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This image may not look like this was a scorching hot summer morning shortly after sunrise. The temperature was already in the high twenties (Celsius) by 7 a.m. I was sitting in my photo blind where the temperature was over the 30 degree mark. I was concentrating on 2 female deer in the meadow I was in. The edge of the meadow was lined with songbirds and their music filled my ears. All of a sudden my attention was diverted to a vibrant flash of red and the high pitched call of a male cardinal who perched close by was almost as if he was saying "Hey turn your camera this way and take my photo"! He had landed on the meadows edge, the direction of the early morning light only hitting the extreme outer edge of the bush that lined the field. I couldn't resist and trained my lens on him. The striking contrast of dark and light, the vibrant fire engine red of the little cardinal made him the centrepiece of the forest for just a few fleeting moments before he flew deeper into the woods to join his mate. I don't often train my lens on songbirds, but time and again beautiful scenes like this unfold and I can't help but give them the time and attention they deserve, for all wildlife big and small deserves the spotlight every now and again.
Original caption, Instagram @davesandford - Fall 2020