It was 2011. I was making photographs of crows. Off in the distance Some 500 meters A black cloud. Like a monochrome Psychedelic mass Changing Yet united
Watching Abandoning the shot Mesmerized At the gracefulness Of the hundreds Of little bodies
Now walking Increasing speed Running To the phenomenon Trees blocking my view Panting
They’re right overhead! Peculiar calls Bank left Floof! Was the sound Just above the treeline SWOOSH! The roar of 500 pairs of wings
So excited Camera fumbling Check settings Raised and ready
They were gone!
But they are animals Animals are habitual I’ll be back tomorrow Oh yeah, You’d better believe I’ll be back tomorrow!
Such was the beginning of my photographic journey to include starlings in my multiple exposure pieces. Starlings, the dreaded invader-bird. To watch them murmurate will change the heart. It is a wonder to behold. Will they return this year? We will see before too long…their numbers have been diminished over the years and I fear those few first years will not be replicated again.
Fall and winter are my most prolific creative seasons for photography. December has not failed me. To walk in our little wooded areas is like jumping through a time portal. I’m a kid again and everything inspires. Our fall colors are just now ending. There are leaf hangers-on spattered throughout the depth of the wooded areas that grab the falling light. These energy catching leaves will illuminate yellows and orange like stars in the sky. That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Clouded evenings make for more available colors to include in multiple exposures. Even reflected artifacts have more punch. This month’s moon has been very usable for several days and it makes a great addition to impressions on the fly. Until yesterday, my starlings have been all but absent. Their numbers have been down several years now. I started including starlings in my impressions seven years ago. Back then there were some 1000-2000 birds (or more) that would murmurate. Now, I am lucky to see 30-40 at a time. They fly in with the red- wings…. People have told me they do not do that (multi-species flocking). I would believe their word, except I have seen so many of these starlings up close. Last evening, a flock of about 300 birds murmurtated for a time and I was able to capture them with the colors of the falling sun and the moon, all on one frame. Color me happy. I have been thinking a lot of our little woods and the magic they hold. They do inspire me so much. I feel a little music instrumental comin’ on…soon.