Yesterday when I went to pick up the mail I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me. The 2013 Jan/Feb AUDUBON Magazine had arrived with my photo of a Red-shafted Flicker published on the cover. Woohoo!!! And when I opened up the magazine I discovered that a full version of the photo was also published as a double page spread inside. I am floating on air. It may take some time for me to return to Earth. I am the Grand Prize winner of the 2012 photo contest. There were more than 6600 photos submitted from over 900 photographers. I feel highly honored to be chosen as the winner, especially when I look at some of the other amazing photos that were submitted. I have always thought of myself as primarily a landscape photographer. But I now am fortunate to live in an area that is rich with bird life and photo possiblities. So at the beginning of 2012 I decided to embrace bird photography as part of who I am. It is extremely challenging. I can't tell you how many 'missed' shots I have taken. But many, many times I have sighed to myself and hit the delete button. My heart skipped a beat when I first looked at this photo. It captured the essence of the bird in his environment. I caught this male just as it just took off from the nesting hole after doing some 'housecleaning'. At least 2 young Flickers successfully fledged from this nest. That makes me very happy.
2012 is now coming to an end and 2013 is just around the corner. May we each find what is best in ourselves and share it generously. May we each have some adventures and find joy and love in our lives. May we be kind to each other and take care of our Mother Earth.
I wish each of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!