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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Time Passes Slowly

December 13th, 2014 · 3 Comments

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“Time passes slow,” Bob Dylan says, “up here in the mountains.” It can pass slowly wherever we connect with nature, but here in Colorado, where we are over a mile high, we benefit from slowing down our mental clock and adjusting to the pace of the wild after too much work indoors.

I have heard that other people may get bored when time seems to pass slowly for them, but for me it is relaxing. More of us need to develop patience, and being with wild animals and birds helps that to happen.

Lately, I have had so much that I wanted to do that I haven’t had enough time to do a lot of it. Stress started to build and I got a headache that lasted for days: Not until I took two hours off to sit at Josh’s Pond in nearby Broomfield.

​My "Blind" at the Edge of Josh's Pond

My "Blind" at the Edge of Josh's Pond

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I took the camp chair that I keep in my car and carried it here where the reeds shielded me enough from the birds on the pond that I didn’t look like the usual scary human. Next to the chair is my camera equipment (besides the one I used to take this photograph).

Some of the usual Canada Geese and Mallards came close, as I had expected. But I was surprised by a visit from a Pied-billed Grebe, a species of birds that usually keeps its safe distance. Seldom seen in flight, this little grebe migrates at night and prefers to escape predators by diving. Although Pied-billed Grebes are generally reclusive and shy, this cute little guy swam right in front of me.

The Pied-billed Grebe Turns Around

The Pied-billed Grebe Turns Around

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This is an adult bird as it appears in winter. In the breeding season their bills are said to be “pied.” Wondering what that term means, I looked it up and found that pied, as also in the “Pied Piper,” means “patchy in color; splotched.” A related term that we use for multi-colored horses in piebald.

In the two hours that I relaxed and waited for the birds, the only other species of birds that I don’t see at home every day were Ring-necked Ducks.

Three Male Ring-necked Ducks Gaze at the One Female

Three Male Ring-necked Ducks Gaze at the One Female

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I’ve seen a lot of these ducks, but have never seen the ring-neck. It does have one, says Bird Web, “but the ring is almost never visible in the field.”

I stayed at the pond until the sun faded at 4:00, and I began to get cold and the good light for photography was gone. But just six minutes earlier a muskrat started swimming across the pond. As it came close to me, I was able to capture this image in the glorious last light of the best two hours I had all week.

A Muskrat Swims at the End of a Great Day

A Muskrat Swims at the End of a Great Day

Click on the picture above to enlarge

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Posted in: Photography

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Joan // Jan 1, 2015 at 2:14 am

    Wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  • 2 Robert Taylor // Jan 1, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Looks like a great place for a Walden Pond kind of experience. A lot can happen in photography when you don’t try to force the issue–just “f8 and be there” as Robert Capa is supposed to have said (or Weegee depending on the source for the attribution). Hope you have a happy, healthy new year. My wife and I continue to appreciate your newsletter, and your photography. Keep up the great work!

  • 3 David Mendosa // Jan 1, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Dear Robert,

    Thank you. I didn’t know that quote, but I usually shoot at f8, because my telephoto lens is sharpest there.

    Best regards,