Emanating from the woods this summer, at two different locations (that I know of) was the unique song of the Wood Thrush. So powerfully sung as to enable the song to be heard throughout the dense woods it inhabits (and beyond).Thus if you are near a Wood Thrush in song chances are of hearing a faint return call from another in the woods more distant.
listen here (turn up the volume, in the wild it is a strong song)
Inside the woods I stepped before 7am at the start of a beautiful summer day. The sky was clear, the East Side Trail System awash in soft light at this time (optimal for photography). The woods however are a different story. The Sun being so low on the horizon offers but faint help lighting the grounds within the environment at this hour. I found myself entering the woods, not for photographic opportunity but rather to resolve my curiosity. What bird boldly and persistently sings these intricate songs?
The bird, 75 yards into the woods was easy to spot, I just had to follow the sound. To see him, that is a different story. Because of the lack of light in the woods I remember seeing mostly silhouette. I do not recall seeing the rich brown color, the prominent spots on its breast or the dark spot on the tip of the lower bill. Current day digital cameras are known for being good in low light conditions. I wasn’t hopeful but decided to give it a try.
After adjusting the camera settings for low light conditions the first photo was taken. Next it was viewed on the cameras display screen. I was amazed! Color and detail the lack of light withheld from me was in the cameras image. The camera was seeing the scene better than I was.
Photographers know that taking photos in low light conditions has a downside, the images are very grainy. Such images are processed with software which smooths out the graininess. However in doing that, much fine detail will be lost.
So what we have here is an image of lesser quality. That said it is much better than my eyes and brain viewed in real-time.
And also what we have here is a representation of a moment in time. One in which the stillness of the early morning woods was broken by the communication of a pair of Wood Thrush (one close, one distant) and my curiosity driven, stick snapping approach. Surprisingly, upon my approach the Wood Thrush did not take flight.Rather it kept about the bussiness of communicating with another Wood Thrush much farther away.Strongly singing one of the many songs in its repertoire and then waiting for the return song. Time and time and time again.
There was a sense of intimacy for being allowed to witness this display. Not only did I feel at one with nature, I felt blessed as well.
Technical limitations of the image considered, I am more than pleased with the result.