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Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds…

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Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds... HOPE Patiently waited and got some bread...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

As I thought about this week’s Photo Challenge: HOPE, I couldn’t shake the vision of the Seagull like birds I saw lurking at our local discount superstore. You see, because we have had an unseasonably warm winter, nature and her many life forms are responding in equally unusual ways. My daffodil shoots are showing, a few flower buds are growing on our Magnolia tree, and the American Herring Gulls are lounging in the parking lot of the local Sam’s Club; hoping to be fed and entertained; hoping they won’t get shooed away. These are a series of shots I took of the herring gulls on my second visit to the store; my goal was to watch, feed and take photos of them. My hope is that all will survive and thrive regardless of the weather conditions

“Hope is the thing with feathers- That perches in the soul- And sings the tunes without the words- And never stops- at all.” Emily Dickinson

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds... HOPE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

What started this desire to capture the birds in action, and showcase them living out their dreams and hopes for food, was a scene I had watched unfold the day before. I had just left the store and headed for my car. As I started to  pack away my things, I turned and saw a flock of seagulls diving down to snatch food off the top of the car parked across from me. The driver, oblivious to the goings-on, was busy loading his shopping into the trunk of his car. I called out to him twice, “Hey mister, did you deliberately leave that hot dog on your roof for the birds?” When he cottoned on, he yelled at them, waving his hands frantically, and then turned to me laughing… It was too late. They had devoured his first slightly unwrapped hotdog. What saved the second one, I suppose he bought a twofer, was the aluminum foil it was wrapped in.  I drove off thinking about how those birds would survive the neurotic, ever changing weather conditions…

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Since I was concerned about the well being of the birds, after my first sighting of them at the store, I drove back the next day. My plan was to not only watch them play, fight, battle for food, and soar in the air to show off their elegant flying form, but to feed them too… My photos are a series of shots on the birds and the way, in some fashion, they symbolize our own hopes and wishes for survival… Perhaps not always our style of social engagement.  More below. TY! 😉

Hope… is the companion of power, and the mother of success; for who so hopes has within him the gift of miracles.” Samuel Smiles

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

The moment I tossed out the first bread roll to the few that were perched nearby watching every car in the lot, I saw a quick gathering of eager birds, hopeful for a few morsels of bread. The power play started right away with the bigger birds muscling their way to the food. The smaller ones tried to either fly forward a bit faster or squall at me from a strategic place. By making  a commotion, they hoped I would notice them and send food their way. It worked and I soon found myself playing mother hen or bird to my flock…

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.” Dalai Lama

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

A crow appeared in the group but, like the classic outsider, he was somehow invited to leave, and had to watch me feed the others from a distance… that was sad. The nudging to exit was subtle, except for one bird that flew off with him, the others didn’t seem to care. They wanted their share of the bread and were willing to fight or manipulate each other for it… Hm mm. Such human like qualities.

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.” Samuel Johnson

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds... HOPE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds... Hopeful but not HOPE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope For The Birds...

One little bird watched me for a while, call it the smart, introspective bird, and then decided that the best way to get full and quick access to the bread was on top of my car. The bird became friendly and bold, and got several easy servings and, I in return, got some lovely up-close shots. Others tried to copy and do same , but the bold bird, lets call it HOPE, fought them off; a diligent bird indeed.  So they settled on other cars… not quite the same reach.  Like life; it is all in the give and take, the giving and receiving, the out-of-the-box exploring of options.  It is my hope that we learn to be as open to receiving as we are to giving… Look at the birds… HOPE.
Check out how other bloggers interpreted the theme HOPE below. ***

What are your thoughts? What creative/inventive HOPE shots did you find? Was it easy/hard to find photos for your examples of Hope? Were you drawn to specific examples for the prompt? Do share? Thank you! 🙂 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope

Positive Motivation Tip: Hope is the boat that ferries us across the sea of fear and despair. Paddle on, for the shore is near… Don’t give up.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

87 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/02/2012 2:08 am

    Yesterday a gang of thieves wasted the apartment of our neighbors. The shocked family escaped to us, we gave them bed and breakfast, called the police. We tried to give them hope again. Birds in the cold winter need help too of course – and some street cats …

    • 02/02/2012 2:26 am

      Oh dear! I hope your neighbors are fine… what a horrible tragedy in this season. Yes, we are all, to some degree, like the birds, dependent on the grace and goodwill that comes our way… May all find comfort, hope and help. TY for your comments and my prayers are with all of you!

  2. 02/02/2012 2:47 am

    Beautiful photographs and beautifully expressed through words. Wonderful post.

    • 07/02/2012 7:59 pm

      TY so much Arindam! This was a fun challenge… Some of them are harder. TY! 😉

  3. 02/02/2012 3:02 am

    Glad I don’t have to clean that car!

    • 07/02/2012 8:04 pm

      Te he! It wasn’t a problem. I took it to the drive-through car wash. 😆

  4. 02/02/2012 4:28 am

    The unseasonable weather is turning everyone and everything upside down. I saw a segment on the news last night about the snowy owl — they’ve been turning up in unprecedented numbers in several states. I hope the temperature rights itself so everything can return to normal.

    • 07/02/2012 8:07 pm

      Yes, it’s been crazy but lovely weather… I love the warmer weather and I hope it stays consistently so… No surprise snowfalls in July! TY! 🙂

  5. 02/02/2012 4:58 am

    This is so fun, and I love the story about the hot dogs! Hope is a rare commodity these days, I’m glad you’re in the business of spreading it around!

    • 07/02/2012 8:10 pm

      Thank you Kd! I feel the same way that we need more Hope these days and stories of hope cheer me up. 🙂

  6. 02/02/2012 8:43 am

    I just loved this post so much! Great pix and quotes, especially Emily’s — my all-time fave. 🙂

  7. 02/02/2012 9:20 am

    What a perfect match between the “Hope” photo challenge, Matthew 6:26 and all these fabulous shots of the seagulls and their never-give up attitude about foodscraps in that parking lot! Great going with creating this post.

    • 07/02/2012 8:13 pm

      TY Granbee! That quote stayed in my mind the moment I saw those birds in the parking lot… It remains with me now. 🙂

  8. 02/02/2012 9:56 am

    Great series of photos. I adore them all!

  9. Bree permalink
    02/02/2012 10:01 am

    This is an amazing display of your local birds at work and play. You must have spent a few hours with them, feeding and watching and taking pictures. You know it is considered great karma to feed the birds or other life forms? Great photos and post!

    • 07/02/2012 8:19 pm

      Yes, I was thinking of that… Back in Nigeria, when people recover from an illness or difficult situation, they offer food to everyone; including the birds… I spent about 2+ hours with the birds. TY! 🙂

  10. 02/02/2012 2:21 pm

    I have a love/hate relationship with sea gulls. My heart sings when I hear the laughing gulls at the beach… until they swoop down and rip food right out of your hand. In so many ways they are flying rodents. However the beach would not be the same without them.

    • 07/02/2012 8:21 pm

      😆 I couldn’t get the flying rodents line out of my head. Hysterical. TY! 🙂

  11. 02/02/2012 3:48 pm

    I wish Li’l D could see these birds through your eyes. He continues to find them terrifying, although his terror is temporarily diminished when he sees how quickly they can be sent off!

    It is my hope that we learn to be as open to receiving as we are to giving…
    I hope this as well. I used to hate receiving, until I realized that I was depriving my friends of the same joy I received when I gave them gifts. Now, sometimes I make a point of seeking out help that might not be necessarily needed because I’ve seen how important it is to both feel important and to help others feel important. Because they are. Both giving and receiving are a part of that.

    It took giving more, I think, for me to understand the benefits of receiving more, too. Now if only I could get a few of those beloved to me to see it’s not weakness to receive . . .

    • 07/02/2012 8:36 pm

      TY for your insights on the subject. I had to learn to receive too as it was easier to give. We need both as it gives us all an opportunity to be a blessing and to be blessed. 🙂

  12. 02/02/2012 6:24 pm

    Beautiful photos and message of hope! My s/o and I enjoy feeding animals, Sometimes we feed the squirrels, and tomorrow we are feeding the ducks and geese.

    • 07/02/2012 8:38 pm

      Beautiful. Add some blog photos of the ducks and geese so we can celebrate them with you! TY! 🙂

  13. 02/02/2012 6:26 pm

    Meant to type “message” 🙂

  14. 02/02/2012 7:05 pm

    I love all your photos! They are all enjoying the feast =D

  15. 02/02/2012 7:52 pm

    a spectacular photo essay, fine capture of birds in flight, stills, and words that fly with hope. you just made my evening!

    and thanks for the ping! – S

    • 07/02/2012 8:44 pm

      You just made mine! TY for the enthusiastic feedback. 🙂

  16. 02/02/2012 8:10 pm

    Loved all of your images of hope! awesome birdees.

    • 07/02/2012 8:51 pm

      TY Mezza! Glad to see you here… It was a fun project. 😉

  17. 02/02/2012 8:17 pm

    I used a bird photo for my “hope” posting also. I was outside this morning taking some photos and our daily visitors, the scrub jays, landed within a few feet from me. They were looking at me and squawking so I figured they were telling me I hadn’t given them enough peanuts earlier. When I fed them more, they seemed content and flew off.

    • 07/02/2012 9:07 pm

      They do become dependent don’t they? I loved your choice for the challenge. 😉

  18. 02/02/2012 8:31 pm

    We are all God’s creatures….. we need to take care of one another. The birds were lucky to have you there, Eliz. lovely post….

    • 07/02/2012 9:09 pm

      Oh TY Judy! I agree that we need the interdependence to thrive in our world… 🙂

  19. 02/02/2012 8:38 pm

    Feather hopes. Beautiful pictures. One of my Cranky Old Man’s tales is how he hoped to have an ice cream cone, but a sea gull scooped it first.

    • 07/02/2012 9:13 pm

      Oh boy, I had to laugh… sorry he lost the cone to a gull. 🙂

  20. 02/02/2012 9:06 pm

    I love all your photos and the story that goes with it specially naming one of the birds ‘Hope’.

    • 07/02/2012 9:17 pm

      TY! This was a fun one to do and I love the name Hope. 🙂

  21. 02/02/2012 10:24 pm

    What an amazing collection of photos and quotes, a brilliant response to the Hope challenge!

    • 07/02/2012 9:21 pm

      TY Gilly! I loved your selection too. I love the challenges because we all view and do them differently. 🙂

  22. 02/02/2012 10:34 pm

    Beautiful quotes and pictorial piece! Just what I needed tonight and I didn’t even know it until I arrived on your page. Thank you for this gift 🙂

    • 07/02/2012 9:23 pm

      TY for your blog love! I’m glad we connected too. 🙂

  23. 02/02/2012 10:38 pm

    The Hope challenge really caught on! The birds are fascinating and I think it’s just delightful you returned to feed the marauders! My good friend has hardly enough for herself, but she budgets to buy bird food to feed the birds every day at the court house where she works. The message of hope needs to be spread loud and clear. You’ve contributed a lot! Debra

    • 07/02/2012 9:33 pm

      TY Debra and I applaud your friend too… The birds were game once they knew food was involved,. 🙂

  24. Nandini permalink
    03/02/2012 4:38 am

    Loved your pictures, a treat to my eyes. And great thoughts too. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • 07/02/2012 9:34 pm

      TY for stopping by Nandini! loved your entry too. 🙂

  25. 03/02/2012 4:39 am

    Nice challenge. A bird brings hope.

    • 07/02/2012 9:36 pm

      Yes and they are fast and active… so many colorful varieties too. TY! 🙂

  26. 03/02/2012 4:52 am

    Great entry my friend I love it 🙂

  27. 03/02/2012 4:55 am

    What a very kind and generous gesture my friend..To hope for the birds and not for yourself is something amazing.Only few people can do that..You have nice set of photos for the challenge and I love them..Great that you feed them you’ve been an epitome of hope for these birds..=)

    • 07/02/2012 9:42 pm

      TY John! I’m sure many go out and feed their little lifeforms daily… Glad you stopped by and welcome back again. I look forward to reading your next post. 🙂

  28. 03/02/2012 6:32 am

    I love the comparison you made with hope and birds. Especially white ones. Here’s mine:

  29. 03/02/2012 6:33 am

    Great photos. Those birds looked pretty well fed to me! Sam’s must have a lot of patrons who drop their food. (and I couldn’t help but think of the Hitchcock movie – you know… 😉 )

    • 07/02/2012 10:26 pm

      I suppose they do… get grub from many sources. 😉 The Hitchcock movie was scary. Thankfully, I’ve always loved birds. TY!

  30. 03/02/2012 8:46 am

    Great interpretation of Hope, Ms. Elizabeth. I love this post. Your blog is a very interesting and inspiring read. 😉

    • 07/02/2012 10:28 pm

      TY Carol! I’m glad we connected as I love your blog(s) too. 🙂

  31. 03/02/2012 11:36 am

    Great entry for hope Elizabeth! My daughter, grandson and I took our very stale bread to a local park last year in order to feed the wild ducks. As more and more ducks surrounded me and the bread, my daughter and grandson backed away. There were at least fifty ducks surrounding me, but I held my fear in check until all the bread was given out. Kudos to you for not only feeding the birds, but capturing the event. A beautiful post on hope! 🙂

    • 07/02/2012 10:39 pm

      Funny you would bring that up because I felt the same way as more and more birds landed to be fed. I had to keep reminding myself that they appreciate being fed and that there is nothing to fear. TY! :-0

  32. 03/02/2012 3:10 pm

    Once I have more time – when I retire in a few weeks’ time! – I would love to do this weekly challenge. I love photography and am thinking about getting a more sophisticated camera. And I love my wild birds – we feed them every day. They bring not only hope, but deep satisfaction. Precious.

    • 07/02/2012 10:41 pm

      I look forward to seeing your pictures. I didn’t use my SLR camera for these shots but a decent, easy to use canon helps. I still have to set up and learn to use the SLR… TY! 🙂

  33. 03/02/2012 3:55 pm

    This reminds me of one morning I was driving to work. Cars were stopped at a set of lights. Two sparrows were flitting and flirting between the roof-racks of two cars in front of me. As I sat, waiting for the lights to change, I wondered at how the birds in city envovironments have adapted to our invasion of their world. Here they were, using two cars as they might have used tree branches many years ago. I wondered what would happen when the cars drove off.

    • 07/02/2012 10:42 pm

      They have adapted… and that shows their resilience too. TY. Great observation Robin! 🙂

  34. Bree permalink
    04/02/2012 9:42 am

    These are amazing close ups and variety on the seagulls. Great post! Wonderful!

    • 07/02/2012 10:54 pm

      TY! It was a fun exercise and the birds enjoyed the food. 🙂

  35. 04/02/2012 8:23 pm

    A great photo-story, Elizabeth – fabulous photos. Laughed at the hot dog steal – birds are very good at maximizing their opportunities 🙂

    • 07/02/2012 10:57 pm

      Yes, it was funny to watch too. Those birds were smart. 🙂 TY!

  36. 05/02/2012 9:30 am

    I am deathly afraid of birds and some of your pictures really creeped me out. No reflection on your topic, the pictures were really good.

    • 07/02/2012 11:06 pm

      I’m sorry to read that Leanne but I understand. I have a friend who runs away from them and won’t open her door if they are on her porch. I’m glad you stopped in and commented. TY! 🙂

  37. 06/02/2012 4:47 pm

    I’m thinking that car is going to need a good washing when they get through dinking around on it, LOL! Thanks so much for visiting my blog today and leaving so many lovely comments. It is always nice to hear from you! Margie

    • 07/02/2012 11:07 pm

      TY for stopping by. Actually, they were quite gentle on my car and barely left any signs of their presence… birds are smart! 🙂

  38. 06/02/2012 8:08 pm

    Don’t know how I missed these pics last week. I really like them. Good stuff.

    • 07/02/2012 11:08 pm

      TY for stopping by Nelli! I miss posts myself too as I get tons via email. 🙂

  39. 07/02/2012 3:33 pm

    We can live in hope, but we must also take positive action. Hope is rather similar to dreams.

    • 07/02/2012 11:09 pm

      Yes, well said… I’ve always subscribed to the school of thought that says, “hope, pray and move your feet.” TY! 🙂

  40. 07/02/2012 7:10 pm

    After watching the amazing birds…I can’t help but wish that I could fly. Wouldn’t that be cool. Beautiful pictures my friend. Wishing you all the love and hope today and everyday.

    • 07/02/2012 11:10 pm

      TY! I hear you and sometimes imagine what it would be like… I fly in my dreams though and it feels freeing and great.. TY for stopping by and good to hear from you again. 🙂


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