The day the secondary glazing comes off the windows is a day of incredible freedom for me, as I no longer have to shoot through 3mm plex and 250-year-old window. Often, I lean out the window, balancing my elbows on the sill, or I’ll use the top frame of a figure I keep on that sill as something of a tripod.
On July 28, Trixie, Norton and Spike were feeding near my living room window and I was leaning out taking pictures.
Anyway, I had a feeling I’d better stick with them as they wandered back across the lawn. Spike had seemed … restless and I knew the time was coming when he would try in earnest to fly.
I focused my camera on them, Spike in the middle, until just a week or so before almost exclusively his position since the Princess was killed: Trixie on his left and Norton on his right. I kept the shutter half down the entire time and waited.
The burst of energy that told me he was trying hit me like a wave and made me blink. I depressed the shutter by reflex with no idea of whether or not I’d managed to hold the aim.
From that point on, we anticipated the day when Spike would fly and the family would leave us for another year.
On August 2, we came in the door and I immediately went to the window. The late afternoon sky was glorious with clouds that I had been watching all the way home and I looked forward to a photo. I took a quick look to see if the family was around and then focused on the sky.
A few minutes later, I heard a ruckus on the far pond – geese honking madly as they do when taking off as a group. I put the camera down just in time to see Spike on his first flight disappear behind the ash tree to the other side of the house.
“He’s flying!!!” I screamed.
“What?!!” I heard from the door.
“Hurry!!” I yelled.
But he was gone.
Even now, we find ourselves looking for them, missing them.
We heard geese the other morning at 7:30. Ran down the stairs grabbing cameras and binoculars. from the bedroom window, I saw them reflected on the water as they flew over. They landed on the far pond; I saw them with the binoculars just before we hurled ourselves out the front door. Somehow, by the time we got down there they were gone.
I think there were five of them so it probably wasn’t our family of Geese; just migrants on their way through.
They’ll be back. Next year. A new family will hatch and the cycle will continue.