon way more than we did.

The fog proved to be a little challenging when it came to visibility,  but what we did see through the dense moisture was amazingly moody.  Silhouettes of trees drifted in and out of the ether.  Screeches of invisible eagles penetrated the mist.  The entire countryside was shrouded in a dreamlike state.   Then all of that "f***ing shit" burned off in a coupe of hours.

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