Feeding an egret in Tampa, Florida in August 2001

Just about one year ago I posted a photo of this bird without too much explanation besides that I had taken the photo in the Tampa Bay in Florida in August of 2001. But there is a little more to this story.

What reminded me of this story was our life poster that is hanging in our living room.  Whenever Eliza and I have guests our life poster is a topic of discussion and, for whatever reason, I’m drawn to the story behind the photo of this bird on the poster.  If you follow the link to the life poster, you’ll see I’ve noted the photo using a Flickr note. So, I thought I’d tell that story here.

My brother Derrick lives in St. Petersburg, Florida – a city my family lived in a few times.  I lived there from the ages of 2 through 5.  We have friends that owned a very nice home on Tampa Bay and during a visit to their house in August 2001 we saw an egret perched on a neighbor’s dock.  I decided it’d be fun to feed the egret one of the many lizards that were bouncing through the leaves next to our friend’s pool.

Derrick caught the lizard while I got as close to the bird as possible for a few good shots.  Using the lizard as my primary means of keeping the egret’s attention – and boy did I have it – I was able to get off a few good photos of him.

I sometimes find it regrettable that I only had a 2.1MP digital camera at the time, but like I said in my post regarding creating a simple video podcast – you shouldn’t skip opportunities based on the quality of your equipment.

The egret allowed me to get very, very close to him and ended up eating the lizard right out of my hand before taking off.  You can see from the first photo that he didn’t even swallow the lizard before he took off and landed on a dock about 5 homes away and munched away.

Photography, for me, isn’t always about getting the best shot but about the stories behind the photos.  I’m much more interested in the stories that happened before, during, and after a photo was taken than I am in the photo itself.

I’ll remember this and many other stories about my life because they were captured in photos.  And I’m looking forward to many more future memories caught on film, err, disk.