“What you know about, you see.” There is so much truth in this quote by Goethe. When you take time to know something, then you begin to truly see it. That’s what happened with the birds on Clear Lake. I never intended to care, or to be a birder. But as I began to photograph and learn the names and the habits of these birds that frequent our shoreline, I began to love them, and to even be awed by them. Now, I get excited discovering an Ibis standing quietly in the tall grass by the water, or finding a Yellow-crowned Night Heron visiting for the first time. On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I was just as thrilled to see the birds (and omg! did we see birds) as I was to see the 1,000 pound crocodile staring at me from a few feet away.
If there is one thing I have discovered thus far while on this year-long project, it is the value of recognizing and knowing the incredible wonders that surround us but are so easy to overlook and dismiss–from the tiny House Sparrows to the Great Blue Heron. By opening my eyes and my mind just the tiniest bit, my world has grown so much bigger and grander.