Every Spring for the past three years, she has moved in. The first year was a bit awkward. Her mate was scoping out my front porch. Slowly he began assembling her nest. When my neighbor first pointed it out to me, I had an inkling to play the part of city council and shut the construction project down. No permits Mr. Dove! But something told me not to worry about it. It would only be a few weeks and the Doves would have hatchlings and then be moving on.
That first season was an interesting honeymoon. Every time I would step out the front door, the dove would fly away in a shrieking terror. But over time, I would be a little more sensitive in how I exited the front door. I would stop. Speak gently to the dove. Let her know that she was indeed safe and that her mate had chosen wisely. Over the course of a month, it felt as though we had bonded. Or perhaps it was just me anthropomorphizing the situation.
The following year, I was amazed that the same dove returned. Only this time she was less fidgety. More trusting. But something had gone wrong and a few eggs were tossed out of the nest. She had two attempts. And without much fanfare, one day she was gone.
This year, she returned - also without any fanfare. What was most remarkable is that not knowing she was there, I bolted out of the front door with a loud clatter and happened to look up. There she was. Calm as ever. Just chilling out. Like a roommate saying, "that was unnecessary, but you didn't know I was home."
I took this photo with the vintage Pentax 50mm lens that I had on my K1000 in college. I bought a fotodiox adapter and was able to affix it - of course, there are no autofocus functions when you do this. Everything is manual. And there was something magical that happened. An authenticity. Instantly I wanted to capture something as authentic as the moment I was experiencing and so I popped open the front door and took this portrait of the dove. I wanted to see the lens capability. Focus. Depth of Field.
I pulled the image into Capture One and was amazed at the performance of a 25 year old (mostly stuck in storage) lens. But even more, I was captivated by my seasonal roommate's beauty. Her calm. No longer do I think I am anthropomorphizing our relationship. I think we share an authentic connection. Hopefully this image conveys that. The Dove symbolizes peace. And I can only wish to capture the peace and wisdom this dove has brought to my life.