I often share stories and photographs of life along the river as it flies or floats by. The variety of river fowl that inhabit the area along the river beside my apartment building is a constant source of joy and entertainment. I’ve undoubtedly come to appreciate the noise, squawks, squabbles and squadron fly-bys that are treasured moments of my day.
The swans and geese are not very visible at the moment, but the crows, ducks and herons never leave. At first I thought there was just one fellow in particular who liked hanging around our dock keeping the ducks and cormorants company, whom I fondly named Gerald. He looks comically spindly and clumsy, very much like a Daddy Long Legs from Annie. His voice is anything but elegant, but there are times I think I should have named him Rudolf (i.e. Nureyev) instead. Regardless of whether he is pirouetting on a post, perching on someone’s boat, hunkering down from the wind, or talking off, he is carries himself with the grace and dignity befitting a dancer. I used think the flamingoes were the ballerinas of among the birds, but nothing surpasses a solitary heron.
Gerald can be elegant, albeit afternoons doing character impersonations, his best being Anton Ego (the food critic from the movie Ratatouille) and Michael Jackson. When he isn’t doing stand-up comedy or a pas de deux topped with feathered arabesques, I get a lopsided and bemused look of Oh, you again with that metal box.
The only way I can photograph Gerald is with a telephoto lens, as he wants nothing to do with humans, and spooks easily. Two days ago it was a pleasure to spot him wallowing around the dock looking for fish. From where I stood it looked as if he was enjoying a good old-fashioned clam dig, or perhaps even a foot spa. Out came the camera as quietly as possible, and this was my reward:
I don’t often use my Canon and with the Tamron lens anymore, but when it comes to the river fowl, especially Gerald, there are no ifs and buts about it!