A Memory

Branches swaying in the breeze
Sunlight filtering through the leaves
A Blue-faced Honeyeater searches for hawks.

One summer evening, some years ago, I was in the garden learning to use a new camera. I heard the rustling of a Blue-faced Honeyeater, foraging in the Liquidambar.

Other birds in the area then began calling in alarm. The Honeyeater ceased probing and searched the sky for hawks.

When the danger passed, the bird resumed its quest. A moth fluttered up. The Honeyeater launched in pursuit. A graceful upwards arc. Momentary motionlessness at the top of its flight. Seizure of the hapless victim with a snap of its beak. A mid air turn. A delicate descent, on cupped wings, back to the tree. Entrancing balletic poise and control, executed in an instant.

I did not lift the camera. I would have missed this event, had I done so. I would not have captured this wonderful memory of that magic moment.

Michael Gallagher
June 2007

Liquidambar Tree

Photos taken with Sony TRV20e video camera
in still image mode,
14th March, 2001