Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Red necked grebe with chick

Red necked grebe and chick
They say a photo is worth a thousand words; I think sometimes it can be worth more.  Have a look at the photo above and consider what is going on in it.  I like the picture aesthetically for a number of reasons.  The shallow depth of field isolates the subject relative to its surroundings to draw your eye, but the background betrays the environment the scene is taking place in.  The three birds line up nicely, guiding your vision to the sparkling yellow horizon at the top of the frame.  Nice bokeh, and the detail on the parent and chick is excellent in the original image (this one is significantly reduced for this blog).  But there is a deeper connection which belies the events taking place that the observer will decipher something critical which is easily overlooked.

Family.  A parent spending quality time with their young.  I can imagine things the fledgling might be saying in this shot.  "Let's go around again, mom." or "I love going for a ride with you."  Likewise, the adult is enjoying the moment too, giving its offspring a shoulder ride, as it were.  But it goes deeper than this, because in the background is the other parent.  Watching, enjoying, looking for danger, waiting to take their turn with junior.  Out for a beautiful day in the park, the family is basking in the sun and being rewarded with a memory that will stick with them forever. 

The chick grows quickly, in only weeks it will be diving for fish on its own without having to rely on mom or dad for food.  But even then, the folks are not far away.  Danger always lurks in the wild and it is up to them to be sure their progeny grows to adulthood.  Summer will wane and the infant will grow up to become an adult in its own right.  A mate will be found and another feathered miracle will enter the world.  And just think, a small chick will ride on their back and he or she will look back and remember how it was with them.  Family.

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