Red-shouldered hawk and the Sunset

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I dug this old pic up from 2005 from when I took my old Canon 10D and 400mm f5.6 to the Everglades to do some nature photography. The sun was setting after a very stormy afternoon and caught this red-shouldered hawk admiring the sunset as much as I was.

It truly is amazing how photographs can bring you back to a certain moment. It seems I forget more than remember these days, but seeing this and I am immediately back in my old Ford Explorer, wet, cold and sitting on the side of the road watching the sun set when I noticed this hawk sitting on this old wooden structure about a quarter mile up the road. I moved my Explorer up to get the shot, took this picture, and shared a beautiful sunset with a magnificent creature. Certainly not a bad memory to recall!

Happy Anniversary to my wife, x5

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It was our first big trip together; Sonoma Coast wine country in California. One of many firsts for us as a couple and looking back a defining one. It is when I knew.

There were many memories made that trip, but one stands out. Watching the sun set on the Pacific, high on the coast, not a soul around us. I spotted this area earlier in the trip and wanted to come back to it one evening to watch the sun set. The first day there was a clear evening we decided to go for it and while most were heading back into town to catch dinner we headed out to see the day’s last light fall serenely into the ocean. We got there early and I remember thinking how long it was taking for the sun to go down. I got restless, as I do, fiddling with my camera, walking around to find the prefect vantage point and being the anxious person I am until she said to take it easy and come sit down. It was about this time that DMB’s “You and Me” (which was our wedding song) came onto the iPod and that was it for me. It just all come together and I knew I loved this woman and wanted her to be my wife.

The memories didn’t end with the magical sunset. Our rental Mustang sat low on the ground and got stuck on a bump on a hill as we were leaving the coastline. No cell phone service and night was coming down fast, I was getting worried about our chances of getting out of there in a reasonable amount of time until two good ‘ole boys pulled up and helped me lift the car off the hill to get us on our way. Crisis averted, we were starving and headed down the coast for some food. Being the middle of the week most places were closed and unlit so we drove on. And on. And on. It wasn’t until many miles later that we saw lights. And like hungry moths we flocked to the light, finding, of all things, an Indian restaurant in the middle of nowhere. I do not know if the empty pit in my stomach affected my brain chemistry, but it was the best Indian food I have ever had. And one of the most memorable  dinners we ever had, to this day.

This took place in April 2010 and is something that will be remembered all my days. A year later we were married. A year after that we had our first daughter. Two years forward we had our second daughter. Today, it has been five years since we were married, and though a lot has happened I am excited about what the future holds for us. As a family, as lovers and as friends.

Thank you, my love, for the great memories, beautiful daughters and life we have together. Happy anniversary with many more to come.

AG