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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau

A Brief Interruption Of my Winter Childhood Memories

Saturday I went down to the Hiawassee Nature Preserve to photograph Sandhill Cranes and other birds who winter over in that location. It was sunny, but it was also windy and actually pretty cold. But it was a great opportunity to see and photograph these beautiful birds in what I believed to be their natural habitat. I went with some of my best photo gear, my tripod and my Nikon D5500 camera fitted out with its 150-300mm telephoto lens. The flocks of cranes I thought were pretty impressive, though people with more experience at this site said they had seen more and varied birds in the middle of December than yesterday. I was still impressed by the numbers, and their noise. Additionally, this was my first major attempt to capture these birds in flight, which typically means special camera settings and multiple images taken while you pan the camera. I was basically pretty pleased with my results considering this was the first time I was trying to do this. Now to jump forward to today's neighborhood walk. Imagine my surprise to see this heron perched on a neighbor's roof. It stood there almost imitating a weather vane for quite a while. I have been told that the best camera you have is the one that you have with you. And so it was, my iPhone 12pro. As I walked slowly along the street that curves around my neighbor's house, I kept taking shots of this bird at various angles and kept hoping that I would be able to slowly get closer to the front of the house and get some that were a bit closer of the bird. The heron obliged. But I could tell it was getting a bit antsy about my ever increasing presence. He/she started shifting his/her weight and I was pretty sure he/she was considering a launch into space. Could I be quick enough with both panning my iPhone and snapping shots to capture this? Would my iPhone camera be able to do something akin to what I had been able to do with my upper-end camera yesterday? YES! I am very blessed to live in a community that shares its space with nature and I get to see, and hear, all kinds of birds and animals all the time. I loved my photo trip to the nature preserve on Saturday, but it's nice to be reminded that I also live in one.

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