As I walked to my car on my way to work a few days ago, I noticed a tiny little bird resting in one of the open spaces in our chain link fence. Immediately enamored, I set down my bags to inspect him more closely.
He was very obviously a baby because he still had tufts of gray down on his head and body where brown feathers hadn't quite taken over. Plus, he didn't even flinch when I got closer -- still unaware to fly away at the first sign of any encroaching stranger.
Jerry, who was standing in the doorway with Allison, asked what I was doing. I mean, I probably looked ridiculous hunched over, creeping slowly toward the fence.
"THERE'S A BABY BIRD!" I said, resisting the urge to add, "Can we keep him?"
"Do you want your camera?" he asked.
One of the many bonuses of choosing to spend your life with one person is that you get to know each other so well that sometimes they can read your mind. Granted, that same skill can also be a complete pain in the ass. Like when you accidentally drop one of the last two cookies on the floor, announce that you'll take the bad one, then try to unsuspectingly pass it off and SOMEONE just KNOWS he got the floor specimen and refuses to take a bite until we switch.
But even though I wanted my camera desperately, I told him not to worry about it because surely the bird would fly away before either of us had time to retrieve it from the upstairs office. So I dug out my cell phone from my purse and tried to get a shot.
I know camera phones are crap compared to actual digital cameras. But after wielding my Nikon D40, I just get frustrated using anything else. I have been completely and thoroughly spoiled by my equipment. The image turned out entirely too dark and back-lit.
I got closer. Still crap.
Closer. Still crap.
And before I knew it, I was practically hunkered down in the fence with the bird. I might as well have climbed into the space next to his and started tweeting.
Well, hell. If he's gonna let me get that close, I've got to risk taking the time to get my camera, I thought.
I raced into the house, flew upstairs, grabbed my camera, flew back downstairs, flung open the door and speed walked back to where the bird had been. And joy of joys, he was still happily resting in the same spot all fat and round and fluffy and awesome.
He wasn't doing anything, so all of my shots looked almost identical, but he seemed to be enjoying the show as much as I was. Then, just as I was about to pack it up, he shook his neck and ruffled his feathers.
And I got a shot that is practically worthy of the cover of National Geographic. I mean, well, maybe if the bird had been a white Bengal tiger. Eating a bird. Or something.
Okay, so maybe it's nowhere near that good, but I'm still glad I was able to capture our special moment.
I think I'll name him Awesome Face.
And I hope he comes back to visit soon.