What Started Out As This…..

One of the required shots for a photo scavenger hunt I participated in early this past spring was a cardinal. Cardinals are abundant in this area – but they are skittish. And the squirrels have won the bird feeder battle at my house so I don’t have a constant supply in the backyard any longer. Still, I was optimistic that this shot would be no problem – I often see cardinals on my lunchtime walks and I work around the corner from Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology. This will be a piece of cake.

NOT! This is the shot I ended up submitting and I was none too happy with it. Even with lots of PS work the fact that I was shooting straight up into the trees left the cardinal way too dark.


Thus began what we could now refer to ass my summer of cardinal stalking.  Yes – I’m stalking a bird.  He sees my camera he flies away without fail.  But if by chance I’m walking without the camera he’ll sit way out on a limb, generally at eye level, and sing me the sweetest song.  It sounds a lot like “Nanny Nanny Boo Boo!!!”

Later in the summer I managed to capture this shot – still not perfect but better – a definite improvement but not at all what I had in mind.My walking buddy and I became convinced that the cardinal was messing with me.  I may have occasionally called him an inappropriate four-letter word as he darted past me with lightning speed.  But I diligently carried my camera every day (unless there was a high probability of rain) hoping to capture the shifty little **&#(%.

Then – finally – this past Tuesday…….…GOTCHA!!!  I all but danced back to my office to upload the shot.  Still not perfect – I’d prefer to not have that one branch in front of him – but it’s a huge improvement.  He must’ve felt sorry for me just this one day – but not too sorry – he only posed like this for about 15 seconds before he flew into dense brush.

So I’m still on the perfect cardinal picture hunt.  But maybe, just maybe, I’ll refrain from calling him bad names – for a while at least!


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