The hummingbird

Bugger!

My 35mm lens is too wide for the distance I need to capture this airborne mass of sugar and energy in front of me. I crouch. Slowly. Raise the camera to my eye and move forward in gradual, squat-like steps, doing my best not to make any unnecessary movements…

The happy dictation of the bus driver pointed out sights and retold stories as we journeyed through the park. Strangers got on and off: some wore funny, thick shoes (we found out these are for treks in The Narrows – worth it!); some rested their arms around day packs; and some rested their eyes. We got off at The Grotto with a few other explorers, and eased our way out onto the path.

It took a few more hours for the morning to wake, by which time we had trekked along Angels Landing (not yet on the precipitous Landing) to a long-curved slope before a series of switch backs. It was still cool, but the forecast purported a hot day and we wanted to soothe our feet in the waters of The Narrows by then. As we reached a small turn in the path, I heard the whisk of wings and turned around.

…I can see the blur of frenetic energy and a stoicism all in one moment. I feel like a slug. No. A plant. My movements seem imperceptible by comparison, yet a misjudged motion will reduce my approach to a jovial anecdote shared by any onlookers who see a man waddling up a slope, with a pained, excited expression. I creep closer, and gently depress the shutter.

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