2022-06-22 Return To Watson Lake

Red-Necked Grebe - Podiceps grisegena
I’d hoped the Red-Necked Grebes I met when I passed through Watson Lake going north, would have hatched babies now on my return. However, the hen was still sitting on eggs.
Dandelion - Taraxacum species
When I reached Watson Lake on the southbound leg of my adventure, I stopped again at Wye Lake for a few minutes. These dandelions were a common sight in these latitudes, adding an uplifting bounty of color to the landscape.

I reached Watson Lake after spending the night 170 miles away at Teslin Lake. I immediately drove to Wye Lake Park, where I enjoyed my time with birds on my previous visits. I hoped that the Red-Necked Grebe eggs I saw on my last visit might have turned into fuzzy chicks. It had been two weeks, and it seemed possible, but I was not in luck. These grebe eggs take about three weeks of incubation before they hatch. I’d have liked to have seen the grebe chicks riding on their mom’s back, but with as much as a week of waiting possible, I couldn’t justify hanging around that long. Even if I were to stay long enough, the lake could have hidden the family from me, and I might miss them, anyway.

Rather than complain about my failure to better time my visit here, I gathered images of the birds that were cooperative. New for me on this pass through town were a Warbling Vireo and a Sora. The Sora was especially fun for me. Some of the birds I met on my last visit, such as the Yellow Warblers and the Alder Flycatchers, stayed out of my sight. I suspect nesting duties prevented them from showing off as they had on my earlier visit two weeks ago.

With fewer birds, I took time to enjoy and appreciate some of the cheerful colors I too often overlook. Dandelions and butterflies filled the bill for me.

My digital backlog is still keeping me busy. For me, ‘fun’ is capturing bird images, but with the fun, follows the work. It’s work I enjoy, but work, just the same. It would be easier just to take pictures and simply store them away on a hard drive, but then no one but me would ever know what I’ve seen. I feel mingling the images with the stories of how I collected them, and then sharing them with others, is more fulfilling.

There is another upside to taking time to prepare the blogs that come from all this ‘work’. It forces me to slow down, and not simply to blow through the locations where I visit in ‘Clark Griswold style’, obsessing with Wally World or some such pie-in-the-sky next destination. I believe the faster you go, the less you see.

Assembling my stories and grooming my images lets me reflect and remember my experiences. Sometimes, in reviewing images, I will see something that in real-time I hadn’t noticed. I shoot a ton of shots when I’m in the field. On a typical day I will press my shutter button 800, 900, a thousand times or more. The task often requires intense tunnel-vision, and my attention to tracking my subject means I am always trying to predict its movement. It’s only when I’m reviewing and culling the images that I notice what I’ve captured. Any quick turn of the head, or jump from place-to-place is revealed during these reviews. Many times such quick movements are lost because of motion-blur, or the subject moving out of frame. But sometimes, there have been some nice surprises.

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