Photographing a Barn Swallow in the Wasatch Mountains with my Mom

/, Birds, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, Utah/Photographing a Barn Swallow in the Wasatch Mountains with my Mom

Barn Swallow resting on a rusty gate, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahBarn Swallow resting on a rusty gate – Nikon D500, f10, 1/640, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

There isn’t anything spectacular about these two Barn Swallow photos, they aren’t showing any exciting behaviors, they aren’t taken while the bird was in flight and the setting could be considered kind of bland but for me these photos hold a special meaning because my Mom was there with me when I photographed this bird.

It was a delight to drive up to the canyon in the Wasatch Mountains and to be able to chat with my Mom along the way and once we were inside the canyon having her riding behind me in my Jeep so we could both take photos from the same side and being able to see her smiling in my rear view mirror as she looked for birds and wildlife in the alpine canyon. Seeing the canyon through her eyes was a joy.

It was cool and refreshing in the canyon compared to the valley, it was quiet and it felt as if for a short time we left civilization behind. I ignored the notification sounds on my phone like I normally do when photographing alone which shuts out the annoying buzz of everyday life and we simply immersed ourselves in the experience of photographing together for the first time with nature’s wonders surrounding us. Time alone with my Mom in my natural element while showing her how I do what I do when I am out photographing in the field was something we had never done before and I relished every second of it.

Adult Barn Swallow taking a break on a rusty gate rail, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahAdult Barn Swallow taking a break on a rusty gate rail – Nikon D500, f10, 1/800, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Mom is great at sighting birds and critters and she pointed them out to me quite often. She used her point and shoot camera plus her phone to take pictures as we moved slowly through the canyon talking softly to each other. There was a lot I wanted to show her but we had all the time we needed, we didn’t rush and because we didn’t we found plenty of birds.

When we stopped to take photos of this Barn Swallow resting on the rusty gate railing we could hear the sounds of the nearby creek, the gentle breeze rustling the willow leaves plus the calls and songs of other nearby birds. It was marvelous to share my passion about bird photography with her and to see her enjoy herself so thoroughly.

While these Barn Swallow photos aren’t million dollar shots the experiences I shared with my mother while we photographed this bird together are worth everything to me.

Life is good.



  1. Pepe Forte June 28, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Oh my. What exquisite images! The colors of the barn swallow – set against the muted background – are spectacular. Thanks Mia.

  2. Elephants Child June 18, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Precious memories.
    And stunning photographs to trigger those memories.

  3. Marty K June 18, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Beautiful shots and even more special memories!

  4. April Olson June 18, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Lovely bird and lovely memory.

  5. Ilze Long June 18, 2018 at 9:25 am

    I disagree; there is always something spectacular about birds, even when they
    sit still. Such remarkable beings I’m in awe of them.

  6. Patty Chadwick June 18, 2018 at 9:20 am

    WRONG!!! Those two Barn Swalliw shots are definitely spectacular…I rsised one of these birds ans absolutely LOVE these images!!!! (Get some glasses!!!)…

  7. Kathy June 18, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Lovely photos of the Swallows. It is always interesting to share our time with someone and see them enjoy what you do!

  8. Bob mcpherson June 18, 2018 at 6:45 am


  9. Liz Cormack June 18, 2018 at 5:54 am

    Maybe the rusty gate railing is bland but the Barn Swallow photos are stunning!

  10. Marty June 18, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Thanks for this post Mia. I live in eastern Canada now, but I spent hundreds of hours in those Wasatch canyons with my Mom. So this rings a special bell for me.

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