Nancy Helms probably owns a better camera with a bigger lens than yours. When she's not home in Midlothian, Va., near Richmond, she's probably here, in Huntington Beach State Park, aiming her Canon at something.

"Have you found the painted buntings?" she asked.

"The painted bunnies?"

"No, buntings," she said, with amiable Southern sternness. "It's the most beautiful bird. It's like God painted it last because he got it perfect ..."

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