Country Roads

Remember John Denver’s ‘Country Road Take me Home’ where I belong? That was in mind when I was cruising along the country roads…


It was an overcast day riding in the vicinity of a wildlife refuge. Not the right time of the year to look for birds here, but wildlife refuge is wildlife’s natural habitat and just for the landscape alone is worth a visit.  Fall is here. You better believe it. I was a city girl. When I had a chance to visit our neighbor’s house in the countryside at age 6, I was scared by a goat when I got lost on a country road and an owl while I looked out from the window in the dark and saw its large eyes.  Decades after, I am here to look for wildlife to take pictures.

I was on cement roads all my life and now I have fun riding on gravel or dirt country roads. I know my grandson will like to add this to his Thomas Train collection and name it Dusty. Action and motion excite me. I like to see Dusty running in the wind.


At least 22 years ago when I came through Joseph, Oregon, I took a picture of a red barn along the road. I liked it, I printed out and framed it. Almost everyone who came to our house complimented that picture.


I was told that the color is beautiful and the composition is nice. I did not know anything about the camera or composition, I simply framed a picture and clicked the shutter. However the compliments I received on that picture dramatically increased my interest in photography.  Now whenever I think of red barns, my photography bug would stir me all up.

I was following a hawk which eventually flew out of my sight. With the lead of the hawk, I was drawn to this classic farmhouse. Summer is all cheerful, but I seem to like fall even more. Not only green, but that band of yellow also makes me think of harvest, ripe, and maturity. Youth is precious and so is the mature stage of life.

I had my 300mm and 600mm with me, but as usual, I am so afraid of weight and I tried to get by with my 300mm.  When the distance was there and the birds were in motion, my luck was dimmed. I made several attempts to raise my 600mm, but I could barely hold it straight. If the bird is not flying, my hand is shaking anyway. On this note, I would trade youth for maturity.

All these pictures were taken with 300mm. When I brought them in, the image were pixelated, but OK to view. In order to show the geese better, I used texture on the background to enhance the bleak sky. I wish pelican shot was taken in a better angle, but he took off in that split second and caught me unprepared. I saw a small plane taking off awkwardly, do you? To get this hawk, I must have taken 10 consecutive shots. Not a perfect capture, but the best I have so far. Vulture is surely not my favorite bird, but it is interesting to see them up close with their pierced nose.

I cannot explain exactly why I never get tired of shooting same birds. Maybe I have built a silent relationship with them. Or, it is natural that I am always looking for better pictures. Quail is the gourmet in upscale restaurants and that may explain why they are always so fast running for their lives. I saw a whole flock of them about 15 feet away, but before I could have time to raise my camera, they had all flown into the bushes. The Blue Heron pictures I took are all on the water or by the bank, this was the first time I saw them on the ground and quite a few of them.

Wish the country roads take me away from home and find the places I belong.

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