"Bird's Eye View"

I generally do not have a specific subject in mind when I am on my jaunts about town with my camera. My only intent is to be observant of my every day surroundings for an opportunity to appreciate the mundane of everyday life from an alternate position associated with its usual context. Sometimes, this shift in perspective is only perceived through my experiences with the world right outside my door.

I was returning home from an uneventful, but pleasant bike ride one summer afternoon. As I was pulling up to the side-door stoop, I noticed that a robin was perched in front of the door. It didn’t move as I came closer like one would expect a bird to do.

Then, I realized that it was a baby bird. He looked a bit dazed with his head feathers askew. I couldn’t open the door without disturbing him, and I did not want to disturb him. It dawned on me that my camera was in my backpack—this was that moment when the ordinary takes on those special flourishes, making them a little bit of a surreal encounter with fate.

So, I dropped the kickstand on my bike and as quickly and quietly as I could, I readied my camera for action. Out of its case, the Nikon CoolPix rested easily in the palm of my hand. I pressed the on button and slowly walked closer to the concrete steps. I reached the first step. The young robin had not even ruffled a feather of acknowledgement to my presence.

I crouched down and scootched a touch closer as I lined him up in the viewfinder. I could see my reflection in the glint of his eye. I adjusted the focus to its widest frame for this up-close and personal angle of the fledgling bird. As soon as the f-stop finally narrowed to a depth-of-field that clearly focused on the little details of my new-feathered friend, I fired away in rapid succession.

I captured him from all sides. I only paused long enough to frame and focus each shot. I managed to snap off five frames before the moment clicked back to its usual every day scene. The baby’s flight instincts kicked into motion, and he flew back to his nest in the tree next door.

The robin was not on my radar when I began my trek on the Greenway Trail that day. His species is commonly taken for granted due to its make a home everywhere existence—they are the Smiths and Joneses equivalent of the avian sphere. However, each bird has an inner spark that makes it unique from the rest of the flock.


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© 2014 by Veronica M. Gabet