An Interrupted Silence

Summer fell with no sound. Soon there were no more posts on the Red Flower Journal, and scribbling snippets of poetry on scraps of paper ceased. Conversations with God turned into a strain that not everyone would understand. Interactions with people deteriorated under the weight of the unknown. That which brings forth a voice from this sleeping beast called life weakened under an all too familiar darkness. How is it that “nothing” multiplies into more nothing. How is it that you have to make it through the multiplied nothing because of something.

Outside of the nothing, life continued as usual. Of course. On the wildlife cam side – since I have written about that so much – those who love the Cornell Hawks have again been receiving the precious gift of being able to follow them and other beautiful families through live broadcasts (see writeup on Karel and BOGette on the right-hand side of this blog.) Tragically, all three eggs at Stan and Iris’ nest (Montana Ospreys) were destroyed due to a terrible storm. The feisty puffling Joy left for her journey to the sea, while her parents stuck around for awhile and continued to entertain viewers. Puffins flew, flapped, and waddled joyously on the Puffin Loafing Ledge and Puffin Boulder Berm. Kendi (Black Eagles of Roodekrans) developed into a gorgeous young eagle, soon to fledge. The fabulous Mum and Dad (Sydney White-bellied Sea Eagles) welcomed two wonderful, healthy chicks – and after two failed seasons, this brings one to tears. Operation Migration’s Class of 2015 of Whooping Cranes have been gearing up to begin this year’s migration trek. The stories go on. See Bird & Other Wildlife Cam Links.

The battle against species extinction and the fight to save ourselves from our own greed and callousness towards the creatures with whom we are privileged to share this planet went on. The Duncan “Bird Killer” amendment that would have crippled the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was defeated. People all over the world exploded in outrage and grief when Cecil the Lion was killed by an American dentist trophy hunter. The horror of trophy hunting was brought into the limelight, hopefully not to be forgotten. Sea Shepherd conducted Operation Jairo to protect endangered sea turtle nests and hatchlings. It was not without personal cost as volunteers were attacked and injured by armed poachers. Still, intervention guaranteed the successful delivery of hatchlings to the sea and the campaign was a success. As summer wound down into fall, Sea Shepherd launched its annual campaigns against cetacean slaughter in the Faroe Islands and Taiji – joining forces in Taiji with Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project.

My job went on. The ongoing erosion of morale from tiny and not so tiny hits went on. The wearying fight to force my body and my mind to not lose something that seemed to want to lose me seemed endless. Still seems endless.

When the nothing had settled into my bones like the proverbial chill and there were no more words, I was driven to images. Spent a few hundred dollars on a camera in the same month I had to pay the co-insurance on an MRI and CT Scan. Financially stupid, but I did it. I became an obsessed amateur bird photographer, stalking birds on local trails and lakes and trying to avoid freaking out the birds in my backyard. I started considering trips in the fall for a better look at raptor migration in wildlife preserves where I’ll probably be eaten by deerflies.

And today – if you haven’t noticed by now – there seem to be quite a few words in this post. Is it a silence interrupted or a moment of insanity? Too soon to tell.

PHOTO GALLERY

8/11 Male Eastern Towhee

8/15 Great Egret at Bond Lake

8/15 Mallards at Bond Lake

8/15 Mallards at Bond Lake

8/26 Tufted Titmouse

8/22 Great Blue Heron at Duck Pond Circle

8/22 Great Blue Heron at Duck Pond Circle

8/25 Coopers Hawk - Not a good photo, but the reason why a flock of house sparrows left in a hurry.

8/25 Coopers Hawk – Not a good photo, but the reason why a flock of house sparrows left in a hurry.

8/26 Female Downy Woodpecker

8/30 Female and Male Belted Kingfishers at Reedy Creek Lake

8/30 Female and Male Belted Kingfishers at Reedy Creek Lake

8/30 Red-bellied Woodpecker at Bond Lake

8/30 Red-bellied Woodpecker at Bond Lake

9/4 Carolina Wren

9/4 Juvenile Carolina Wren

The Amusing Little Cardinal Family Outside My Window

8/25 Junior and Dad

8/29 Junior

8/29 Junior

8/30 Dad

8/30 Dad

8/30 Mom

8/30 Mom

26 Comments

  1. sagemtnmom says:

    Those are images beyond an amateur eye! Keep shooting and whatever the source of darkness, hang in there. Dawn is just beyond the horizon. I know I;ve been there.
    Peace

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob Carbaugh says:

    Sorry for the ill-timing of your “Financially stupid” investment – they are usually some of the best, actually – and, by photographic evidence, we all are reaping the returns – pretty good ROI, from what I see. Persevere in all ways, Elly…(as much as possible) we “have your back !” Bob C.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kat Jenkins says:

    LOVE your photos, Elly – especially the Carolina wren and the GBH and the titmouse!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You not only have a skill for flow of words, but a natural knack for photography. I pray that these difficult days will become easier. You have many ears to listen, and shoulders to lean on. Don’t you ever forget that! You are such a special soul. I love your posts!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Chi22 says:

    So sorry for the chill and darkness. Sagemtnmom is right — hang in there (hang on to that camera and keep using it) the dawn will return. And your photographs are a gift to those of us who follow your blog. Keeping you in my thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pike Cottage says:

    Elly – your post brought tears to my eyes, and not just because of the beauty of your photos – you are so talented! There are so many of us in your corner, it is standing room only πŸ™‚ Hang in there: breathe, believe and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shirley wendell says:

    Elly, so nice to see you here. Love your pictures and stories. Hope your health issues are resolved soon. Sending love and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Patty says:

    Good to see you, Elly! I really enjoy reading your journal and seeing your beautiful pictures. You are so very talented, as a writer and photographer. I hope your health issues get resolved and you’re feeling better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jane Jeutzer says:

    Elly, your words and pictures are beautiful. You are very talented and have found ways to reach to your soul in dark times. As long as you are using your talents, you are on a good path. Hang in there and thanks for sharing your artistry with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Toni Rosen says:

    Little too close to home Elly, must email you now πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  11. CrabtowneMd says:

    Marvelous photos Elly. The Carolina Wren has such delicate lighting and wonderful lines/ rhythm and textures . The background is as interesting as the sassy look on the little wren. Love seeing and reading your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jere G. says:

    Enjoyed your thoughts and lovely photos…made my day!

    Liked by 1 person

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