Last week sometime, I took a drive to check a good friend, with the intention of staking out a location for some golden-hour light. Deeper and deeper into my northward journey, I only saw more and more dark, grey clouds envelop the entire sky. At one point, I did see a sliver of blue, but it was just that. A sliver. Nothing more. After having a good laugh about our good fortune, we headed out anyway, who knows what we would miss if we didn’t go right?
I believe it was the gloomiest day of 2017 thus far, but letting weather get the better of oneself is not something any nature photographer worth his/her salt allows. For me, well you know I love a little softness in my light anyway. And the birds were posing. Great Kiskadees are marginally different from Lesser Kiskadees, thankfully we only have the former present in Trinidad, so no issue with the ID here.
The rain was definitely an asset in making some decent images, this Pied Water Tyrant seemed to enjoy fiddling with its gossamer cargo – I believe they use this material in nest building. All aspects of this image came together very well for me, and it was my favourite image of the day. The framing, the pose, the web, the rain. What more could I ask for?
Eventually, the rain started to fall a little heavier, so we hunkered down for a bit. Leaving our cameras in the vehicle, we got out and stood in the rain, like sane human beings. I’m serious, if we all took the time to just stand in a gentle shower, eyes closed, feeling the tiny droplets as they fall from the sky, wondering from where exactly did this water come from…perhaps we’d be a little more peaceful, a little more respectful of our place in this great delicate web of existence.
Anyway, after a few minutes, some Smooth-billed Anis passed by, and perched nearby, looking at us. Almost as if to say “Are you fools gonna take our picture or what?”
Well, black bird in gloomy light, what’s not to love?
On the way out, a familiar shape caught our eye, a lovely young Savannah Hawk surveying its territory, sharp eyes always on the lookout for a meal. That raptor’s gaze always gets me – it’s like they see straight into your soul.