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This Mourning Dove is sitting peacefully on a cactus on a warm, summer day. The sky is blue and there are very few clouds that cover the heavens.
This Mourning Dove enjoys bathing in the sunlight, taking in the warmth of the summer sun as it rests peacefully among this uniquely shaped cactus arm. It knows that the coolness of early summer doesn't last all year, so it enjoys as much as it can for now. It simply wants to enjoy its sunbathing, free from the worries and cares of the world below.
The greatest fear of the Mourning Dove is to be attacked and preyed upon by larger birds like falcons or hawks.
Mourning Doves don't live alone; they usually fly in groups, which helps in protecting one another or warning one another of danger.
I chanced upon the resting Mourning Dove in Tucson, Arizona. It was a quiet early summer day and I was out hiking looking for wildlife when I saw the bird sitting on the cactus. While it seemed like it was resting, its eyes were open and were on the lookout. I wondered what might have been going on the bird's simple mind as it was sitting alone out in the open, with predators possibly lurking about in the middle of the day.
As the Mourning Dove sits on the branch, several predators roam free in the skies and on the ground below. Hawks are flying above, looking for prey to snatch below, while wild cats roam around, climbing trees and going through holes to find food. The dove, seemingly unaware of the dangers around, just relaxes.
In a way, I was holding my breath in spite of the seemingly serene and calm surroundings. As I took the shot of the Mourning Dove, I was reminded of a verse: "Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them..." Even though the bird was out in the open, it was safe. In spite of the dangers lurking around, it was resting.
As I lowered the camera after taking the shot, I came to learn something from this experience: most of us spend too much time worrying about things around us, never finding the time to pause and just rest. Take our mind off the worries of the world for a while.
I’ll never forget shots like this, because they not only produce great photos, but they also teach us something important about life.
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