Cedar Waxwing, Kennebunk, Maine, USA. A whole flock of Cedar Waxwings was working the ornamental Cherry Tree at Roger’s Pond Park in Kennebunk when I visited, looking for Eagles, just after noon yesterday. Though others found Eagles (I have seen the photos on Facebook) I did not…but the Waxwings were hard to miss. They were in and out of the cherry tree, very busy with the frozen fruit. I was able to work my way pretty close, and though they flew off to the the big Maples over the river, they quickly returned to their feast. Beautiful birds in a beautiful setting. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr. There is a poem.
A flock of twenty-seven Cedar
Waxwings work the frozen
berries of the ornamental
cherry tree at Roger’s Pond Park
just after noon today. Freezing
rain over night left each berry
encased in a shell of ice…
but the birds are avid, sometimes
fifteen in the tree at once,
picking the berries out of the
shells and popping them whole.
Perhaps, like Eiswein grapes,
the freeze concentrates the
sugars and makes the sour cherries
easier on Cedar Waxwing pallets…
or somehow more nutritious…
or maybe they are just on to
something we humans know
nothing about. I am almost tempted
to try a frozen cherry myself,
(though I know they are only
ornamental) to see what the
Cedar Waxwing fuss is all about.
Bittersweet must flower, but I can not honestly remember ever seeing the flowers. The fruit, on the other hand, is a feature of Thanksgiving and fall table arrangements and door wreaths. I don’t think it is a common plant anymore in Southern Maine: A victim of its own popularity. There used to be a massive stand of it on the Nature Conservancy’s East Point Preserve in Biddeford Pool, but they have aggressively bush-hogged it to the ground (I am not sure what the have against bittersweet…it is a native plant). These were still growing along the trail that leads back along the river toward the Pool.
I like a lot in this image. Shape and high contrast color, the way the light molds the fruit, of course, but also the texture of the dying leaves, and the out of focus accents of the fruit behind. And it is, really, a classic rule of thirds composition, with the added strong diagonals of the stems. Lots to like, in its own quiet still-lifey way.
Samsung Smart Camera WB800F in macro mode. Processed in Snapseed on the Nexus 7.