Meet the Mrs.


My wife, the Beautiful AP, has taken up photography, specifically photographing birds.

Our birding group was at Mill Pond in Bellmore, New York this past Sunday and AP had a big breakthrough that brought attention and applause from our South Shore Audubon Society.

Now the Beautiful AP is a sociable person and as she has been learning her camera she has shared her ups and downs with everyone in the group and with some people who are just wandering around in the woods. They have given her encouragement as many Audubon members are excellent photographers. She has received valuable tips – from everyone, even those scruffy folks who might be homeless. To be honest, by and large her photos have been (shall we say) disappointing.

A couple of weeks ago, she got one great picture of a Great Horned Owl and one good shot of a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. Everything else was a blur.

I am not quite as sociable as my lovely wife but I do talk to my fellow birders about this, that or the other thing. Since I know little about birds we talk about politics. The Audubon Society is mostly liberal although there are some conservatives and Trump supporters. The liberals are concerned about the environment, while the conservatives are concerned about the liberals.

As AP photographed like a crazy woman, she’d show me some of them.

“What do you think of these?” she asked.

“Where is the bird?”

She hit me in the arm. “Right there,” she pointed.

“I just see fog with some dark lump in there,” I said. She hit me in the arm again. Honesty is sometimes not the best policy with a wife.

But towards the end of the birding day she nailed it! She had a picture of a beautiful Robin and two gorgeous pictures of a duck.

“Wow!” I said. “Now those are beautiful pictures. What kind of duck is that?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “It looks different doesn’t it? I’m going to ask the experts if they can identify it.”

She walked a ways down the path to the others of our group. I love the way she walks, so determined, so AP-like.

In a moment I heard, “Wow!” and “It’s a Pintail! Where did you see it?”

The Beautiful AP lead the group of about 15 to where she photographed the Pintail.

“That’s a female Pintail,” confirmed Bill our leader for this tour as he looked at the photo.

“She’ll be known as Mrs. Pintail,” said AP.

Bill saw Mrs. Pintail, pointed her out so everyone could see it. Cameras clicked, video was taken as Bill then explained why it is called Pintail. “You can see that its tail comes to a pin.” It also has quite a long neck.

Since it was February, this duck should have migrated south to winter. But here she was. Rather, here they were: Mrs. Pintail and my Mrs.

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