the urge to possess

Last summer I watched frequent arrivals and departures of hummingbirds. Attracted by our flowers and feeders, they became surprisingly familiar. Early in the summer they mostly avoided the bright red feeder placed just a few feet from our patio table in favor of others at a safer distance. As the season progressed the sweet water station nearby grew ever more popular. The boldest birds came twice daily for multiple drinks even though I was positioned a mere five feet away.I considered why I was so motivated to capture an image of one of these ephemeral visitations. The birds hover like helicopters at the speed of sound. They dart forward and back with total unpredictability. With the unaided eye their wings are virtually invisible in flight. To see them one must of necessity stop time in some way. I perceived the challenge and worked to capture a hummingbird in flight with a digital optical device. The rare and stunning beauty of these creatures prompted a desire to possess it for longer than the instant of its appearance.This image of a rubythroated hummingbird is the culmination of a summer’s effort. Once I satisfactorily sated my obsession, I felt freed up to simply sit quietly and view the beautiful bird in a natural way – with my eyes.*Image: TFD, 2007

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