This morning I got a call from the California Foundation for Birds of Prey, asking me, in my capacity as a volunteer rescuer (I also serve as their newsletter editor and unofficial photographer), to pick up a baby hawk that had fallen from its nest. It took me about thirty minutes to drive to the location and when I was about to exit I-80 where it connects to the Garden Highway, the lady who had found the unfledged hawk, called frantically telling me that she thought the hawk was dead and that I should probably not bother coming. I told her I was just a few minutes away and that it was probably weak and tired from its ordeal. When I’d talked to her earlier, she told me it was standing in the crate. When I arrived about five minutes later, the hawk was laying on its side, it’s head in an awkward position. I opened the crate and, using a towel and leather gloves, lifted it up and it looked at me! Yay! It was probably just weak from lack of food and water since yesterday.
We were both jubilant (they lady and I, not the hawk and I) and I told her I wanted to take a photo because it was so cute. Predictably, I could not release the shutter of my expensive, with all its bells and whistles, Nikon D800. No time to fret about it, though. That little hawk needed care, so off I went, after putting my car in first gear for the first time ever so I could drive back up the incredibly steeply inclined and rutted driveway that I had driven down to get to the hawk. I digress, but I was amazed at how well my car responded to first gear. I didn’t have to rev the engine or push down hard on the accelerator. Slow and steady, first gear just took me up the hill. I only did that at the lady’s suggestion, too. And, I thank her for that. What a revelation.
And, I had another revelation as I drove back to the CFBP. I remembered that yesterday, I set my camera to timed shutter release. On my D90, that setting automatically expires after a few minutes of not using it and always when the camera is powered off. The D800 has a wheel that I rotate to set all shutter release modes and they remain until changed. I also failed to reset the white balance so I used the leftover custom white balance from the cherry box shot I took yesterday. So, what I learned today is that I need to tie a string around something (maybe my neck so that it chokes me) to remind me to reset my camera so that it will be ready to take photographs the next time I pick it up.
I arrived at the CFBP and opened the basket and once again, the little guy looked at me. I think he’s going to be okay. Vincent who works at the clinic, was nice enough to take the hawk out of the basket and hold it up for me so I could photograph it. So here is No. 12-102, as he will always be known at the CFBP.
Focal Length 300mm
WB Custom (!!!!) Changed to Florescent