Sunday, August 16, 2009










It has been a life long dream of mine to see and to interact with puffins. When I was in high school, I had lofty dreams of photographing them out on the far most rocky posts off the coast of Maine where I had heard about a foundling colony of them. I imagined myself sitting as an observer, writing about and documenting my discoveries of their behavior. Of course, I had yet to even lay eyes on my first one.

Then Life happened - and my dreams got buried under layers of mundanity. But those dreams didn't die; they were just laying dormant, waiting for a drop of magic to bring them back to life.



Iceland provided the magic. Truly, it might have been a disaster, because just as we had arrived near Látrabjarg, Vestrjörðum (the furthest western point of Iceland in the West Fjords) my camera needed a new battery pack. I was insane with frustration (just ask G, he will tell you as he rolls his eyes). When we arrived, and without prior knowledge that there would be something special to see there, I saw the little puffins on the extreme edge of the cliff. I couldn't jump out of the car fast enough as I struggled to see them - see and experience them with my own two eyes up close.



Noticing my anguish at being without my camera intermixed with my speechless awe at seeing the little birds so close, my Bear handed over his own camera with which I shot my first shots of my beloved puffins. My eyes were filled with tears of emotion as I watched them hop clumsily over the tufts of grass at the cliff's steep edge, and I could scarcely breathe for fear they would fly away. They were almost childlike in their actions with no fear at all - curiously coming right up to within a foot of where I crouched. I was nearly oblivious of the sheer drop to the crashing waves on the sharp rocks far below, where a sudden gust of wind could easily blow me right over. Instead I was marveling at how small and petite their orange feet were - and how compactly their wings folded close to their bodies after flapping them for a stretch.






Their eyes looked directly into mine - and I felt simply incredible.

17 comments:

Tom & Icy said...

Amazing photos and even more beautiful little story. Those little dreams do come to life, such an uplifting feeling you gave us.

Doug said...

Wonderful. They are beautiful and you captured a spectacular color of sky in the middle photo.

Anonymous said...

XO

the walking man said...

Odd dream if one were to ask me but I am certainly pleased for you Terry that you had it and saw it come to be.

Great photo's by the by.

actonbell said...

"...and my dreams got buried under layers of mundanity." Ah, but you came back for them:)

These are wonderful pictures, Terry, they couldn't possibly be better. The coastline picture is awesome.

Mo'a said...

You have taken my breath away, not only have you captured your dream but also the magnificence of our Iceland.

lime said...

they are such intriguing little creatures. i am so very delighted for you that your dream has come true. thank you so much for sharing it with us. it's never too late, i suppose.

Jeanne said...

I am so fucking jealous.

g-man said...

I saw a show on the Travel Channel where Andrew Zimmern was catching Puffins with a net, and having them for lunch. I think it was in Iceland....
But if he read your post, he would never do that again I bet!
Great Pics Terry....G

javajazz said...

what a beautiful story...
i'm so happy for you...!
and look at these beautiful birds.
i cant imagine a more perfect name
for something as colourful and
whimsical as these unique creatures!
wonderful...!

KELLY said...

So glad to find your post with the SIMPLY AWESOME photos and writing!!! The Puffins are perfectly captured, but I must admit that I was partial to the beauty of the intensely blue sky laced with spritzes of fluffy grey & white clouds, the shimmer of the sun sparkling on the water, the lush green of the grass, the outline of the cliff........what a feast for my eyes!!!!
Give us more!!!!!! :D

jillie said...

Awwwww....GMAN...that's not nice!

I love those little guys. I just want to kiss one! They're quite unique in the way they look. Maybe they were just as fascinated by you? Maybe it was also THEIR life long dream to finally meet Terry!

xo

Oliviah said...

You are one of the very few people I know who are truly capable of drinking so deeply of life and to treasure it and cherish it and savor it as utterly and completely as I believe life was meant to be savored and relished. Even with it's pain, difficulties and even horrors, oh, there is just STILL SO MUCH to be cherished, even if it is just a tiny bloom on a weed somewhere underfoot no one hardly can see or would take notice to, by golly, there is a whole lot of beauty in this world and I am so glad that you get to see so much of it and that you share it with us so freely and describe everything so well it is like a sweet refreshing on a good day or bad. It's been too long since I've been able to visit here. Love the posts.

TLP said...

Fab pix!! Wonderful.

I came over here to fuss about your not leaving your defition of Mosaic over at Doug's. I'm glad you didn't. This way I got to see these wonderful photos. Brava!

javajazz said...

Rabbi Rabbi...xo

SOe said...

I am still crying because I was too late there. But enjoying your picture helps a lot. Greetings from Iceland!

northern musings said...

Oh ... so nice Terry!! Glad you finally made it and to Látrabjarg at that!