Yosemite bokeh jay by Robert Cross Via Flickr: A male Steller’s Jay perched on a railing at our cabin in Yosemite National Park. We were surrounded by a neverending display of jays, juncos, chickadees, ravens, and pileated woodpeckers. But these guys were clearly the ones in charge.
Hand-held Olympus OM-D E-M5, manual focus, with F.Zuiko OM 50mm f/1.8 lens, at ISO 250, 1/125-sec, f/1.8. I just love the bokeh this lens produces. A very shallow depth of field, with the background usually rendered anywhere from impressionistic to soft nothingness. And yet it is still really sharp in the center when shooting wide open.
“The Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is a jay native to western North America, closely related to the Blue Jay found in the rest of the continent, but with a black head and upper body. It is also known as the Long-crested Jay, Mountain Jay, and Pine Jay. It is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains. The Steller’s Jay shows a great deal of regional variation throughout its range. Blackish-brown-headed birds from the north gradually become bluer-headed farther south. The Steller’s Jay has a more slender bill and longer legs than the Blue Jay and has a much more pronounced crest. The head is blackish-brown with light blue streaks on the forehead. This dark coloring gives way from the shoulders and lower breast to silvery blue. The primaries and tail are a rich blue with darker barring. It occurs in coniferous forest over much of the western half of North America from Alaska in the north to northern Nicaragua completely replacing the Blue Jay in most of those areas. Some hybridization with the Blue Jay in Colorado has been reported. The Steller’s Jay lives in coniferous and mixed woodland, but not in completely dense forest, and requires open space. It typically lives in flocks of greater than 10 individuals. In autumn, flocks often visit oak woods when acorns are ripe.” (Wikipedia)
This was taken in Wawona, at the south end of the park, at about 4,000 feet of elevation, in a mixed coniferous forest dominated by Ponderosa and Sugar Pine, White Fir, and Incense-Cedar, with some oaks spread throughout.
In sixth grade, a girl in my class called me crazy and stupid at least once a day like it was on her todo list, but refused to sit across from anyone else than me at lunch. In seventh grade a different girl who never called me stupid or crazy told me she loved me, but refused to ever sit across from me. One time her nose brushed up against my cheek and I know it defies reality, but I’m certain I didn’t breath or move from that moment for a month. I spent my last summer in Pennsylvania after my eighth grade progress report came in the mail. My mom was away because of her job, and my dad was busy with a million things, and my brother was taking summer classes and so it was the first time I’d ever flown alone.
The guy next to me in a window seat told me that the only things worth spending money on are things that connect you to something greater. “We meet the earth via our shoes and tires, so buy nice ones. We meet love through friendship so don’t miss a night out.” I have this U.S. Airways napkin I used to scribble those words he said on because I wanted to hold on to them.
I took a photograph of a girl in the waiting area of a Ruby Tuesdays and she asked me why. I told her that her face told a story much more beautiful than any book I’d ever read, and she cried and hugged me. It was the first photograph I ever took with my grandmas camera.
There are moments that are significant, and sometimes I’m overwhelmed with a feeling that I can neither explain or control, but today felt significant. Not significant like when I graduated high school or when I had my first ‘real’ party. Significant in a way that only feels like the conversation with the guy next to me on the plane, or the hug from a girl who was beautiful but had never believed it before. I don’t always know why I feel things, but today my fortune said “You always bring others happiness,” and more than anything ever, I just hope that’s true.