Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Green Light for the Spring

Green Light. That is the name I've given to the first (and hopefully only) resident male Ruby-throated Hummingbird on my property this season. I call him Green Light because he was ready to go the day he got here, showing no fear of me and doing the things I ask of him (which usually takes a few weeks to teach). I strongly suspect that he's done this before.

Of course I'm referring to the fact that I photograph hummingbirds every year here on the mountain. It's a privilege I cherish and a challenge I gladly accept. With Green Light, the greatest challenges are technical in nature - lighting, shutter speed, etc. - as he is a willing subject.

quick anecdote: Within the first hour of shooting Green Light, he decided to inspect me and my gear before going to the feeder. He first approached my right temple - I could feel the buffeting from his wings against my skin and hair - then went on to closely inspect my right ear, my left ear, and my left eye from only a couple of inches away. Not satisfied with me, he then flew the foot or so to the front of my lens and stared into the opening of the lens hood. Following that he inspected the heads of the flashes I was using - not just the flash, but the head itself. In those brief seconds I experienced an intelligence I had not seen in 7 years of spending "quality time" with these birds. I was and remain impressed with the level of curiosity and courage these birds possess.


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