Letting yourself be happy

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
– Dalai Lama

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Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you never discovered what made you happy? If you got to the age of 94 and thought, I wish I’d tried … say, bird photography?

After this weekend, I’m even more grateful that I’ve found my passion in life. Bird photography – especially birds of prey in flight photography – is something that I find endlessly absorbing, constantly changing and suitably challenging. I could never get bored with it.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to spend an hour and a half at one of my favourite bird of prey places. There were lots of birds of prey, but few flew over me.

I had just taken off my boots ready to go home when I looked up. My thoughts went like this: there’s a sea eagle (I swung my camera up)

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… it’s a juvenile (I started clicking away)

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… it’s really brown, it must be really young (I felt the dampness from the grass seeping through my socks)

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… hang on, it’s a wedgie (I hoped like crazy that my camera was on the right settings but I didn’t have time to check)! I have only seen a wild juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagle fly low once before, so this was an amazing experience.

5:50 am Sunday morning I was out of bed and getting ready to meet my new bird photography friend and search for an Eastern Osprey.

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As I drove along the highway in the dark and cold – it was 10oC outside – I wondered why I wasn’t sleeping in. But as soon as I arrived I was glad I had made the effort. So much more than glad!

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I saw my first pair of Eastern Ospreys by the golden morning light, and the sight will stay with me forever.

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That night as I looked at my photos, I was glad I was allowing myself to be happy.

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