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  • Writer's pictureDave Pidgeon

Snow geese take flight in Lancaster

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

A flock of snow geese fly among evening clouds.
Snow geese take flight during an evening in Lancaster County, Pa.

LOCATION: Woods Edge Park, Lancaster County, Pa.

EQUIPMENT: Canon 5D Mark IV | EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | EF 1.4x II Converter

THE STORY: Rick Sammon calls it "photo therapy."

The venerable everyman photographer, who's authored more books and made more how-to videos than any other image maker, wrote a whole book about it. Funny, it's called "Photo Therapy."

He spends one chapter talking about how a daily photography practice - a truly dedicated image making effort, not spontaneous selfies - improves mental and physical health.

That was something I needed.

During a drive around my home county in Pennsylvania, I knew of a small park with a drainage basin that had suddenly become a refuge for thousands of snow geese.

They descend on our area in mid- to late-February as a signal of the coming Spring.

I grabbed my super telephoto lens (the 100-400mm) along with a 1.4x converter I had to see what I could do.

More importantly, I just wanted to feel the camera in my hand, to be mindful of light, shutter speeds, composition, and the serenity of evening.

I wanted to quiet my mind, even for just an hour.

As the sun descended, it seemed, the more restless the flock of beautiful, graceful white birds became.

Many took flight. The sun painted the clouds in tones of orange and pink, and overhead groups of snow geese exercised their wings and took in the view of the surrounding farmland.

The moment reminded me of how important finding even just a small moment of peace can be. My restless mind, like those birds, needed to take flight as the sun descended.

Photography is more than just a creative outlet. It can also be meditative.

Dave Pidgeon is a seasoned writer and photographer from Lancaster, Pa. You can reach him at

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