Egrets, Tuesday Morning | Mark Lindsay

The sunrise was shrouded in a thick blanket of low fog. I took one look out the window and decided a hot pot of coffee was a better idea than an excursion down to the park. The alarm had been accidentally set to go off at 2:30 AM and I still felt the crankiness from an unexpected wake-up. The cats were also agitated and they demanded that I rise early. They wanted proper attention. Coffee was a much better concept than exercise.

The light was too exquisite to be ignored. Like the cats, it demanded attention. The caffeine was working. I needed to get out before the fog burned off and the day turned to blasted sunshine. I went out, feeling rusty with the camera. I found a few autumn leaves on an old truck to photograph. Very nice.

I crossed the road into the park. My favorite eucalyptus glowed in the misty light. Things were getting interesting. I walked around the tree about ten times, exploring every angle I could, making images all the way.

Then I got to the little pond. There were hundreds of birds! They flew in formation around the small body of water, skidding to a landing with a monstrous splash. The did this about five more times, keenly aware of my presence and playing cat-and-mouse with me. They stayed far enough away from me in order to feel safe, but taunted me just the same. I made images as fast as my camera could keep up. The camera felt warm from its furious work.

Finally the egrets had had enough of me. They flew off to another body of water, flapping their wings at me in a friendly way. I felt tired and satisfied. On the way back a fat goose came up and posed for my camera. Then I left the park.

A lovely, older woman was packing up her tennis racket. She looked up at me, her droopy hat making her round face seem friendly. "Did you get anything?" she asked, pointing to my camera. "Ma'am, it's a very birdie morning!" I responded. "Oh, that's nice," she added with a smile. I walked home feeling grateful for a life so rich and so filled with birds and photography.