I was following a little bird, a killdeer leading me away from her nest with a convincing act of being wounded. I was trying to focus the image of the bird huddled quivering on the sidewalk, when she took off, fluttering and gliding, disappearing into the middle of the meadow. That is when I saw the mountain intertwined with wires and latticed steel looming over dark trees. As I focused on the mountain a passenger train zipped into the foreground and I snapped the shot. I took two more careful shots of the mountain. As I was working on the photos this morning, I saw tiny dark specks arrayed against the white of the mountain, images of birds captured somewhere between the trees and mountain in various angles and attitudes of flight. So much going on that can and cannot be seen throughout the process of creating images.The killdeer is not visible but her cry was present in the air between me and train. Electricity hummed through the wires unseen and a cool breeze whispered in the grass all blended with train rumble fading. The photographic images are both more and less than my experience. The camera made me focus on this moment which gives me a more complete, but altered memory of standing on a sidewalk on a sunny summer evening. I might have followed the killdeer and seen the train, but the camera and the images moved the experience through time and showed me the silhouetted shapes of distant birds I would never have seen.
What did I miss because of the camera? I can only guess.