Last Thursday I pulled off the road in front of a cliff dirt bank to take a closer look at the swallows that were flying back and forth across the front of it and darting in and out of nooks and crannies. I wanted to get a closer look to determine if the swallows were Bank or Northern Rough-Winged.
It was quite warm so I opened the car door for some additional movement of air. I picked up my binoculars and soon determined that the swallows were Rough-winged. Pretty soon the swallows started circling the car and flying up in between the open door and me like they wanted to get a closer look too.
My Coolpix was handy and I thought it would be fun to see if I could get some shots of them flying up to the car. The next thing I knew two of them flew in, landing feet first in true swallow style on the door frame. I was astounded as they sat there looking at me all the while singing away.
It then dawned on me to push the video button on the camera that was still in my hand. My hope was to record this interesting occurrence, after all who would believe that this actually happened without video! I recorded the birds for a about a minute and then they flew away.
I was sitting there thinking about how special it had been to have the two swallows stop by for a visit when they flew in again and sat there chattering just as before. This time I simply sat and enjoyed this up close, personal, and for me spiritual moment.
Showing my film Connecting with Owls to kick off the Hagerman Bird Festival was a thrill!
I first began shooting the footage for this project in 2004. The majority of the filming was complete by 2007 and for many years stacks of video tape cassettes sat on the shelf and I wondered when the impetus would hit me to sit myself down and do the editing work to complete my documentary about owls.
Some people knew that I was working on an owl documentary, most people had no idea. In 2009 I made mention of the stack of video tape cassettes on the shelf in casual conversation during one of my Majestic Feathers Tours. Delores Smith was on that tour and she was within ear-shot. Apparently she remembered that stack of raw footage because in December of 2012 at the compilation dinner following the Hagerman, Idaho Christmas Bird Count she said to me. “Kathleen, we are thinking of having a bird festival in 2014. If we do would you consider finishing your owl documentary and premiering it at the festival?” I thought for a moment and my inner voice said, “you know, a deadline would be a good thing.” I said yes I would accept the challenge and the offer to premiere the film at the festival.
So that is a bit of the history as to how I found myself filled with excitement and wondering how the film would be received on Valentine’s night 2014 at the Hagerman Bird Festival.
My uncle Lynn Cameron came to the festival and he was very kind to respond with a yes when I asked him if he would shoot some video during the premiere with my point and shoot Coolpix. I know he would have been happier to have a pro camera in hand because of the limitations of the point and shoot. Like me he is used to being able to manually focus, adjust exposure and aperture and to basically have much more control. However, he did not have that camera in hand. So when you view the attached video about the premiere you will see that the camera was having its way with the situation at a few points, especially when the autofocus “decided” to just go wild! Fortunately in the editing process I was able to cover for some of these issues but not all of them.
Click here to see the short film that we made about the premiere of Connecting with Owls.
After seeing the movie several viewers shared their thoughts about the film with me and here are some of the comments I have received.
I was impressed with your presentation – loved your voice. Do you know what you did? You nobalized the owl, without anthropomorphizing. What a fantastic film! I showed it to my kindergarten/first grade classes and they were as enthralled as I was at the Hagerman Bird Festival. W. Money ,Washington
I was privileged to be present at the Hagerman Bird Festival for the debut of Kathleen Cameron’s film “Connecting with Owls.” Owls are amazing creatures that have captured the imagination of mankind since the beginning of recorded history, but most people don’t know how to find them. “Connecting with Owls” captures not just the imagination, but the heart and mind of all who watch it. I really enjoyed the footage of a wide variety of owls in their natural habitat. Fantastic moments of owl behavior were captured and presented with wonderful music and insightful information. I can’t begin to imagine the hours of filming and editing Kathleen put into this impressive project, but it is simply amazing.
Kathleen I have watched my DVD of Connecting with Owls 3 times now so that I would not miss any of what you have captured and felt in this tribute to owls. Clearly you have put every day into this film for a very long time. I want you to know that I think you are a real teacher and even better, a lover of life.
“People were totally blown out of the water by that movie.”
Hagerman Bird Festival Chairperson
Quote from the Times News, Twin Falls, Idaho 2/20/14
It is very gratifying to me that people that have seen Connecting with Owls are taking the time to let me know what they think of it.
You can see a preview of the Connecting with Owls by clicking here.