Monday, March 5, 2012

The One That Got Away

There's a picture I can see in my mind as clearly as if it were right in front of me. It was the shot of a lifetime. But I'll never have a print; it will never be on this blog; nobody will ever "ooh and ahh" over it. I think about this picture every time I pick up my camera.

It was a late summer evening, when the sun still sets late in the day so it may have been about 8:30 pm. The moon was just about full and had risen huge and orange in a clear sky. I was driving home from an afternoon of golf and had marveled at the size and color of the moon hanging on the horizon. As I approached a certain corner about half way home I thought about how I could frame the moon from a certain angle that I knew would place an old dead tree in front of it. There are times when I don't take a camera with me, but as I pulled up to the stop sign I realized this time it was a big mistake.

Sitting in that spiky snag was a huge Red Tail Hawk, regal and deadly, looking out over a wide expanse of mouse-filled grass surrounding his perch. From my vantage he was front lit by the warm glow of the setting sun and backed by the pale, gibbous moon in a blue sky tinted to orange at the horizon. The grassy field spilled up and over a hill in the background.

It was a perfect picture.

I can still see it as clearly as if it were right in front of me.

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