Friday, December 30, 2011

Photo Safari with a Vulture and the Law


All snug on the passenger seat, camera was charged and ready for my first Photo Safari in almost a year. Within ten minutes, I hit the brakes. A mirage, of sorts?

I didn’t leave the driver’s seat and let the car idle on a divided highway in a safe lane that served as a shoulder. While I snapped away, a Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer thought I was worth watching. Heh. He pulled in front of me slowly and made a California stop before a slow right turn, as an invitation for me to follow. I followed and stopped again on the wrong side of the tiny side street to get a snapshot of the most obnoxious male Belted Kingfisher I’ve ever met! CMPD officer parked his cruiser on the proper side of the road ahead of me, waiting for me to make another wrong move or to drive by to get my tag. Heh.


The cop completely ruined my outing. How could I concentrate on Hooded Mergansers while being stalked? I work with police officers and adore them. However, fuming and feeling more irritated than threatened, I left the scene and gave him no reason to run my tag. Truth is, I can’t break my habit of creating my own parking spaces in the wrong places but they are always safe, they work for me, and no one gets hurt. I see beautiful Hawks on dead tree limbs and wires! Illegal stopping? Maybe. Never illegal parking. On my way home, I mumbled something about cops, donuts, and too much spare time.

Later I returned to a designated parking spot and visited them on foot to find the whole freaky family of Black Vultures had moved the raccoon off the road. Vultures are awesome creatures that have an important job and do it well, although they’re more disgusting than I care to think about. I wish these were the lovely Turkey Vulture faces, for dear Lynne.


No apparent aggression. There are usually one or two guards. Then there is the vulture-style “changing of the guards” so everyone can eat.


“Uh, dudes and dudettes… lady approaching. Rev your reflux.”


It’s never a good idea to scare a Vulture. I backed up and thanked them for a great photo-shoot.

The safari ended in my back yard. The birds don’t know me or trust me like they did in recent years and scram as soon as I step one foot on the back deck.


Why bother repeating what I’ve already done? I have taken at least a dozen Male Cardinal photographs much better than this one.


I challenge myself. I want better, that's all.


Without a new, more sophisticated camera, my shots are boring me. So, why bother?


Ha! I don’t have the intellect or time for a more sophisticated camera. Excellent books I own on photography wait for me to read beyond the inside front covers. Will I ever leave the safe haven I’ve found in “auto” mode? I hope so.


It’s warm enough for them to dine, still. The weather today is all wrong.


I love gazing at my foot-long, nameless pets.



My favorite photo of 2011. A grasshopper.


Greet the most cooperative grasshopper in Charlotte, taken in August from my backyard beach chair. I’ll eventually frame this one.

Back to the law enforcement issue.


First responders are part of my biological family as well as my work-related family and I respect, admire, and give thanks to all of them. Perhaps this one CMPD officer thought I might need assistance. But come on!

Isn’t there enough criminal gumbo to police in Charlotte instead of stalking a blonde female in a red car who wants her Photo Safari mojo back?