Restoring Balance

Fog has dissipated, as has the rain. Hallelujah. Although it is still overcast, we decide to take a drive, cameras in tow.

Goose Island State Park is our planned destination. It has just the right combination of driving and walking trails. This is also where we saw the Whooping Cranes, so maybe we’ll get lucky again today.

All along the roadside, I spot herons, egrets, spoonbills and birds of prey. The birds must be just as relieved as us to see a break in the weather.

Photographers are set up with tripods and massive lenses when we arrive at the field where the cranes visit.

“They’ll be coming around in an hour or so,” an avid birder tells.

We drive around to the park entrance, pay our fees and stop at the marsh overlook. Here we see Great Blues, a Tricolored, a Snowy, a Reddish egret and a Roseate Spoonbill, as well as a cluster of small wading birds. Even though the sun is not making an appearance, the stillness lends a mystical element to the day. I breathe deeply and feel a return to balance.

At the songbird viewing area, the approach is flooded, and Ric decides not to attempt the short walk, but I wade through, the varied calls beckoning to me.

I settle myself on a picnic table and wait. Within minutes the trees and bushes are vibrating with winged life. I can’t point my camera fast enough. Eventually, I give up and decide to focus my lens on the busy hummingbird feeder. Such joy!

We retrace our steps on the way home, hoping to spot the cranes, but they still have not appeared. Their distinct cry can be heard in the distance, but so far, none have approached. A flock of Snowy Egrets are grazing in the ponds across the road, so I decide to focus my camera there. Among them is a slightly larger, dark-bodied bird. A juvenile White-Faced Ibis, one of the enthusiasts tells us.

The wind picks up and the air has a chill to it, so Ric and I decide to leave. It’s been a good outing. I am feeling restored.


This week’s focus has been balance, a theme that lends itself to photography and writing alike. I have greatly appreciated the images and words you have shared and appreciate the kind comments. Here are this week’s contributors:

Willow Poetry
Pictures without film.
Heart to Heart
Stuff and what if…
one letter UP
priorhouse blog
Poetry for Healing

I’m mixing it up a bit for tomorrow’s challenge. See you then.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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