I have up days and down days. I get anxious, lonely, antsy or unproductive. But: I’m always grateful for living in this place, grateful I get the chance to go for a walk, breathe the air, and capture what I can of this beautiful place through my little lenses. This is what gets me going, even when I kind of don’t feel like going.
Part of it is the self-improvement and skill development: working out lighting, composition, my camera’s many settings, and switching lenses as efficiently as possible. Part of it is the validation, the Likes and the comments I get on the socials, and coworkers telling me my photos really brighten up the social Slack channel. Part of it is the walking. I really like walking! Part of it is the learning. We’ll get to that.
But mostly, it’s the joy of seeing what’s there. Big moments and little moments that pull me out of my own head and remind me why I do this. From the beginning of this photo challenge I was afraid I’d run out of cool stuff to capture. Occasionally I still am. I don’t feel those sparkling moments every day. But, enough days. This city I’ve already seen a million times can still enchant me, and that is a real gift.
Sunsets and mornings, skylines and even more skylines, herons both regal and scraggly, bumblebees with bursting pollen sacs and otters and the occasional bald eagle, and when the weather just isn’t cooperating? Flowers is where it’s at. But the real stars of this show are the birbs. I’ve seen chickadees a few times in leafy West End streets, a couple hummingbirds around Stanley Park, as well as finches.
Best of all, though? All the sparrows. Did you know there are dozens of sparrow species in the Americas, and over 100 in the Old World? I’ve personally seen and photographed four: house sparrows; song sparrows (one of the first photos I took with my telephoto lens); white-crowned sparrows (which I first shot just on April 1st, and is turning out to be pretty common around downtown, at least in the spring / summer); and finally, a magnificent white-throated sparrow, which I’ve only seen once near Burnaby Lake.
I know there’s at least a fifth in these parts: the golden-crowned sparrow, which looks like a white-crowned sparrow except its white stripes are yellow. I haven’t seen it around downtown, but an Instagrammer I follow shot one around Richmond.
What else have I been overlooking? What treasures will I discover? We will see, all I need is to keep my eyes open.