So what does a person do when a swarming black mass appears in the water? Go investigate. Watching the mass move and divide was fascinating. They would move apart and slowly come back together. The mass would swim in formation for a short time. Then, dividing to start the entire process over again.
So of course, I had to get closer to figure out what was forming the swimming, swarming mass.
When viewing wildlife, I tend to move forward without thinking. During this specific time, I learned two valuable lessons.
Never wear shorts and walk through nettles.
After all the years of wandering around in the woods, you would think I would have this engrained in my brain. But…sadly no, the nettles seem extra itchy this time of year. The nettles were waist high. Well, I am short, so maybe they were not as high as I thought.
Remember the creek banks are slippery after rain.
Once again, you would think I would remember this fact too. The grass and mud on the side of the bank were an issue for about a second. I believe I recovered nicely; I did not fall all the way down, get wet or lose the grip on my camera. Wearing hiking boots really should be my priority.
The Black Swimming Swarm
When I finally was close enough, I realized the black swarm swimming in different directions was baby bullheads. I am certain the little black bullheads have a proper name. Sitting on the side of the creek bank, I was mesmerized by the swimming flow of the hundreds of baby bullheads.
“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher” William Wordsworth
I cannot think of any words that ring truer for me. I have learned a lot about wildlife and nature through my viewfinder. I am not just talking about the research. I think the research of a subject of my photo is important. I want to get the facts as accurate as possible. I referring to the overall lessons I learn just by trying to get the best photo possible.
I have learned patience in trying to get the best photograph at a moment’s notice. Wildlife does not get the concept of retakes. I either get the photo in the instance or not at all.
I have learned to always be prepared. When walking around outdoors, you must be prepared. I have gotten chances to get one photo before the subject is gone. If you do not have a camera at the ready, you will not get the photo.
I have learned animals are characters. I am convinced that many wild animals deliberately turn their backside at me when I am trying to get the perfect photo. I also think certain birds get annoyed with the clicking of my camera.
I have learned that not all animals are afraid of you. The old saying, they are more afraid of you than you are of them is not true. I find this true with raccoons. I love these pesky little creatures. The other night I walked out on to my front porch; my cat kept looking upwards. I really did not think much of it. The sky was brightly lit with moon light. I just figured she was watching bats flying around or bugs. But that was not the case; she was actually watching the raccoon hang upside down from my porch roof. If I had been a couple more steps in his direction, he could have touched my hair. And trust me, the phrase “screaming like a girl” would have taking on a whole new meaning.
Oh well, I enjoy my country life. Listening to the frogs and crickets at night aid me in falling asleep; I would not have it any other way.