One of my goals last month while visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix was to get a few shots of hummingbirds. I saw several and got a few mediocre shots. But I also saw this little fellow hopping around in the underbrush. I got two quick shots before he completely disappeared, and the better of the two is posted here.
I guessed it was some sort of warbler. A couple of nice folks at the Yahoo group Yard Birds identified it as a Verdin. Web research indicates it related to warblers but more closely related to wrens. Verdins are tiny; some species of hummingbirds are larger. I suppose from a technical standpoint there are a few things wrong with the photo. The background is sort of cluttered, and there's a small branch in front of the bird. But the clutter is part of the environment, and it's such a cute little bird! I found a good Verdin photo at Birder's World Photo of the Week. [Link no longer available.] The photographer, John Afdem of Phoenix, got his image on a golf course.
"I simply can't understand how all those golfers can walk around oblivious to all these birds," John says. "Of course, to them, I'm the nut walking around with a camera taking pictures of birds!"
I don't labor under the illusion that I'm posting works of art here. I only claim to have decent camera equipment and some technical proficiency to use it. But there is art here, art created by some force called God or Nature or whatever. The art is in the subject. The past few years, I've tried to take notice of the little things around us and make a record.