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