I took this photo: Fluidity, a mass in motion

sky full of gulls
Franklin’s gulls over the apparently misnamed Crow Lake.

You never really know what you’re going to get. Central South Dakota is not exactly a hotspot. I blew through it a few times on the interstate. If you can call five and a half hours blowing through. It was just a necessity of moving from point A to point B. They raised the speed limit to 80 recently. That helps.

For a month one autumn I drove around in circles in central South Dakota. I wasn’t lost or stuck. I was looking for migrating birds. I didn’t find what I was looking for. And that was a good thing.  It seems I was the one who should have been migrating.

One evening there was a horde of Franklin’s gulls, on Crow Lake. Naturally. It was dusk, the light was beautiful. In my endless circling, I saw the flocks, pushed by the wind, accumulating in the southern bay. In the air and on the water, they were everywhere.

I took this photo for the light, the motion, and the fluidity of the scene. I returned at dawn, better prepared to photograph the migrating mass, but, in the air or on the water, there were no birds anywhere.

 

The journals of two travelers

An excerpt from February:

11 February

Tamara: Yesterday was a long drive across Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It is not any more interesting or diverse than North or South Dakota.

IMG_1669

Big Cat: The litter box has become my friend; I hide in it most of the day. The trunk makes a good perch when I want to stare daggers at her for dragging me across the continent.

12 February

Tamara: Grace asked to see Big Cat but he wouldn’t come out from under the covers. She was disappointed. I told her kitties have different personalities, much like people. Some kitties are shy and like to hide. “Like you?” she asked, “I haven’t seen you before.”

Big Cat: A child came to see me. I refused an audience and made it look like she was lying to the child about there being a cat in the camper at all. I remained curled in my cozy bed under the blankets.

BC camper

15 February

Tamara: Last night was the coldest yet. I popped up on a logging road in the deep quiet of the winter woods.

Big Cat: WTF? My water bowl is frozen.

17 February

Tamara: I sat in a chocolate shop in Montreal this morning and wrote while I drank coffee and ate a croissant. It snowed and then rained so it was a perfect morning to hang out in a warm shop full of bakery smells.

Big Cat: I slept under the blankets while she went away for a few hours. She came back smelling of coffee. I didn’t even get catnip.

21 February

Tamara: Sister Carolyn and I had a lovely dinner in Hanover. Scallops, yum.

Big Cat: Cat food, again. At least I got some catnip today.

22 February

Tamara: Carolyn and I walked up through the forest along the ledges, looking for tracks and hoping for a bobcat.

Big Cat: There is a giant, four-legged animal moving in and out of the barn. It whinnies when anyone walks outside. I can’t take my eyes off of it; I twitch my tail. I am ready to pounce, if only it would come close enough.