A MONTH IN THE MARSH–pt 1

It has been some time since I have posted an article, almost 4 months. It is not that I have had nothing to talk about I just have not been able to find the motivation to actually sit here and type. Sitting still is not my thing. Now I find myself with so much to say, and so much to share that it is flowing, like the sweat from my pores on a humid summer city day. I have spent the last 6 weekends in the marshes of the Delaware bay, in southern New Jersey. From Salem traveling southeast all the way to Cape May, I have mapped close to 2000 miles of travel. I have mapped 8 active Bald Eagle nests, and photographed 5 of those nests and their owners. 3 nests currently have active young as far as I can tell.

My time spent observing and photographing these magnificent raptors has given me a much grander respect for their beauty and agility. Overall, the American Bald Eagle is my second favorite bird, shadowed only by the Peregrine falcon. Even so; having never spent this much time alone and so close to these birds I was brutally unaware of just how social they can be. They are very verbal, and have some very interesting gestures. I also had the pleasure of observing some other wildlife during my time in the marshes. There are a large number of Osprey, though I was only able to actually verify one active nest. I saw several Falcon, and Kestrel and 4 owls, though I was unable to get any usable photograph of any owl It is a different world in the marshes, so close to the megatropolis that is the I-95 corridor and most people don’t even know it exists.

It is loud, though not from any human created sounds. The constant chatter of spring is in the air, as birds hunt for food for their young, and the frogs croak loudly. All working together to create a symphony of sound that is more soothing than anything else I can think of. I spent close to 160 hours in the marsh, and only encountered another person twice, and both times it was fish and wildlife officers. I found the solitude to be  far more than relaxing, the air smells better, the air feels cleaner, and the sky looks so much bluer. The animals and the birds begin to accept that you are not an invader and pose no threat and they stop paying attention to you, and thats when things happen! Watching the Eagles hunt and feed their young is an amazing sight, and it was given to me as a gift to enjoy and share with my followers.

I learned some things about myself out there in the marsh, alone. I learned that I need my solitude, but I do not need to be alone. I learned that I am much more patient than I really know that I am, and that I need to learn to better manage my patience. I learned that I can be at peace with myself and with the world around me, and that I cannot control everything. I learned that sometimes, it’s better to just let it go.

I have shared a gallery for you all to enjoy please take time to enjoy and let me know what you think!

stay tuned for part 2 which should arrive in 2 weeks, next week something a little different

I took over 5000 shots, and after eliminating all unusable materials I am left with 2700 images. Of these 2700, only about 200 will ever see anything more than my hard drive and my eyes. Some are strictly being used for submission images for contests, and some are being shared here. 25 of the best images will be offered for sale at http://programmer64.deviantart.com.