The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears and the sea.
– Isak Denison

Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?
– David Attenborough

Hope is a thing with feathers.
– Emily Dickinson

People sometimes identify me as a bird photographer. I call myself a nature photographer. Perhaps, an opportunistic nature photographer, meaning I’m ready for anything that appears. Maybe I should call myself a wildness photographer. Although I often have some idea about what I am looking for, what I actually find and what I am most excited about seeing can be a complete surprise.

You’ll see lots of birds in my photo collection. I have been lucky to live for two decades in the Monterey Bay area of California, a hub of bird activity. In addition to the many water sources, it is a flyway for migrating birds. Birders make special trips to this area to fill their life list.

But no matter where you are, birds are wildlife that are visible (and audible) to everyone. They are the part of wild nature that can travel into the densest enclaves of human built worlds. Birds are found in regions where most of wild nature has been extirpated. Even if we only see birds flying high overhead, as they voyage to more habitable climes, there they are, reminding us of a world of mystery and wonder. Reminding us of other living creatures unique with their own lives of beauty, pathos and meaning.

You can sit outside almost anywhere and you will eventually see a bird. Even if it is only the humble pigeon, it is a wild and free thing. It hints at a greater existence beyond the blinders and dullness of the modern world.

I think of going into nature as a practice of revelation, that is, opening oneself to something that was previous unknown, something that enlivens the soul.

Also, I believe it’s worth mentioning that birds are the closest living relatives of dinosaurs and that they bring music into our lives. Birds and humans have similar vocal apparatuses and can sing. Other primates and mammals do not and cannot. Isn’t that interesting?

Below are some recent sightings. No lifers here, just a bunch of old friends. You can click on the photos to enlarge them.

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