Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sunday Scissor-Tail Snapshot!

Oh, you can't fathom the frustrations ProfessorRoush has endured this season while fruitlessly chasing this phantom, frustrations built on a foundation of years of failure.  I can't count the number of times I've tried to capture this feathered fiend in digital dots, a number that surely equals the number of times I've cursed over poor results.  How many trips up and down the blacktop road in front of the house have I made, stalking this Scissor-Tail?  How often I've glimpsed this graceful creature, camera-less, and how often he remained hidden when I had a decent camera at hand.  Once, weeks past, I chased him down the road, coming close enough to capture a far off silhouette, but never close enough for more than a speck of fickle Flycatcher on the frame.

Tonight, we set off for a carryout pizza run, and there he was, perched boldly on the fence, not 30 feet from my driveway.  And once more, there I was again, no camera at hand.  When we returned, he remained still, warily waiting to tease me with failure.  Always a masochist for the attentions of a sadistic bird, I ran inside the house, and returned with the camera and car, hoping that the familiar disguise of a Jeep Wrangler would allow me to get close enough for a decent photo.

But he was gone again, nowhere to be found on a pass up and down the road.  I moved slowly, scanning fence and sky for movement, meadowlarks and swallows happy to oblige, but no sign of the Scissor-Tail.  I prepared myself for another date with the demon of disappointment.

Then, just as I reached the driveway, another bird flushed him from the Osage Orange tree across the road and he flitted down, in his swooping scissortail way, to land again on the fence.  A quick 3-point turn aided by the short turn radius of the Jeep, and I was on him, snapping feverish photos and praying that I wasn't trembling to the extent of blurring the shots.  A few quick posed photos and he came to his senses, floating away on the wind, but leaving behind his soul, imprinted in my camera.

I sat still some seconds longer, stunned by the moment, my heart beating madly, my breath coming short as I savored my victory and tasted my triumph.  At last, with a lingering look in the direction he took, I moved on with my life, forever changed by crossing his.

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