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Grousing about baseball

Baseball, photography and grouse have a lot in common. Yes, initially that surprised me too but then I used to play ball.

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Discussing baseball strategy in the outfield.

The strongest memory from my playing days happened during a tight game in the neighbouring town. The opposing pitcher was throwing some scary fast balls and our team was striking out.

Eventually it was my turn at bat. Unfortunately, these were usually not my finest moments. Back then I was a scrawny kid with scrawny confidence. I timidly faced the pitcher and hoped for the best. Not getting hit by the ball would be a good start.

Thankfully the first pitch was well off the plate and so was the second. I dutifully hung in there. I barely saw the third pitch and was relieved to hear the ump call “ball three.”

At this point my coach called a time out and came over to “discuss” strategy. He informed me that I would not be swinging at the next pitch under any circumstance. OK then. Coaching expertise like that is not easy to find at any level.

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Running to first base as if your life depended on it.

I carried my bat back and assumed the most menacing position I could fake. The pitcher wound up. I expected a big fat juicy strike down the middle. The ball headed my way like it was all happening in slow motion, then … home run! Well not exactly but getting to first base on balls with the minimum number of pitches certainly felt like it at the time!

Later on in life I learned that playing the sport was fine but watching at the professionals was pretty boring. There seemed to be a lot of down time between highlight reel plays. I think that’s why real fans focus on stats and strategy. I’ve watched movies so I know these things.

All this waiting around for something exciting to happen came to mind while I watched a team of grouse. Thankfully they had made their presence known so I strained to find them in the grass. There were some innings lacking serious action. I think I saw the grass turning colour but I was probably wrong.

My incentive to keep watching came in the form of a few golden rays of light hitting the grass. I hoped one of the grouse would poke its head up in just the right spot. You might call that a perfect pitch. I planned to hit the shutter at just that second to capture a home-run photo. Subtle imagery is my forte.

Eventually I figured out the grouse were playing an entirely different game. They stayed well hidden in the grass while gradually sneaking up to the edge of the road. Then they dashed across like stealing second base before disappearing on the other side. It almost seemed like they were trying to not to get hit. I never saw them again so there might  have been a little confusion about the location of home base.

In any event, my observation was that there seemed to be lots of walking around, generally not much happening and suddenly a burst of activity. Am I crazy, or is that like baseball?

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Heading for home wherever that was.

 

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Checking out the opponents or maybe just basking in the light.

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Latest Comments

  1. Cornel A. says:

    I like very much last portrait. I like the attitude of that bird.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Help! | Krahnpix
  3. Dalo 2013 says:

    Beautiful photos, such a beautiful bird…and all written with the great insight, humor and beauty of the beautiful game!

    Like

  4. Mandy says:

    I’ve been having trouble with the internet out here in the sticks and have been missing my weekly dose of your humour and photography. Glad to be back on board.

    Like

  5. Birder's Journey says:

    I spent many years watching my sons’ baseball games, through college and beyond – I love your analogy here! Very fitting! And your grouse photos are so sharp and so beautifully lit~!

    Like

  6. Mike Powell says:

    Waiting and wondering, watching and waiting–I can identify well with that scenario, even if I have never seen a grouse. Your shots of them are wonderful, making the wait worthwhile (although not necessarily any easier). I’m glad that you used a baseball analogy–if you had compared it with something like cricket (or even hockey), I would have been lost.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I also think it’s a good think I didn’t use cricket since you likely know more about it than me. The great think about waiting is that I find I have unlimited patience for the past!

      Like

  7. Steve Gingold says:

    I’d say that you made it all the way home with these two images, Lyle. The youngster dashing across the road is a fun picture.

    Like

  8. Phil Lanoue says:

    Oh no! Now I am going to be thinking about sports when I am out photographing (waiting around for) wildlife action.
    Oh well, it’s either that or thinking about food so I suppose it could be worse.
    Anyway, excellent views of these cool birds in beautiful settings.

    Like

  9. Lavinia Ross says:

    Beautiful images, Lyle! Glad you waited it out. The last time I played softball (many, many years ago now), I saw the pitcher hit square in the eye with a line drive hit by a really big guy. She almost died. I gave up the game after that. I like the idea of watching and waiting for grouse much better!

    Like

  10. Scott Marshall says:

    I like this theme – although I might have said this last time around – that said I couldn’t find where to comment – here now though – the main shot here is a cracker with the light and depth of field combining to produce a a high impact high quality image.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Yes there are compromises with any theme and the comment icon is a bit subtle. Glad you found it.

      I was quite pleased when the grouse popped into the good light and stayed long enough for me to grab it. Those are rare opportunities. Glad you liked all the things I did about it.

      Liked by 1 person

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