No change for the better here!

“It is the nature of a man as he grows older to protest against change, particularly change for the better.” John Steinbeck, novelist.

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My first reasonable photo after making the decision to photograph these birds. Of course it’s flying away!

That quote always makes me chuckle. I could never understand the pure craziness of preferring a worse option rather than changing. Then I had a scary thot – it might be happening to me. The next thing I knew I was trying to photograph ravens.

This story actually began when I was a teenager with a real dislike for crows. When I was sleeping in a tent, the worst alarm clock on earth was an obnoxious crow repeatedly announcing its presence just outside my tent. That was a declaration of war! My friends and I sent quite a few lead projectiles their way but our general lack of accuracy only served to keep them in good flying order.

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There doesn’t appear to be a lot of good eating on that morsel though apparently it was worth carrying away.

As the years went by, much-larger ravens took over from the crows. I naturally carried over my dislike to them for reasons that were so obvious I can’t recall them now. As I took photography more seriously, I studiously avoided ravens as an ugly bird even when I had great opportunities with the birds quite close.

This past year, I stumbled upon a number of photographers who had taken impressive raven photos. What to do? Remembering the quote above, I decided I better change to avoid being the punch line. I decided to like ravens and photograph them even though it wasn’t easy to change. Of course as soon as I made that decision, ravens scattered for miles around wherever I went. I couldn’t get anywhere close. How frustrating!

That’s when it hit me. No wonder older men don’t want to change. Even if a choice is better, chances are it will still cause more trouble. I may have to view changes more suspiciously in the future.

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Latest Comments

  1. lylekrahn says:

    Great thots. People tend to marry opposites and, as long as they can get along, both will benefit from being nudged into areas they would never have gone otherwise. I like that you give kudos to both perspectives. Change is relative and the timing often makes a huge difference whether it is seen as a gift. Good for you for changing your mind on vultures – we don’t have them around here. But then it’s back to seeing the beauty where you happen to be – I’m still working on that. Glad you liked my photos.

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  2. dweezer19 says:

    Talk about change. Soon I will post my series of vulture photos from Costa Rica. I am a Cancer, which if you buy into the theory of astrology, predisposes me to reject change at all costs. I am a nester- who happens to be married to a wandering spirit. But through all of the changes, turmoil and upheaval, I have grown much more as an individual than if I had remained safely snuggled in my rabbit hole. Happier? Who’s to say? But my fear of public speaking, my self consciousness in a crowded room and my trepidation over meeting strangers, all I am happy to report are things of the past! Change is relative to those experiencing it and in what time frame they accept its gifts. I say kudos to those movers and shakers as well as the nesters who keep it warm for their returning drifters. The vultures? Well, now I love what was once abhorrent to me. Beautiful, grand creatures, doing the work that no one else likes to think about. 😉 i love crows too. Just my own thots on the subject. LOVE your photos, Lyle. Thanks.

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  3. mflahertyphoto says:

    Nice! Any change from crows to ravens is a change for the better. Ravens don’t have the obnoxious voice that crows have, for one thing. Also, they’re more likely to be found in pairs or alone than flocking as crows do. Their profile is MUCH more majestic than a crow’s, and they’re smarter and more adaptable besides. Lastly, they just won the Super Bowl!

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    • lylekrahn says:

      With all information, I’m happy that the ravens took over from the crows and I think I like them even more now especially with the Super Bowl result. Appreciate the comment.

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  4. Guillaume says:

    Good job !! I love !

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  5. MikeW says:

    Lyle you got ’em. They don’t deserve more than a profile carrying a Dr. Suess looking sprig over the blown snow.

    I agree with you on crows. One day I hear a racket, walk out the side door and there on the neighbor’s roof is a crow with a newly hatched baby bird in its talons, squawking and trying to discourage the bird’s mother from attacking by viciously pecking at the crying baby bird.

    It was a sign to me that all is not quite right in the natural world, that the story of the fall of it following mankind is true. It was a disgusting and embarrassing day for mother nature.

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  6. Phil Lanoue says:

    I’m not big on change at all. I don’t even like to see the words “New and Improved Taste” on my breakfast cereal box.

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  7. Honie Briggs says:

    I have the most difficulty waiting for shots like these. I think that’s why I enjoy taking photos of flowers and trees and rocks and skies. Sometimes creatures pose for me. In those moments, I feel so lucky.

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    • lylekrahn says:

      I have a lot of difficulty waiting too, trust me! But the thrill is just so big that I have to keep trying to bump up my patience and hope to get lucky. And when I’m not, I’m taking the nature shots.

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  8. melodylowes says:

    *giggle* What’s next, ‘Magpie Appreciation Month’? 🙂 Photography in its pure visual form seems to have the inherent right to train our eyes to see all things in the light of their value in being captured. I know it has changed forever the way I see – as I know it has you, whether you decide to call it change or not! 😉

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    • lylekrahn says:

      Maybe this is a confession for a different post but I am actually trying to get photos of magpies as well. I am taking this need to change stuff seriously!

      You said it well. Photography has forever changed the way I look at things and will continue to do so. In fact another way of saying it is that it has allowed me to see what’s there. Despite my attempt at humour about change, I really do want to keep changing (for the good of course) though I have noticed it’s harder.

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      • melodylowes says:

        Magpies are incredibly elusive – and so ‘ordinary’ that it is high time to capture this slice of every-day life, I have been thinking. The way they tease my poor dog is a story in itself. If you keep your eyes open, you will always change for the better, Lyle – and I know that what you capture is relevant to our age because of how I respond to your work. So keep looking, keep snapping!

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        • lylekrahn says:

          You painted an interesting picture with the dog and magpies. I’ll be watching for it. Could make for an interesting poem!

          I’ll definitely keep looking and shooting and I know you will too.

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  9. rachel bar says:

    This is one time where I like your words even more than the pictures. Steinbeck, who I admire, was wrong. As we get older we hate both types of change, for better or worse. But change is often difficult for most people, except that there’s more flexibility in the brain of the young, but not necessarily so. If you look at belief systems, most people’s beliefs are etched in stone early on. Being more facile and comfortable with technology is just easier for young people, much younger than 40 y/o mentioned by seenorway, because their brain is not overloaded with information yet.

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    • lylekrahn says:

      Glad you liked the words. It makes sense that age causes us to dislike all change. That is a challenge in a rapidly changing world. I have often joked that my brain is overloaded with useless information so I can’t remember the important stuff and maybe there is some truth to it. I suppose my challenge is to make a conscious effort to be open to change, especially for the better.

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  10. Seenorway says:

    I think it goes a bit deeper than that 🙂 When yuou’re getting old, any change introduced to you is usually made by a man just passed 40 who has just gotten into a position of ‘power’. Power to change the life of his fellow men! And because he has grown up with a technology that he thinks superb, a technology he feels is better than everything else, he enforces a rule (change) that everybody else has to follow. Totally overlooking that the never was raised with this technology (like he was). He will also be regsarded as a ‘yearling’ by his elders, and now you’ve got the power struggle and the resistance against changes. You’ll get there! Just wait and see!
    Elders live by the rule: ‘If it works, don’t fix it!’ It’s a comforting rule. Then you may do the things that you have always done, things you master, and you don’t have to worry about technology you haven’t even heard of that suddenly invades your private life. (LIke when the railway introduced electronic ticket automates on all their stations) Imagine what the people in their 70ties thought when they couldnm’t buiy tickets all of a sudden? Resistance? Oh yes! Even sabotage!

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    • lylekrahn says:

      It is interesting how people will sometimes make changes up to a certain point and then lock it down and expect others to stay at the same spot as well. I think having kids definitely helps a person get over some of that. Regardless of what we do, the world moves on and people have to deal with it.

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  11. ɭᴇх.ᴠʀ⁷ says:

    Love your pictures man! 😀

    By the way, what’s in the raven’s mouth?

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    • lylekrahn says:

      Thank you. I’m not entirely sure what is in its mouth. It appeared to be feeding on something in the distance then left with this morsel so I assume it’s part of an animal.

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  12. vanbraman says:

    I was wondering if you also had pictures of 49er’s. 🙂

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  13. Mike Powell says:

    There will certainly be more supporters of ravens in light of the victory of the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl and ravens everywhere are probably celebrating, even in Canada. As for change, I think of one one my friends who boldly proclaimed that the did not want to think outside of the box–it’s comfortable and familiar inside the box. It seems to be that we fear the unknown and change introduces that sense of the unknown into the equation. Therefore, at least for me, there is a definite bias in favor of the status quo.

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    • lylekrahn says:

      You’re absolutely right about the Super Bowl victors – I should have incorporated something about that. Change can certainly bring uncertainty and fear but many times it is a fact of life. The trick may be to get a manageable amount of change so we can embrace it and that probably increases our tolerance.

      Like

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