My Earth Day Backyard Odyssey

Venus and Earth's Moon My Earth Day started breathlessly in the backyard with wet feet. I got up to the glorious juxtaposition of Venus with the waning crescent moon low in the east. These things excite me!

The birds were singing riotously in the gathering dawn. Two hoot owls were somewhere very close looking for prey and calling to each other. Wonderful!

I grabbed my camera and tripod and put on my Minnetonka moccasins and literally ran into the backyard to get a good view. It was still dark. The moon and planet were obscured by trees on the horizon. I ran around the yard. Then I noticed. My pants were sticking to my ankles. I’ve got water inside my Minnetonkas. I’m wet as sop. It’s cold out here. And there’s no good location to capture this glorious sight.

So I ran back to the deck, set up the tripod and realized in the darkness the camera is set on manual. I couldn’t see through the fog in my glasses to re-set it. So I rushed inside and made the changes.

Back outside. Re-attach the camera to the tripod and focus. Nothing happens. A message says the card is full. Why don’t I take care of these things at the end of a shoot instead of waiting until the start of the next one? No time for this rumination.

Back inside. Replace the card. Back outside. Re-focus. Grab a shot before the sunlight invades the scene. To borrow a line from a Waylon Jennings song, I don’t think Ansel Adams done it this-away, no I don’t think Ansel done it this-away.

Have wonderful, meaningful Earth Day!


The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers…
Psalm 24: 1,2

4 Responses to “My Earth Day Backyard Odyssey”

  1. Betty Wingfield April 22, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    Really enjoyed this post — especially your new writing style and the closing scripture. I am going to post it by my desk in celebration of Earth Day

  2. Larry April 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    Great. Thank you. After this foray I was making coffee, looking out the kitchen window and a large red tail hawk landed in the tree next to the deck. I ran for the camera but he was also hunting and didn’t sit still long enough. But it was a wonderful start to Earth Day and a powerful reminder how we need to care for the whole Creation.

    The unexpected joy and mystery of the Creation is as near as our backyards.

  3. Darby Jones May 8, 2009 at 9:26 am #

    Usually, by the time I grab my camera, it’s already too late. Of course, I like taking photographs of birds, so the best shots are always the ones where I’ve spent a couple hours perched up in the trees waiting for the perfect moment.

    • Larry May 9, 2009 at 8:06 am #

      It’s the condition of a backyard photographer, isn’t it? I keep a camera at the ready and still find I am behind the shot. And I’ve also sat and waited. I think that’s the key. Being ready and giving the time necessary to capture the moment naturally.

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