Still Learning To See

Small moments of wonder

In any of my travels, whether near or far, I’m often stopped in wonder. It is not just the bears and whales or ice calving from the front of a tidal glacier. There are also the “little” moments, ones to simply see and remember.

The contrast of the birds, sun through their wings, against the sky, stopped me in wonder.

At several places near Kodiak Island we watched the Black-legged Kittiwakes, nesting on the cliff face and taking flight when a predator—Raven or Bald Eagle—was nearby. Their swirling mass confuses the other birds reducing the chance of predation.

For me seeing their simple shapes and patterns of flight against a deep blue sky was a moment of wonder. As is often the case, photographs are often inadequate to the moment itself.

The birds often nest by the thousands on a shear face of a rock cliff.

The colony is brought to flight, a defensive maneuver, by the presence of a predator, most often a Raven or a Bald Eagle.

Even the group’s unconsolidated flight is stunning to see!


The stars of the show, on their nest.

This entry was published on August 2, 2012 at 8:43 am. It’s filed under Alaska and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Small moments of wonder

  1. Julia on said:

    Yes, we really DO live in “wonderland”. When I learned about the “murmuration of starlings”, I was simply speechless. That’s what the natural world can do to us–close our mouths and open our eyes 🙂

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