Yesterday was another Sister Birding Adventure and Cheryl and I went to the Aransas Wildlife Refuge in Austwell, Texas. This wildlife refuge was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Harvey last Summer and we were thrilled to find them open. We both had our camera’s and my sister had her monopod (I need one of those in my life!) and we set out to spend half of the day together seeing what we could see.
Of course, as it often does, that half day adventure turned into an all day event. We stopped at several spots along the wildlife refuge, as well as driving through Saxet lake before a yummy stop at Dairy Queen in Tivoli, Texas and finally making our way back home. I took a total count of 2,260 photos of many, many birds, a few raccoons, a couple of allegators and some cactus and I figured I had at least a couple of winners in that huge mass of photos.
Wildlife photographers usually have a list of animals or birds they want a photo of, that they are always on the hunt for, or they just hold out hope to be able to add to their collection. I have never been that kind of photographer….until now. We had stopped at this little area and were looking for alligators when a Green Heron flew in for a spell. I was a good distance away from him, and my lens is okay, but it’s not my sisters 600mm lens that can photograph a flea on a mouse. I didn’t have much hope for the pictures I took of this guy based on the distance, the lighting and the surrounding vegetation.
It was a shock to me this morning, when I started weeding through the thousands of photos and picking the ones that would be edited and kept – a measly 58 out of the 2,260 – and found this beauty. He was sitting there grooming, kind of turned around on himself and his wings wrapped around his body in kind of a Flamingo dance move. I guess it was the sun, and my distance that kept me from seeing the vibrant colors in his feathers and the beautiful straps of color on his face and beak. What an unexpected surprise that makes me so happy!
In a similar fashion, I was talking to my sister on the way home from our birding adventure and made an off the cuff statement about “I freaking love being divorced!” and it’s the truth. I love my independence, that I don’t have to make anyone else happy but me. I didn’t expect that happy side effect of the end of my marriage. I didn’t expect to be so happy!
I guess I didn’t have many expectations about what divorce – after the pain had healed – would look and feel like. But damn, I wish I’d pulled that rip-cord years ago! This is the life, my friends. There are many nights I just want to come home from work, pour a glass of wine and do whatever I feel like doing – even if that is climb into bed and watch TV or play video games. I don’t have to answer to anyone, cook for anyone, clean for anyone, and the only one I have to answer to is my dog….who still demands to be walked on a schedule, but it’s okay because he’s pretty cute.
When I first began this blog, I was just beginning to figure out what I liked and didn’t like in my life. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of figuring it out so far. I love photography, I love writing, I love spicy Ramen on Sunday’s, I love my Divorce ring and I love playing Skyrim on Xbox. Those are my happy things at this point in my life.
It feels so good to be able to see all the beautiful things about life and being single. I am experiencing more personal, professional and creative success than I ever have, I am positive that this is exactly where I am supposed to be in life and that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. I am more comfortable in my own skin than I’ve ever been and I don’t give a crap what anyone thinks. I guess that’s another thing I wasn’t expecting – to have a sense of worth and self-respect for myself that I didn’t even realize I’d been lacking.
Whoa -this is getting deep. Much too deep for a post about a pretty picture….go back up to the top of this blog and look at the pretty bird again, ok? Because that’s what I’m going to do.
Have a wonderful week everyone!