Keeping the theme going. Sparrows aren't the only birds with the inclination to fluff up when the air's cold. For the sake of respecting the truth, though, I'll point out that this afternoon was unseasonably warm and sunny; however, we're still officially in winter even though we're only just over a day out from the official start of spring.
This korimako sat himself in a particularly awkward position against a bright sky, but by overexposing and with judicious processing, the photograph turned out not bad.
Just a fortnight ago the old cherry plum still fretted the sky with its irregular lacework of bare, dormant branches, and the sparrows sat around fluffed up like little sleeping bags, and I photographed this one from the verandah. Now, the plum branches have begun to blossom and the sparrows, ... well, they're still sitting around, fat and fluffy.
The face of the back hill was still dark but I could see enough to know the deer were elsewhere. The one silhouetted on the skyline suggested the others weren't far away, though: maybe on the far side. The magpie on the fence sat there, maybe watching the hind grazing, or maybe, like me, it was just enjoying the dawn.
Sometimes you look over the edge and wonder where all that water's gone, and whether Heraclitus got it wrong and in fact you're always stepping—or falling—into that same river, not just twice but endlessly, and you wonder whether it was actually Nietzsche who was right when he posed that question about how you'd react to a demon who condemned or blessed you with the eternal recurrence of all the joys and despairs of your life, but eventually you know you have to get on with what's left of it, so you walk away, leaving the troll beneath the bridge grumpy that he didn't get to eat you, but even as you walk off you wonder whether you might not be confirming Sartre's and de Beauvoir's claim about bad faith, and that doesn't help you feel any better or less confused.
But Heraclitus and Nietzsche and Sartre and de Beauvoir are all dead, and you're still walking and wondering. Surely that has to mean something—no?
Sometimes you have to persevere to make a photograph; sometimes you get lucky. This was the only photograph I managed of this male korimako — a quick shot through a gap in a tangle of branches — and it's one of the better photographs I've managed of these beautiful, frustrating birds.