My walk down the paved trail yields nothing but hidden views of Cardinals, Titmice, and Brown Thrashers, so I decide to head back to the docks at the landing. Here, about eight American Coots would surround the dock and allow me to take beautiful pictures of them.
I stopped for a bit, mostly to rest my arm as my new combination (lens/body) is much heavier than I'm used to and I didn't have my arm propped very well. As I sat there, I realized something.
Coots are amazing birds!
Most folks wouldn't think twice about a Coot... dull, black... usually hundreds of them in every given spot of water... but, just sit and watch them. I have this theory that you can't really enjoy birds until you start to appreciate the most basic, common ones you see. This has held true for me.
Sitting there I thought about all sorts of things- but mostly, I started to identify with Coots. Feeling overlooked and plain... passed over for flashy, better-looking people. How many people have passed me by, never saying a word, simply because I didn't stand out to them?
I'm a Coot. Chunky, a tad plain, but beautiful in my own right. I'm talkative (sit and listen to Coots... they never shut up!), social, funny, only fly if I have to, and brave. I honestly couldn't think of a better bird that fits me.
There's something to be said for making personal realizations about yourself while doing the one thing you love more than anything. It brought up a lot of emotion, and a lot of happiness. I'm proud to be a Coot, because that means the people who realize my beauty are the kind of people who I want in my life... not the ones who pass me over for something aesthetically "better".
So, I went back to shooting, when this Coot came up and checked me out. Now, I'm not going to be cheesy and say we had a connection- but hey, maybe he knew I was a Coot too.
Stay tuned for my Ohio and Arizona trip reports later in March/April.
And, as always... Until next time- Happy birding to all of you!