Monday, May 28, 2018

A Photograph That Led To A Friendship

Dale Matson

Click On Photograph To Enlarge

Sharon and I were sitting in a new yogurt shop near our home a couple of months ago. We were enjoying the guilty pleasures of frozen yogurt with various and sundry toppings.
Looking around I noticed one wall had several lovely landscape and wildlife photographs which made this shop unique among the many shops we have patronized over the years. The photographs were also interesting to me because those are the two areas that interest me the most as a photographer.
What really got my attention was a photograph of a seasonal stream. I knew that photograph well because I had taken a photo of the same stream in the same location. It is located on the Madera County side of Millerton Lake.
Who would find this location to be a photo opportunity besides me? I was curious. As we got up to leave, I asked the young clerk if she knew who took the photographs. She said, “Oh it’s my grandfather.” Well, he and I already had two things in common being a grandfather myself. I wanted to meet him and chat about photography.
Actually, I didn’t know it at the time but I had already run into him by the historic Millerton Courthouse before a morning boat tour to view eagles on the lake. Neither he nor I were there for the tour that day but the bald eagles tend to stop by the area in the morning to catch coots for breakfast. He had a small camera and lens but told me he used a much bigger lens for wildlife. I had my usual camera and long lens with me.
A couple of months went by and a friend of Sharon alerted her to an excellent Facebook photo of a golden eagle posted by Mike Allred. Sharon’s friend Nadine knew that we were very interested in golden eagles in particular. I have been photographing a nesting pair at Millerton Lake.
 Mike had mentioned on a previous Facebook posting that he had been to the grand opening of a relative’s yogurt shop. Really? Could this be the same person? The golden eagle photo motivated me to meet Mike even more.
Sharon contacted him through Facebook “messenger” and we were able to get his phone number. I called him and arranged a meeting at a local coffee shop.
Mike and I met and shared stories and photos for about an hour and a half. We also shared the super-secret locations of the golden eagles we were photographing as they raised their chicks.
Who would ever have guessed that a photograph on a wall would be a link connecting two individuals with similar interests and lives? Glad it all came to be. Thanks Mike.   

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