Falling in love with wild birds, for me, was different than falling in love with a person. It was different than taking on a new hobby or discovering a new purchasable item to collect. The love was a revelation because it was a safe love; the birds could never love me back, which eliminated the pressures that usually come with reciprocal love, and so I was free to love freely.
Falling in love with wild birds made the other aspects of my life feel richer, sparkier, easier. The discovery seemed endless, and so I was falling in love not just with wild birds but also with art and knowledge all over again. Everything was new; I was nowhere near mastery; I couldn’t sleep; I had birds on the brain. I began to re-appreciate the city I once loved, then hated, then tolerated. These days I don’t worry too much about what Toronto’s become; we have many fine parks, and reasonable access to many lovable species. To wander with a camera and lens in delusion is good enough for me!
P.S. Northern saw-whet owl, impossibly tiny, seen among the low-lit trees and twiggeries.
Unfortunately, this picture is pretty disgusting, I guess!
When I lost my heart to wild birds in 2009 and began to photograph our local alar with a compulsive gusto, it’s true that I saw beauty everywhere. I still do, but perhaps my self-directed immersion has curdled my brain, because I see beauty also and especially in pictures like this one?