That's how I felt with this past meetup event. "So what went wrong?" you ask. For starters, the nice field of tall grass had very recently been mowed by the city. All those wonderful insects I had photographed on my previous visit no longer had a home to play in. Instead, our group faced a vast open space that any remaining small critter could spot us coming from a mile away.
And don't get me started on the weather. Rain that was supposed to stop early the previous day ended up going on into the night. While rain isn't that big an issue, since it tends to bring the insects out in the morning for some sunbathing and drying out, it did make for some sloshy walking around. Not much fun. The only thing we found were the various species of birds.
The small pond was home to a family of Canadian geese who were rather active that morning. For the most part they kept themselves on their little island habitat. I think one or two of the birds were nesting. I even spotted a painted turtle twice which I never noticed before. Or are there two turtles and I'm thinking they're both and the same?
When it comes to photographing nature I understand that, as the photographer, I am on nature's schedule. I don't expect to have wildlife just jump out and say "cheese" for my lens but, as an event leader, I wish for events to turn out much better than what our members expect and this was no exception. I chose this particular field because it has never let me down in the past. I have found countless insects from dragonflies and skippers to grasshoppers and caterpillars. Small birds are everywhere and there is even a family of rabbits in the area. While I've yet to see any, I'm sure there are plenty of squirrels and chipmunks in the treeline.
Although this event yielded little in portfolio worthy images, it does make you think about the patience and dedication wildlife photographers put into their work. Thumbing through magazines like National Geographic and seeing those award winning photos I have a deeper respect for what they had to go through in order to capture those images. My short time trudging through a wet marshy field is nothing in comparison.
This particular day may have had it's share of disappointment but it was not a complete wash out (pun intended). I did get to meet some new members and we did get to enjoy a rather nice, if not soggy, day. Besides, fresh air never hurt anyone, as our elders used to say. While I can't control the weather or the city's mowing crew, we will be doing this one again. This time let's cross our fingers that Murphy will keep his laws out of our plans.
P.S. Check out the images from this event on our meetup site.