The freedom of flight

gliding gracefully

gliding gracefully

I’ve sometimes wondered what it is that makes flight seem so attractive and what does it for me is the seemingly effortless ease of those birds that stretch their wings to simply ride the thermals. This graceful elegance is far removed from the high tempo wing-beating of the smaller birds which seems to be completely energy sapping.

So, it occurs to me that as there are different approaches to staying airborne, so there are different ways of travelling through life. Some people seem to choose a high energy approach, full of activity. Others opt for a more relaxed style, apparently soaring undisturbed by any chaos around them.

I’m sure that most people, like me, would think of flight in terms of soaring like a gull or eagle, riding the thermals, gliding effortlessly and enjoying an overview of everything. I don’t know anyone who has thought of the hummingbird approach; at least no-one I know has admitted this. So why, I wonder, do even the busiest of wing-flapping types tend to view flight in terms of soaring. I suspect the answer is that it’s attractive and seen as an ideal approach to life.

If it’s true that most people imagine flight in this soaring way, it’s hard to see why some are naturally drawn to be high-energy wing-beaters, unless, like the birds there is a practical reason for the approach. Personally, I’m struggling to see one.

This was shot at ISO 400, f10 at 1/1000sec on a focal length of 200mm.

 

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