A final set of pictures from the Jewel Lake Loop before we finally head into summer. By this point the rain should be behind us, at least I hope so, though I know that in a few short months we will again patiently wait for its seasonal arrival. I realize that these Jewel Lake Loop pictures may be getting tedious, but grant me one final collection. I promise to look for a different point of view this summer.

See the full set of pictures.

The path above might signify uncertain times. At least it feels to me like uncertain times right now. I can’t explain it – I think it’s a combination of factors that are causing some trepidation about the road ahead in my mind. Perhaps middle age is setting in and with it thoughts about where to go from here. Although I would argue that as the parent of young children the mind has little room to wonder aimlessly about much more than the present day. But it’s probably just all that rain and cold and clouds we’ve had for so long now. I should remember that the next time I dream of moving north.

It could also be that my career, maneuvered with tactical precision for nearly 20 years, is at the point of WTF is next. The cards are not making the future obvious enough for me.

But back to the pictures and the walk in this collection. Several weeks ago, finally curious enough about the local wildlife that we see more of here than in our old house, I pulled out my old binoculars and started to periscope around the yard and neighborhood. I was really enjoying myself and, well, being a photographer and an advocate for good glass I purchased a better pair. And wow – a good pair of binoculars is something to behold. I did extensive research and along the way became more aware of the world of birding. Now, I’m not a birder, but to learn more about those who live around me I am paying more attention to them. Once you get up close they are really quite fascinating.

On this particular walk I took along my binoculars and balanced photography with what you might roughly call birding. The first thing I learned is they are two very different things. Photography is seeing, pure and simple. The eyes get the majority of your minds attention. But in birding you listen, then you see. And you have to be very still and present. It is difficult to do both at the same time. Right now I’m not that interested in taking pictures of birds, partly because I don’t have the right camera equipment. In most cases I am a wide angle photographer, but in birding you need serious tele lenses!

On this walk I happened to discover a small, bright yellow bird in the trees. Only seen for a brief moment before it energetically moved on (and those small birds are indeed very energetic), but it was I’m embarrassed to say thrilling. There just may be some birder in me after all. But that’s OK because it gets me outdoors and it makes me more aware of my environment. Those are both very good things.

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