Flight Rewards

IMG_0597The door to my studio is always open, so people will stop in and make remarks – the reward of leaving the door open…
Yesterday it was one of my neighbours commenting on the photo of the bird in flight, blown up onto a canvas.
“Is that a marlin?”, he asked.
A man who knows his birds.
It is, in fact, a swallow, but we got to talking about birds and their behaviours – he’d done some time trapping and tagging marlins, and I’d spent lots of time photographing these swallows –swallow square right tiltSo I was telling him about how the swallows would come out and dart around in the sky, flipping and flitting around in arcs and circles.
This one day in particular there were so many of them out in the sky – a jubilant party – I’d taken hundreds of photographs.
“Eating bugs?”, he suggested – the most likely reason for swallows to be out and around – feeding.swallow square rightYou would think, I agreed, a distinct possibility.
But the things is, the winds were so high, a storm creeping in slowly from the west, the blasts of air bringing the clouds closer and closer so intense, that it actually wasn’t a buggy moment at all. All bugs had been swept away, so the birds were just out, riding the waves of wind, purely for pleasure, for play, sometimes even flying upside down – swallow square upside downPeople often ask me if this photo is the wrong way round, cause the shape of the bird appears to be belly-up, but that is what the bird was doing, circling around on gusts of air.
Similarly, I could see my marlin-tracking neighbour was skeptical that the birds would be out in numbers without a purpose, without clear, obvious reward.square b&w silhouette bird left slvrfxBut, seriously? Flying for pleasure?
Isn’t that reward enough?
I mean, look at this world they live in –
swallow square tiny in big cloudsIf you could fly way way up into the clouds, for the sheer joy of feeling the air beneath your wings, and the view as you soar up into the clouds…square towering clouds tiny bird
cloud channel slvrfx
cloud hill slvrfx
cloud edge of mountain slvrfxWouldn’t that be reward enough?cloud tower tiniest bird slvrfxWeekly Photo Challenge – Reward
More photos here.

27 thoughts on “Flight Rewards”

  1. To watch how you captured the swallow and the dramatic clouds is rewarding enough for me for I can’t seem to capture them for their speed. Just grand!

    1. That first day I was out there with my still-new digital camera I took 632 photographs. Most of them are out-of-focus blurs of nothing, but since it’s just digital, you can shoot hundreds of shots, and be happy with the 3 that work out…. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for your comment!

    1. Thank you, Jean!
      I don’t know about you, but dreams of flying are my most favourite dreams of all…
      Funny, I went to a workshop with a lucid dream teacher, Charlie Morley – really bright, dynamic kid. He was kind of making fun of how when people first start lucid dreaming, the thing they always do is fly, when really there are so many other more evolved things you can do…like, um, meditate, is his number one “to do” thing while lucid. Personally I am still so thrilled with flying… ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I agree. Nothing wrong with playing and having fun in your dreams….a rare opportunity to experience “the Incredible lightness of being”. To borrow Kundera’s title. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. I like how you tell a story amidst these pictures. Sometimes people just put a few words and it leave me wanting more. You do a beautiful job at capturing the reader in me and my eye. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Wonderful post Kat! I am amazed that you were able to catch these lovelies at all!
    and yes, indeed, if I could fly among clouds I would for the sheer wonder of it.
    I have watched gulls ride thermals just for fun. Once I saw them hitch a ride on the breeze towards the beach, then come back up the hill and do it again… there is no doubt in my mind that animals enjoy doing what they are well suited for. My dog loves to run; sprint may be more accurate. There is a street that we cross everyday on our walk down the hill. He hangs back, waits for me to tell him it is safe, then barrels across at an angle so the run is longer!
    Pelicans ride thermals in downtown Tampa…

    Anyway, I ramble. I love your clouds and the way you share your work. I’d pop in your studio if I could.

    1. Ohhhh, if you were a neighbour, how fun would it be?
      You could show me the route you do with your dog – I love how he has figured out the way to lengthen his sprint – can feel his joy just from your words.
      Last night I saw Wild, about a pilgrimage of sorts, and I began fantasizing (again) about doing the Camino de Santiago – maybe the Camino del Norte, just to avoid the crowds…and in my daydreams I stop in to see you before I head out, and a friend in Galicia along the way, and another friend in Madrid at the end… sigh…
      If I visualize it hard enough, perhaps it will come? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh gosh, now that you mention it, I remember that beautiful video of starling murmurations that was going around… did you see it? I’d forgotten about it as I wrote this…

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