Setting Suns

The picture with this post shows a pair of Trumpeter Swans, backlit by the soon to be setting winter sun.  Photographed last Saturday, at the Riverlands, this picture paints a far different sunset picture than the one shown in today’s header.  That one is a summer sunset and is full of rich purples and reds.  It is both warm and luxurious.  It also paints a picture that is familiar and dear to many of this blog’s readers.  This only accentuates this photograph’s value, I hope to them, but certainly to me.

In contrast, the photo with this post shows a winter’s sunset.  It paints a cold and stark sunset scene.  Primarily black and white, there is only a hint of yellow in the clouds and little warmth.  Being an aerial shot, this photo has no recognizable landmarks in it to tug at the heartstrings.  Even the large, white and majestic swans look small in the sky and black.  They could almost pass as geese.  So why did I choose this photograph?  I guess, because it seemed to capture this season’s mood, cold, somewhat bleak, but still full of life.  Hang in there folks, spring is just around the corner.  The sun is setting later every day.

What launched me on this post’s monologue was actually dialogue, reader’s comments about the header photo, particularly a lovely one yesterday from Karen.  Comments are always appreciated; they are a blogger’s gold, payment for otherwise free services rendered.  An especially nice one is valued even more, but don’t be intimidated by Karen or her comment, she really is a nice person.  Put your two cents in too.

Speaking of birds and last Saturday’s excursions, Anne and I have initiated the field of forensic ornithological PhotoShopping.  Actually, we’ve been identifying birds using PhotoShopped pictures for some time now.  Last Saturday afternoon, while we were standing on the Chain of Rocks Bridge in the middle of the Mississippi River, we witnessed a bird strike.  Really, Anne witnessed it, I barely saw it at all, but I did manage to get a rather blurry photo of the event.  A larger white bird, some kind of raptor, struck in midair a smaller bird and carried it for a while before the smaller bird managed to escape its grasp.  After much research and even more PhotoShopping, we have convinced ourselves that the raptor is a Northern Harrier.  You’ll have to take our word for it, because even with all of the PhotoShopping, the photo still wasn’t blog-worthy.  I just thought that you might want to know.

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