Ross’s Geese, Golden Hour Fly-Out. San Joaquin Valley, California. January 1, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Ross’s geese take wing during the sunset fly-out, San Joaquin Valley, California
As happens often enough to make things interesting, the light at the end of this day of less-than-phenomenal light momentarily made up for some of the earlier “blah” light. It had been a good day of goose (and crane) chasing, but with few moments of sublime light so far. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since even when the light is not at its most astonishing out here, the air and the sound of the birds still makes it worthwhile, especially when a large flock of geese suddenly lifts off in unison or when the sound of cranes floats down as they coast overhead.
But still, we want that light! Just before sunset, as the hazy sky was already starting to dim, the last sun slanted in from the west at a low angle just as this flock of geese was beginning to fly out for the night. I made this photograph just a moment after the foreground group had taken to the air, but while other groups that had lifted off earlier were still visible beyond them as they departed over the grove of trees to the north.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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