An ordinary window,
an ordinary day,
an ordinary glimpse,
then mental tour jeté.
A camera must be had!
Indecorous dash ensued,
then, breathless, stealthy, sly,
I engaged in conduct crude.
In blushless want of manners,
of my need to get permission,
I zoomed in on his person,
with brain and camera focus
on this feathered fisherman
and his wintry bare-branched locus.
He appeared a bit put out
at what the flower said,
which made his handsome feathers
stand up atop his head.
I wish I could have heard
but this is all I got;
I could sneak clandestine photo,
but eavesdrop I could not.
And thus the common day,
as if by magic word,
was instantly transformed
by a Merlin of a bird.
It was because of Walt Kelly’s brilliant Pogo illustrations that I knew this was a kingfisher. It was the Internet that told me it was a Belted Kingfisher. Why it isn’t a Collared Kingfisher I do not know. The Internet also told me that it is common in central Indiana. I think not. This little guy was a first for me.
I stood in the middle of my living room, far back from the window. This fine specimen was on a tree across the pond. All hail the power of the zoom!
December 6, 2022 at 11:42 am
A feathered friend, flower, slide, and a padlock all grabbed through a window. Applause to you for your tenacity. 🙂
December 6, 2022 at 11:54 am
Thank you, thank you! I applauded myself for this! However, I do realize that the bird deserves some credit; he stayed perched there for quite a while and very thoughtfully gave me the chance to capture a lot of blurs. A couple were decent, though, so kudos to the kingfisher!
December 6, 2022 at 11:52 am
He may be common, but new to you. That’s wonderful. I understand the rush for the camera. I’m sure he understands the intrusion. Probably a “Here we go again” moment for him.
December 6, 2022 at 11:55 am
You might be on to something: maybe that’s why his feathers stood up on his head!
December 6, 2022 at 11:59 am
I beg to differ Maureen, not an “ordinary “ window but an “extraordinary” window. You caught not only this magnificent bird, but so many other ordinary things that make this photo extraordinary.
This kingfisher looks like he’s looking at you sideways! I don’t think you fooled him for a moment by being far back into the room. I believe he enjoyed his moment of celebrity! I know I enjoyed seeing him! Thanks for sharing this.
December 6, 2022 at 12:28 pm
You and Dan are thinking along the same lines: that kingfisher knew he was on live! The background here was the play area in the back yard behind the tree. It looks like fun, doesn’t it? You make a good point about the extraordinary window — in some ways, it absolutely is! I’ve seen turtles and ducks and herons, reflections of Christmas trees and the moon…you are right. Thanks, Ginger!
December 6, 2022 at 1:39 pm
Oh, the power and wonder of a zoom lens! That one and macro are my two most favorite lenses. What a beauty you have captured, Maureen. Mr Kingfisher is a lovely bird.
December 6, 2022 at 2:11 pm
I must hasten to clarify. I don’t want to give the impression that I am a real photographer. My zoom lens is a button I push on the top of my camera, and, as for “macro,” I had to look that up. So that explains a lot of the fabulous close-ups I see from time to time! Thank you for the education! I am ever in awe of what these little cameras can do. I remember clearly when flashbulbs gave us the brand-new ability to take indoor pictures and when colored film came out — so exotic! So today’s camera vocabulary is a new language for me. You are right about Mr. Kingfisher — a beauty! I hope he comes back.
December 6, 2022 at 3:08 pm
What a beautiful bird! I’ve seen kingfisher in the past but none elegant as this one. So intently focused on the next meal he may find in the pond that it hadn’t notice your lens.
Even more than the photo, I loved your lyrics today. The muse is back!
December 6, 2022 at 3:14 pm
Thank you! I hope you’re right! You’re right about the bird, of course; he sure beautified the day!
December 7, 2022 at 2:18 pm
I liked the photographer’s indecorous dash and ‘breathless, stealthy, sly’ approach contrasted with the decorum and out-there-ness of the handsome bird in fancy head gear. We don’t have them, so it was a treat. The internet is far too ready to claim commonness for remarkable sightings, be they kingsfishers or red spotted toadstools. It makes me suspect the internet may not be looking.
December 7, 2022 at 2:46 pm
Excellent point: the Internet most certainly is not out there looking! As for the contrast between the huffing-and-puffing photographer and the self-possessed bird, you are exactly right. My shins have taken a beating from diving for the camera. I’m indebted to this little bird because he waited there while I fumbled around.
December 7, 2022 at 7:00 pm
Love bird watching 🙂 Wonderful writing as always!
December 7, 2022 at 8:05 pm
Thank you! I too love to watch the birds — except geese. I love nothing about the geese. But the others are wonderful fun to watch.