An American Coot at the Southeastern Technical College lake in Vidalia, Georgia
Photography and Article by Norma Beaird
This is a typical story with me, especially with certain birds that I've been attempting to photograph for a while. And, this story happens, especially with birds who won't stay still for five seconds or who dart around the sky and hide in dense shrubs. It's almost as though they know that you're trying to photograph them, and they decide to give you a challenge. That's most likely not the case; however, it sometimes seems that way.
This year, it was a nice surprise to see about twelve American Coots taking up residence on the Southeastern Technical College lake. The last time that I had seen an American Coot was on a pond in the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge north of Macon, Georgia. I attempted to photograph him at the refuge, but Mr. Coot had other plans. Needless to say, I didn't get a very good picture.
When I saw the twelve coots swimming around the STC lake, I grabbed my camera and thought, "Here's my chance!" Well again, all twelve coots had another idea. Almost in unison, they all turned around and began swimming in another direction. No matter where I went or how hard I tried, they made sure that I wouldn't get a clear picture.
A few days later, we rode back down to STC; and I thought, "Maybe this time I can get one good photograph of an American Coot!" Well, the Lord heard my prayer. We drove into STC and there he was, just sitting quietly by the lake, without the other eleven coots. We pulled up in the Jeep and I rolled down my window. I was sure that the Jeep and the noise would drive him away, but it didn't. He literally stood still as I began to photograph him. It was almost as though he knew how badly I wanted at least one good photograph. Then, he got into the water; and again, he sat perfectly still in the water.
The light was just right. The sun was perfect. I was very close to the American Coot; but yet, he didn't seem fearful of me. Sometimes, we truly find wonder in nature's gifts. Sometimes, all the planets line up and nature gives you that perfect photograph or that perfect experience. Every once in a while, the hues in the sunset are a perfect blend of salmon, golden yellow and pink coral. Sometimes at night, you'll walk outside to the sounds of a Barred Owl followed by a gentle breeze. And then at times, you will see God's spectacular nightlight in a big and glowing full moon on a vivid blue horizon.
Even when everything doesn't always go as planned, we can rest assured that God knows just what we need and on the day that we need it. These are nature's gifts. May we always find wonder in the beautiful, ever-changing displays of God's incredible creation.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Copyright 2016, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.