There’s a certain predictably in rural Saskatchewan that still ends up surprising me.
I am sitting in the driver’s seat of my truck, window open, camera pointed across the road to a slough on my left. I am alone on a quiet country road with endless fields covered by golden light. I had stopped to practice capturing some red-winged blackbirds and see if anything else showed up.
A movement on the front edge of the slough snaps my attention to a bird I’ve never seen before. It’s surprisingly tall and blends in perfectly with the background. This is camouflage on steroids! I’m firing away, pleased with the find. The unusual bird is so close I have trouble fitting it all into my frame – not exactly a common problem.
Out of the corner of my eye I see trouble approaching in the form of a half-ton truck slowing down as it approaches. I try to avoid eye contact with the older gentleman, who I presume to be a farmer, but to no avail.
The truck painfully slows and stops directly in front of my lens, destroying my view. After he fumbles around endlessly with the controls, the window finally starts to recede. The following nonsensical conversation ensues.
“Are you taking pictures?” the farmer asks looking straight into the business end of my long lens.
I uncharacteristically avoid all sarcasm, “Yes. I’m just having a little fun taking photos out here.”
“I suppose you can’t take photos while I’m here,” he muses slowly.
I surprise myself again by staying polite, “That’s true.”
Once again he fumbles with the controls before finally getting the window to shut. He methodically shifts the truck into gear and slowly moves forward.
I frantically search for my camouflaged bird but I don’t see it. I’m not entirely surprised.
I decide to leave the truck to walk around and see if there is any other wildlife hidden away.
As soon as I crack the truck door, my bird jumps up and flies away. Perfect! Apparently my sarcasm has returned.
I drive for many miles without seeing another vehicle until I stop again to photograph some ducks. This time I don’t even get a wave as a big truck storms by!