Before heading onto the boardwalk of Magee Marsh Ron and I made a pit-stop at the gift shop area. Because hours are spent walking the boardwalk, taking pictures and observing birds I made a trip to the porta-potty while Ron headed to the gift shop. The difference, this year I was prepared for the porta-potty challenge, at least I thought I was.
Last year I pulled out a sheet of toilet paper and notice a “shadow” on it, and turning it over discovered a huge black bug on the backside that scared the crap out of me (well, not literally), causing me to throw the toilet paper on the floor. This year I pulled out a strip of paper and checked it over very carefully. I was happy to find it bug-free. I then watched a small spider come down from the ceiling and land on my purse, which I had carefully hung on the sanitizer dispenser. Of course the dropping of the spider led me to look up, where I spotted a large spider on the ceiling. Does the Magee Marsh porta-potty dislike me? Can’t I use it without a bug problem coming up? Apparently not. The sacrifices of a photographer who needs to utilize the facilities before heading out to capture some bird shots.
I exit the porta-potty and enter to gift-shop where my husband, Ron, had gone. He is standing in the check-out line when he sees me come in the door and immediately says “would you like a T-Shirt?”
He is purchasing a large poster and a T-shirt. Where does he plan to put the poster? We have no available wall space left. His answer “I’ll take something down.”
Great! I wonder what item gets demoted for the promotion of poster showing the various types of Warblers. Time will tell, because he’ll have to get it framed first. Now the T-shirt, whenever I see a new one of those come into the house or in his hands to purchase I just laugh. Why? Because the man could probably wear a different T-shirt for the next 90-120 days before having to do laundry. Granted a few of them may be showing their wear, have paint on them or a few holes, but for the most part they are good, nothing wrong with them T-shirts from various places and festivities. However, we would not want him to feel deprived of a Bird Week shirt from Magee Marsh, so the purchase was made.
Magee Marsh is located in Ohio and is a great place for photographers and bird watchers. It is where Warblers gather each spring before flying over Lake Erie on their migration north in the spring. Unfortunately we were a bit early and there weren’t many birds at the location yet. It was a nice, warm day on the boardwalk, and if you look around you can usually find things to photograph, such as moss growing on a log, or a turtle sunning himself in the sun.
There are two kinds of people you find at the Marsh this time of year. The photographers, like Ron and I, with our camera’s and large lenses to capture photographs or the true bird watchers who are carrying bird books, check lists, and binoculars. Both are friendly groups, so a nice mixture to share space with.
About half way around the marsh my bad ankle started causing me problems, with pain shooting from the ankle up to the knee. We were almost at the end when my wonderful husband did his best to take my mind off the sore, swollen and throbbing ankle. As I was standing with my back to him, sore foot off the ground and one hand holding the boardwalk rail for balance, Ron swung his camera around to take a photograph of a bird up in a tree. Sounds simple and uneventful, doesn’t it? Only one glitch, in the process he clobbers me in the back of the head with his 150-500mm lens, I hear an “oops” and he is off and shooting. Luckily the head only hurt for a few minutes after I hobbled my way to the end of the boardwalk and sat down on a bench to wait for him to finish.
We get in the car, and as we start to roll down the long exit road from the Marsh I look at him and say “For future reference, hitting me in the back of the head with your camera lens did not draw my attention away from my sore ankle.”
Ron has it duly noted, but makes no guarantees it won’t happen again. Such is life with a photographer, the shot must come first, but as I am also a photographer I understand the process.
Photographs by Grace Grogan are available for sale on Fine Art America.