Good timing is everything. And so it was with our End of Year Social for 2021. After last year’s social had to be held online and five outings this year had to be cancelled due to restrictions, we met up in person on 9 Dec to celebrate our photography once again. Just before omicron exploded. Good timing indeed.
Once more, the Terminus Hotel in North Fitzroy was our pre-picture-show venue for dinner. Once more, their excellent food and drinks provided good sustenance. And once more it was terrific to see familiar and new faces and share experiences of the year. Another difficult year.
With the number of free pints of beer arriving at our table (an unexpected bonus with some meals), it was a marvel that some made it to Fitzroy High School at all, for the show-and-tell afterwards. But make it we all did, eager to be transported into the world each of us experienced in 2021.
True to form, we were taken on jaunts to far-flung places, as well as local. Some managed to escape lockdowns and border closures to get interstate, sometimes for months. Others recalled lucky trips to loved Victorian haunts during the rare periods they allowed visitors. Many had photos from the backyard, a common location for restricted lives.
And we heard the stories behind this year’s favourite pictures. About the opal miners who knew exactly where to find an extremely rare wren. About raptors crashing through tree canopies in pursuit of prey. About a competition-winning photo. About impressionist bird photography. About unusual congregations of common birds. About the uncommon lifers. About birds often heard but not seen. About the joy we all get from our common pursuit.
Perhaps Shakespeare was paraphrasing the difficulties posed by a pandemic when he wrote: When shall we meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain? When the hurlyburly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won. Let’s hope the battle is won soon.
After a second challenging 12 months, it was good for the soul to celebrate the year with our fellow bird snappers. Looking forward to more opportunities for us to get together in 2022.
Thanks as always to Peter for organizing the social night, collecting and sorting the photos and hosting us and running the picture show at Fitzroy High School.