Filling the Gap With Tales of Summer, Characters, Shapes, Textures, Colors: Part 1 - Uncolored Intro

great white egret
Great White Egret: when mealtime becomes a summer water ballet performance.
Trying to explain a seven-month gap in posting feels awkward, so I won't even try.
The snow and ice came and went, though not always gracefully.
Spring and Summer were delayed, but compensated for their tardiness in color, variety, duration, and song.

Yes, song!
As in chirps, whistles, caws, tweets, trills, squawks, and quacks, in every possible pitch, duration, and volume. There seemed to be more birds everywhere than in past years.

Birds of color, like northern cardinals, bluejays, and that rascal, the red-winged blackbird.
Birds of white elegance, like mute swans and great white egrets.
Birds of power and swiftness, like ospreys and terns.
Birds of distinctive character, though often misunderstood, like cormorants.
Birds of admirable and touching parenting skills, like geese and ducks.

And that was just around the corner.
common tern diving for fish
Common Tern: the swiftest diver, the precise fisherman.
I caught myself, for the first time, searching online bird catalogs to learn about my newly discovered feathered amigos. No, I have no interest in becoming a virtuoso bird watcher or photographer. But I can no longer see these creatures as mere props in the landscape. They are part of that landscape, even when they just glide or fly through that greater frame.

Yes, there are photo opportunities in their looks, antics, liaisons, habits, and interactions.
But that is just the tip of the wing!

The stories told, implied, or imagined go beyond mere still images.

common tern diving for fish
Focusing on the meal below, but straining the focus ring!
These are three-dimensional characters, often acting out of character.
And then, enter the elements with which they interact: the sky, the water, the foliage, the clouds, the sunrise, sunset, and the moon in all its phases. Or otherwise unattractive objects like bulkheads or a rusty dredge boat. And, above all, the other characters with whom they share their suburban habitat. Like early morning joggers, drivers in a hurry to get elsewhere, midday shoppers, children roaming the playgrounds, park maintenance workers riding their big-wheeled noisemakers, and a little boy fishing at the edge of the pond.

boy fishing
He pulls them in every time!

Natural elements, objects, and characters join to create stories in reflections, shadows, circles, lines, textures, colors, illusions, and natural filters on shifting light.

Stories whose capture relies on the eyes rather than the photographic gear. The connections are evident—or can be made by simple triggers: a single word or the perception of a common shape, texture, or color. Or both. Like a row of ducks on a pond and rowing a canoe on the open ocean.

With so many stories captured over the past few months, it is grueling to choose which to tell and which to omit, and a tortuous task to select the images that tell the tale.

So, I'll buy a little more time  for the selection process  with an uncolored intro to a colorful collection to come.
Unless Fall rolls in prematurely and lures me to file away the Spring-to-Summer stories and images. Fall does have the most colorful means of persuasion!

tree reflections
Still struggling to earn their leaves in mid Spring, the park's trees tower over the pond.
gull flying into clouds
Taking off into the clouds at Greenport, NY.

canoe, Long Island beach
Vessels of different speed and mood on Long Island Sound.
mallard in black and white
Water skiing with built-in equipment.

kite caught on tree
Tossed by the wind, caught by the bareness, compensating for the missing colors of belated Spring.