Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trusting From Within

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Recently on a photo shoot for Altrusa(literacy group helping children get involved with reading), I found myself taking shots of random kindness.  I don't like people posing for the camera as I consider it "fake".  So with the zoom lens, I snapped shots from far away to get those heart warming moments without being noticed.
Altrusa wanted me to get shots of the kids having fun at the event. 
It transported me to another time.....my own childhood.  But it made me think. When and where had I switched over to "jaded"?  It wasn't my 20's.  But sometime in my early 30's, I lost sight of the adventure. Every day blurred into the other. One monotonous bore after another. Go to work.  Pay the bills.  Wake up and do it all over again. 
When I see this young lady smile, I see pure wonder and imagination.   However epic treks into the bird/wildlife world with a new camera made me engage that creative side again.  Plants and gardening were the gateway drugs into this world:)  And only recently do I feel like this little girl again.  I've got the whole world in my hands:)
Children trust and love unconditionally.  
Thanks to the tricky birds(like gnatcatchers), I am quick with my camera for those special moments.  Don't blink!  Or you'll miss it!  Parents always speak about those special moments with their children. It's the one that makes them cry because it touches the heart. It lasts for just a moment and makes teaching kids (or parenting them) worth it all. Then they go back to their savage ways and that pure magical moment quickly vanishes!  But it's that moment of perfection we all remember for life:)
Ladderback Woodpecker
Whether I'm out in nature or doing a photo shoot, I'm really learning a lot about myself and others.  It's very healing.  Of course, I do slip back to my old ways and a negative moment may surface, but I'm finding ways to stay positive and let the bad roll off my shoulders....and it's like every moment is perfection.
How do we build such a callous attitude towards others over our lifetime?   Maybe we were hurt.  Maybe we are afraid. Maybe this life is all too overwhelming and stressful......
Bronzed Cowbird
But maybe the parenting(or lack of) of the Bronzed Cowbird(above) has it right.  The female doesn't raise her own.  Instead she places her eggs into the nests of other bird species. Her babies will be raised by other parenting birds......and yet retain their own identity after all is said and done.  And that is how I look at my own life now. There is so much to learn and understand from people and critters about our natural world!  I'm like a kid in a candy store.  Granted, it can be a scary feeling because I want to see everything now!
Harris Hawk
First flight.  First sight.  Believing that we can do better each day.  Making that difference.  Everyday we wake up, there is a new challenge that awaits us. I am so appreciative for my friend and mentor Kathie for making each day a fun game. Instead of it being another day that is forgotten and blurred into the other, it has become one adventure after another.  She made me remember what I had forgotten.  Of course, I am also appreciative for our spouses.  They are supportive and understanding about this hobby of ours.  Sometimes they come with us and other times they stay home while we count birds in crazy places.  When I'm out in the field, all the stress vaporizes into thin air. There is a healing and wonderful feeling that comes from being out in nature.  I must trust that inner voice as it leads me down this path.  For the first time in my life, I don't have the answers.  Just this insatiable hunger to know more.   What will tomorrow bring?  I don't know, but stay tuned for more:)


  1. Great post and photos Chris. I like being out in nature too and if it ever quits snowing here I plan to get out there. LOL

  2. Yes, agree nature is very healing.
    Great pictures Chris, take care.

  3. Hi Chris, Great pictures. I love seeing the 'random acts of kindness' photos also that are not posed... NEAT!!!!

    Great birdie photos also --and who is that handsome young man in the last picture? Is the facial hair new???? By the way, what did you decide to do for Michael for his birthday???

    Have a great day tomorrow.

  4. it's so fun to see the kids laugh .. nice pictures (the bird nr 2)is my favo..have a nice day..Michelle

  5. Keep living in the NOW. It's really the best place to be and learn about yourself and the world around you. We can all get better with practice.

  6. A wonderful and diverse collection Chris.

  7. Great post, Chris! The day to day stuff just seems to get in the way. I would much rather be out there birding and having fun then working. Your photos of the children are great and it is nice to see them having fun and smiling. Have a great day, happy birding!

  8. What you do now can compare with the fun children. Now you too well, and so keep having fun. Photos dzici and birds are very nice. *** Thank you for having written in my comments. I do not have to type in all the outstanding posts, but the only one. Again I'm not so demanding. I wanted to remind you in August that I am, and I am pleased that you remember me. Regards warm.

  9. Great post Chris! You are clearly enjoying life, whilst savouring new experiences.Feeling like a kid again is just wonderful.We sometimes forget to look at life through the eyes of the child we once knew.I love the photos of the children having fun, and you've captured some great bird shots.
    Warmest Regards

  10. The Harris Hawk picture is wonderful!
    As long as there is fun then go for it.

  11. You're very fortunate to have discovered the inner child again. So many people never do!

  12. Chris, sometimes I like your writing even more than your photography! A well written post!

  13. Wonderful, beautifully expressed Chris! The terrific photographs you captured of genuinely happy children brightened my day ... as did your stunning bird images. Spending time outdoors amongst nature is always good for the soul.

  14. Such a beautiful, wise, thought-provoking post Chris. Your love of nature just shines through your writing and photos again. I find nature such a help in coping with problems and just an hour spent in the field recharges the batteries as you can just live for the moment and entirely forget the hassles of life :)

  15. Chris...I am so glad you have become my blogger friend, and I do still hope one day we can meet. Your insights into enjoying life's delights like a child does were very meaningful to read. The event was awesome for the kids, I can see by your really great photos. But, I love that last photo of you at Tumacacori! And by the way, that Harris Hawk taking flight was thrilling to see...you share those delights with the rest of us, and we appreciate it more than you know!

    By the way, I had a scare...was removed from Blogger for two days and thought I had lost my three blogs and both my emails forever! Thank goodness, I got it all back! Not before I started a new email address that is not gmail...just in case. I was about ready to start a Worpress blog and begin all over again, when I got the connection back. It was VERY unpleasant!

    1. Oh Marie, I'm so sorry you had to go through that experience! What a nightmare! I've went through this last year. Nasty business.....all that work gone in the blink of an eye. Glad you got it all fixed and back on track. It is a terrible feeling to think all that hard work will vanish. Glad you didn't have to go the other route. And I hope to meet you as well. Tomorrow I get to meet Kelly! Lots of fun. We'll have to think of something fun to do around here. That shouldn't be hard as there is so much stuff to do!


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