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Western Meadowlark on a Frosty Winter Morning


When I think of spring and summer I always think of the sweet song of the western meadowlark. It is warm and inviting. It is soothing to hear and I know spring is knocking on the door when it becomes a daily staple. But during winter it is quite rare to hear the song of the western meadowlark. Like most of us they can be found all bundled up enduring the frigid winter temperatures our region provides during winter.

This post, however, isn’t about the song of the western meadowlark but a recent photograph of a winter meadowlark I took a few days ago. I rarely post birds with man-made objects in them but this time I feel it can be one of the exceptions to the rule.

western meadowlark
Western meadow lark perched on a metal sign.

I came across this meadowlark perched on this sign early one morning and I fought with myself for a moment as to on whether I should take a photograph of it or not. It had all the right elements for a great picture. I love the color and how the little bird is all puffed up and the frost on the sign tells a significant part of the story. Yes, that darn sign.

I am like most other outdoor photographers where I like a more natural setting for birds but this setting did offer something most natural settings can’t offer. Smooth straight lines which might have a certain appeal to the picture if done correctly. I had to take a few shots of this meadowlark to make sure I got the horizontal lines of the sign, well, horizontal. Otherwise, the picture would look wrong. This is why us fussy outdoor photographers hate man-made objects, they have to be straight for the picture to look right. A curved branch, for example, bent in any which direction can add a unique appeal to a shot but an uneven sign, well, that is just too distracting and why I rarely take photographs of man-made objects in them when used as perches.

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