I found myself captivated by a breathtaking sight while exploring the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. As a wildlife photographer, I typically shy away from capturing backlit photos, but on this particular occasion, I simply couldn’t resist. A mesmerizing Indigo Bunting perched gracefully on a branch, framed perfectly against the backdrop of the enchanting Strawberry Moon. It was a fortunate moment that absolutely needed to be captured.
Positioned along the auto tour road, I had taken a brief pause to bask in the unfolding beauty of the morning. With the daylight gradually intensifying, I eagerly anticipated the unique encounters with wildlife that awaited me throughout the day. Little did I know that a remarkable avian visitor was about to steal the spotlight.
The beautiful Indigo Bunting seemed to know I was there, and it gently landed on a branch close by. Its stunning blue feathers cast a spell, captivating my attention. As the bird sang its sweet melodies, the air around us filled with a magical harmony. It felt like the bird was joining in with the surrounding world, as if celebrating our special moment together.
What made this encounter even more extraordinary was the celestial phenomenon happening in the background—the Strawberry Moon. As one of nature’s captivating spectacles, this full moon occurs in June, adorning the night sky with a warm, reddish glow.
The Strawberry Moon holds cultural significance and is steeped in folklore. Native American tribes traditionally associated it with the ripening of wild strawberries, hence the name. It marks a time of abundance, growth, and natural wonder. The convergence of this celestial event with the Indigo Bunting’s enchanting presence was an awe-inspiring fusion of two worlds, the terrestrial and the celestial.
With my trusty pickup truck serving as my observation point, I carefully aimed my camera, eager to immortalize this extraordinary encounter. I wanted to preserve the sheer beauty and serenity of the moment, capturing the indescribable connection between the avian maestro and the celestial wonder.
As I pressed the shutter button, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of gratitude for being in the right place at the right time. It was a gentle reminder of the power and unpredictability of nature, and the importance of being present to witness its wonders. This fleeting moment will forever be etched in my memory, a testament to the harmony that can be found when we open ourselves to the magic that surrounds us.
In the end, it was not just a photograph I had captured; it was a story—a story of a mesmerizing Indigo Bunting, its melodious serenade, and a radiant Strawberry Moon. It was a tale of the extraordinary beauty that exists in the unlikeliest of moments, reminding us to always be ready to embrace the unexpected and cherish the wonders that unfold before our eyes.
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: June 5, 2023 (05:53 A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f7.1
- Shutter speed: 1/160
- ISO: 4000 (Auto)
- Exp. Comp.: 0
- Focal Length: 500 mm