I think that it is so helpful to think about what I am grateful for each week. Many weeks, my gratitude is for this glorious place that we call home.
This morning, the remnants of the winter storm lingered here. The snow was gone but the clouds over the mountains were winter clouds - a white puffy pillow that hugged the peaks. Above those white clouds, dark ones hung. This is a typical winter sight - very unusual in June. I love how majestic the mountains look when cloaked like this.
After stopping to gaze at the mountains, I rode on about 100 yards with Shyla by my side when a flicker of bright colors caught my eye. We don't have many brilliantly colored birds here so I knew it was a Western Tanager.
At first, I watched only him but then an olive colored puffy bird flew to him. A baby tanager!
As I think that the father bird wanted, his flashy colors drew my attention away from the baby as he fluttered and flew.
I've taken courses with an expert bird photographer so I was almost ready in the few seconds that I had before he flew. My depth of field was pretty good but the tips of the wings still blurred a little because he moved them so fast relative to my shutter speed. I kind of like the effect. The feathers have a wave-like pattern.
That interlude was an incredible treat. I see Tanagers a few times per summer but I am rarely ready with my camera before they fly away.
For me, having the mountains, birds, and other wildlife right outside my door is an astounding gift. And being able to enjoy it with Shyla by my side makes it like heaven to me.