29 December 2008

Kea, Avalanche Peak

Kea on Avalanche Peak
One of the pair of kea (Nestor notabilis) on Avalanche Peak in Arthurs Pass National Park; the mist-filled Crow Valley in the background. Perhaps a less striking photo than the earlier one I posted, but I like the way this seems to convey the bird's personality and it shows the bird in its true context.

All content © 2008 Pete McGregor

10 comments:

Emma said...

WOW! More coherent comments as they occur to me.

Relatively Retiring said...

What wonderfully subtle colours - the feathers and the stone..... but ouch!.... that beak!

Bill said...

Holy @*#!

Zhoen said...

What a gorgeous wild creature.

Michael said...

There must be a Greek God you can connect this to. The bird seems to be posing, reading to be knighted perhaps?

Great job.

pohanginapete said...

Thanks everyone. A curious photo this one — my attitude to it keeps changing and I don't know why. Sometimes it's like Bill's reaction (cheers Bill!); sometimes it's "yeah, it'll do." Maybe it has something to do with knowing these birds from direct, frequent experience — although, again, I don't know how that works. However, Michael — your comment I found interesting because until you mentioned it I'd never "seen" the bird as stationary (bowing to be dubbed ;^)); it always looked to me as if it were walking (which I'm sure it was). An interesting lesson in looking and seeing differently.
Thanks, all, for your responses. Much appreciated.

Bill said...

As a rule, I'm pretty much arrested by darker figures silhouetted by a lighter ground. There's also a ratio here, of the higher information in the figure to the lower information/gauziness of the ground. I think my responses to these presentations are pretty much hard-wired -- oh, also the eye-to-eye, both looking up and looking down, doing neither alone as I gather from beak to 'talon' I am blocked by bird all the way; there is also a very dramatic horizon which throws the bird up at me. The bird is very much in hand, as strange and exotic as it is. There is something magic going on there, the silhouette having an iconic, totemic force of coherent solidity, yet also containing a rich diversity of patterning. I almost want to say dimorphic, or plural, I'm entranced when things go both ways like this, both a silhouette of borders engaged with its background, but also, within its borders a native light show that may or may not have the consequence of dimension -- as I said, magical. The bird is a compelling solid, yet its light patterned surface is more a translucent gas. The bird borrows from it's background, maybe it's a commonality of misty light, but the movement here is from gas to solid, from the brightness of the clouded cove packs itself into the dark hooked beak; from vapor to pattern to idea, its a visceral, carnal "I get it!"

pohanginapete said...

Crikey, Bill, there's an enormous amount in that for me to mull over. Thanks so much for the thought you've put into it — it's an honour. Cheers!

Moira Indigo said...

I find this picture infinitely more striking than the other. Beautifully done.

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Moira. They're very different styles, and I'm glad both have struck responsive chords.