Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Pastrami on Rye

A tale of two sandwiches.

I love a good sandwich. Soft bread, slightly salty, fatty tang from best butter, glutamate hit from a meaty filling, crunch of salad and deep taste sensation from a sauce or dressing. Perfect for lunch.

So this particular day I invest in pastrami on brown. Malty loaf, tender beef with a spicy edge, crunch of iceberg lettuce. Easy on the red onion, it's got to be there, but not so much that it overpowers the beef. Add a dash of wholegrain mustard and that's it. Chow down.

I tuck in, savouring each bite. I wash it down with a latte. Awesome lunch. This follows coffee and a bagel for breakfast and I start thinking I'd feel quite at home in New York. This leads to more thoughts of holidays. I could use a break. Lunchtime over it is back to work and all thoughts of holidays and great sandwiches are put on hold.

But, once my working day is done there is plenty of time left for a spot of wildlife photography. I'm loving these light nights. On this particular night time and tide came together to create great photo opportunities for a second sandwich.

There have been several hundred Sandwich Terns on the shore between West Kirby, Hilbre and Hoylake and I spent an incredible evening recording them with camera and lens. It is 8.30pm when I head out with Mrs DeeBirder for a wander around the Marine Lake. There is still plenty of light for photography and we look on for a killer sunset.

The tide is right up to the lake wall and is due to reach maximum height by 9.30pm. This has brought the Terns really close in allowing plenty of pictures of the as they fly out to fish....

... and return with the catch of the day....

They are not the only ones enjoying a fish supper, the local fish'n'chip shops are doing a roaring trade. There are plenty of people enjoying this warm summer evening. Sadly, the odd one seems to have little respect for the birds sharing the beach with us.
Soon after I took this there was a humiliating fall when wheels floundered in soft sand and rider was dumped unceremoniously into the mud. Instant Karma.

Undeterred the Terns carried on fishing and I carried on photographing. Tide flooding in they swooped over the waves calling all the time. The evening air filled with manic "krrrik-kriiik" calls.
I take hundreds of images. Once my memory card is full I start to review them on the camera screen, discarding the bad ones, making space for the sunset that is starting to redden on the western skies above Hilbre. The birds seem to recognise this and the screaming gets louder. The atmosphere grows.
This is shaping up to be a great Patch moment, I just hope that I can do it justice with the camera. The birds are certainly playing their part.
As I stand on the lake wall I am aware of a familiar feeling, although it is not one I have had for a while. The final warm rays of a setting sun, the gentle rush of waves on the shore, the easy conversation of promenading couples and a relaxed, contented vibe. I feel like I'm on holiday. Right here in my own back yard, on my beloved Patch. All of my earlier thoughts of the Big Apple are banished into the setting sun, Sandwich Terns chasing them away.
 In this perfect moment I am aware that everyday, even if for just 5 minutes and in whatever small way, should be a holiday....

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