Category Archives: SHOT FROM THE FILE

Gentoo Penguin – Surfing

Surfing

Coming to shore, a Gentoo Penguin spreads its wings and rides the surf.

Surfing

The Gentoo like all of their kind are made to fly submerged.
Masters of the swim they fly… below but do emerge.
When it’s time to come ashore the penguin shows technique.
Catches it and rides a wave, its surfing style’s unique.

~ Poem and Gentoo Penguin capture, Surfing © Jerry L. Ferrara, Saunders Island, Falklands.

Antarctic Iceberg – The Spectral Ship

The Spectral Ship

When I think of the Antarctic, the first visual that rushes into my mind’s eye is the iceberg.  Here, a pinnacle-shaped berg, captured in Flandres Bay [Antarctic Peninsula Region], takes on an other-worldly form of a sail ship.  The ghostly shape of the colossal mountain of ice inspired the dark poem I wrote, The Spectral Ship.  The mood set here is but one of many from this varying, breath-taking landscape.

The Spectral Ship

Floating, floating on the surface of a polar sea.
The mist does part, sight gives a start, a ghost before me be.
With sails unfurled, wind-tossed and hurled, the spectral ship portrays
a deathly portent, so full of torment, ahead are darkling ways.
I close my eyes, the vision dies, the bitter cold does freeze.
And so I sleep, here in the deep, my soul the chill has seized.
Floating, floating on the surface of a polar sea.
The barque arrives, sweet life deprived, no chance of reprieve be.

~ Essay, poem and Antarctic iceberg capture, The Spectral Ship © Jerry L. Ferrara. Flandres Bay, Antarctica

King Penguins – The Crowd

The Crowd

Evidence suggests that colonial nesting species may require large numbers to stimulate individual members to undergo breeding behavior.  Hence, there may be purpose to “the crowd”.

The Crowd

They gather large on hillside’s marge.
They come to rest on crowded nests,
in part a plan to grow the clan.
At times they’re urged, to sea they merge.
The horde, the throng, the lines are long.
They march in step, from shore they’re swept.
Be these the things and ways of kings?
Is the mystery in a shroud,
or is the answer in the crowd.

~ Words, poem and King Penguins capture, The Crowd © Jerry L. Ferrara.  Recorded at Salisbury Plain, South Georgia Island.

Rockhopper Penguin – Catching Hell

Catching Hell

The Rockhopper Penguin at the far right [in submissive pose] had just picked its way through established nesting sites in the colony.  It went through a good amount of trauma in the process receiving opposition from members of the clan.  Here, it is being aggressively confronted and was truly “catching hell”.

Catching Hell

This morn it ran the gauntlet through others’ nesting sites.
Perhaps its sole intention was to pilfer neighbors’ rights.
Instead it met resistance, demeanors did quite swell.
This is what it means for those who end up catching hell.

~ Rockhopper Penguin capture and poem, Catching Hell © Jerry L. Ferrara.  New Island, Falkland Islands.

Common Raven – Nevermore

Nevermore

Nevermore

The Common Raven is a standout avian species.  It is amongst the most intelligent of creatures worldwide.  It has been a subject of many cultures’ folklore.  When collectively grouped, they are called an “unkindness of ravens”.  Quite understandable and not difficult to imagine why if you ever have the opportunity to watch them.

You strut across the barren scape,
an ink-black figure, beak agape.
What is it you are searching for?
Might it be the lost Lenore?
Are you the harbinger of death,
present there at one’s last breath?
Or just an agent of bad news
for the hapless to but muse?
The single word that you do quote,
puts every hope so far remote.
Never ending, devoid of peace,
that utterance so lacks surcease.
So when love’s death is brought to fore,
you bear the tidings “Nevermore”.

~ Anecdote, poem and Common Raven tracks capture, Nevermore  © Jerry L. Ferrara. First generation capture [Kodachrome] recorded in California’s Algodones Dunes Wilderness. Poem inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.

Red-crowned Cranes – Forever and a Day

Forever and a Day

Forever and a Day

Formal be the dance, stately are the moves.
Aristocratic bearing, so elegant and smooth.

At times it seems the tango, doesn’t quite compare.
Their ballroom capers fevered, their postures seem aflare.

So why the gestures and the moves, just for fun or play?
Or do these actions seal their bond forever and a day?

A pair of Japanese Red-crowned Cranes elegantly stroll in tandem as they perform their ritualistic dance.  Hokkaido, Japan.

~ Poem and Red-crowned Cranes capture, Forever and a Day © Jerry L. Ferrara

Lady Slipper Orchid – The Maiden Wore A Slipper

The Maiden Wore A Slipper

The Maiden Wore A Slipper

The Maiden wore a slipper, it held her foot so light.
Given by a Mother Spirit, a scheme to make things right.
The Aschenputtel dealt was she a very wicked fate
when Father took a second bride, two progeny in state.
So the maiden’s life was cast into subservience.
The patriarch did look away, the evil did advance.
Then one night a carriage came and whisked her off to dance
with a charming prince all eve, the start of a romance.
But when the clock had run its course and it was time to go,
all the prince had of the maid a slipper left to show.
Many came to try the shoe, even the evil twins,
but only the fair maiden’s foot did slipper let within.
The charming prince had found his bride, it was a joyous time.
And unfair actions met their fate, the justice was sublime.
The Maiden wore a slipper, it held her foot so light.

~ Poem and Lady Slipper Orchid capture, The Maiden Wore A Slipper © Jerry L. Ferrara

Black-tailed Prairie Dog – Giving A Shout

Giving A Shout

Giving A Shout

I received a package from Japan last week that contained a large number of my transparencies that were being represented by a Tokyo stock picture agency, many of which had been there for 15-20 years or more and now have been digitized.  As I sifted through the scores of color positives, a flood of memories rushed to mind.  It was as if the collection behaved as a time machine.

I chose one of these past captures to visually share today.  It is an image of a Black-tailed Prairie Dog I’ve titled Giving A Shout.  The photo’s history goes like this:  It was made c. 1980-81 using a Nikon F2 camera and a Nikkor 400mm f5.6 ED lens [Both pieces of equipment I still own and are still functional].  The soul of that moment was captured on Kodachrome 64 film and the action depicts the Black-tailed Prairie Dog performing a behavior variously dubbed a “jump-yip,” “wee-oo,” or “all’s well” call, an important means by which the spunky rodents keep in social contact with one another.  The location for this shoot was Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska.  At the time of production, I wasn’t sure I’d fully caught the rodent’s action.  That’s how it was then… no monitor to check and very little leeway on exposure.

Weeks later after returning from the field, the take arrived from the processor and there in amongst many “almosts” was the one jewel, Giving A Shout.  Before lodging the photo with the stock picture agency, I marketed it for a while myself.  The image was used by the National Geographic Society in the March 1983 issue of World Magazine and exposed this wonderful creature, and its awesome habit of giving a shout, to many young readers.

~ Essay and Black-tailed Prairie Dog capture, Giving A Shout © Jerry L. Ferrara.  First generation image Kodachrome 64.  Second generation image made from a digital file created from the original chrome using a Nikon dedicated scanner.

Idaho Scenic – Moments to Reflect

Moments to Reflect

Medicine for the mind and soul.

Moments to Reflect

Descend through the fathoms of memory
in search of introspect.
There in a fortress of solitude
find moments to reflect.
In that place you might recall
pasts so buried deep.
That’s the time to pull them fore,
resurrect them from their sleep.
The good thoughts are the keepers,
embrace them as they flow.
The hurtful ones place in the fire,
forgive and let them go.

I’ve never felt more at peace than when I’m in a wild setting or in the company of wild entities. It is those times that provide moments to reflect on the past, cleanse the soul and let go.

~ Poem and Idaho scenic capture from Myrtle Creek, Moments to Reflect © Jerry L. Ferrara

Northern Pygmy Owl – A Feathered Despot

A Feathered Despot

In a land, not too far away, I came upon “a feathered despot.”  I wasn’t quite sure what it was at first.  Its profile was obscure and it blended nearly perfectly with the surroundings … but not quite.  Closer inspection revealed it to be a Northern Pygmy Owl, one of the smallest of North American owl species.

A Feathered Despot

Though my stature be quite slight,
strength makes me a mighty sprite.
All the world must realize,
power is not judged by size.
I ambush and I use surprise,
so from this scheme success derives.
Merciless when I predate,
victims find oft it’s too late.
In the open at my job,
that’s why I am sometimes mobbed.
I take the last in casual stride,
for not all aggravants will hide.
So, you beware small birds in strife,
this feathered despot’s not so nice.
Beasties you have much to fear,
when this pygmy owl draws near.

~ Poem and Northern Pygmy Owl capture, A Feathered Despot © Jerry L. Ferrara