Christmas Shopping or Bird Photography – Tough Choice!
‘Tis the season, etc. I’m always a last day Christmas shopper. So, today, with my brother in town for a visit, off we went to the local shopping mall to do some last-minute shopping and give my 93 y.o. father a bit of exposure to all of the noises and activity that such malls can supply around Christmas time.
On the way though, as we were driving down Carling Ave, I noticed a number of cars pulled over on the shoulder. At this time of the year, that can mean a number of things including police radar traps, potential breathalyser checks under the R.I.D.E program, etc.
Of course, if you happen to see a number of people standing in the ditch at the side of the road, it might mean other things, but most certainly, when you see that all of those people are carrying cameras with long lenses, you can almost always be certain that the twitter highway has been in action and that someone must have spotted a bird of interest somewhere nearby.
I hate to miss an opportunity to photograph something :-), so immediately the shopping plans were changed a bit. I dropped my father and brother off a the mall and headed home again to pick up a longer lens, hoping that the bird of interest would stick around long enough for me to get back to the scene of the action.
The bird of interest was a young Red-Tailed Hawk which was apparently unfazed by all of the nearby clicking of shutters, so all of us just clicked away. Even when the hawk changed locations, it didn’t go far. A very cooperative hawk indeed. Nicer to have natural foliage but fences will suffice in a pinch.
To let my blog followers have bit better idea of perspective, I took a few steps back and photographed a slightly wider image to give a perspective on how accommodating this juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk really was!.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stay all day. There was still that last minute Christmas Eve bit of shopping to do so off to the mall I went to find my brother and father. Wasn’t hard to find them. When I arrived, my brother was in the middle of regaling my father with some story, so off I went to the A&W to get a quick bite to eat.
Then, as fate would have it, my father’s walker, which had fit in the trunk of the rental vehicle without incident or problem earlier in the day, somehow sustained irreparable damage on its last venture into the trunk. A crucial bit of plastic had decided to break! At 4 o’clock, the search was on to find a store that would have a walker of the right size and type on Christmas Eve. Found one in Kanata at a Shopper’s Home Health Care outlet. Got a walker assembled before it was completely dark outside, so my brother and I took a quick walk around a small portion of the Old Quarry Trail and fed some carrots to the deer.
Thus endeth the daylight hours of a last-minute Christmas Eve shopping day!