Today’s photo has been three years in the making. It’s a picture of a double-crested cormorant.

Now, cormorants are pretty common around here, so you might wonder just what took so long. The story is simple: I took a nice picture of one of our local cormorants about three years ago. But I never got around to using it, and then I bought a new camera. The new camera was so much sharper than the old one that I no longer wanted to use the old picture. I wanted a new picture that would be sharper. But over time, my efforts became a sort of running gag. Every time I took my camera along on a walk, there were no cormorants. Every time there were cormorants, I didn’t have my camera.

But last week my patience finally paid off. I took my camera along on a walk and our little flock of cormorants was out! I took a quick picture. Then I got closer and a couple of them flew away. I took more pictures. Then I got closer still and a couple more flew off. Finally I got even closer and snapped some pictures just as one got spooked and the other was still posing. A few seconds later it took off too.

But I got a nice picture! Finally. After three years I can now go back to not caring about cormorants.

February 5, 2020 — Irvine, California

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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