Who’s a good Great Blue Heron? You are! You are a good Great Blue Heron! (Post #300)

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather – babsjeheron

Doesn’t this Great Blue Heron holding a seagull feather bring to mind a friendly dog playfully carrying his favorite toy back to you, wagging his tail?

At the time, I wanted to say to her, “Who’s a good girl? You are! You are a good girl!” because the way she pranced the length of the submerged log seemed so playful – at first.

At first, it looked playful, but then I realized the seagull feather was not a mere toy to this Great Blue Heron – it was a tool, a fishing lure she repeatedly dipped into the water to entice fishes up to the surface, making it easier for her to spear them with her stiletto beak.

I’ve witnessed Great Blue Herons using tools a few times. You can read more about Great Blue Herons fishing with tools here and here.

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Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime. For some birds, it is dinnertime more often than not. Searching for their next meal, or that of their offspring, is a full-time job. A few Great Blue Herons at the lake have adapted tools to make fishing much easier, and dinner more of a sure thing.
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For the month of July 2016, I will be the Featured Artist once again at the Summer Street Gallery of The Center for Arts in Natick. TCAN is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit there, please click here.

A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit there, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2016 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Kayaking

Great Blue Herons Create the Future

© 2016 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Landing at Nest with Branch for Nest Building – babsjeheron

© 2016 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Carrying Another Branch for Nest Building- babsjeheron

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

The herons engage each other during a break in nest building.

Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Future. It is that time of year, when Great Blue Heron courtship, mating, and nesting gets underway here. As this photo essay shows, the Herons sometimes select branches of great length for their nests – the branch in the top photo is nearly the entire length of the bird’s neck and body. After landing in the crotch of the tree, both the male and female worked diligently together to position that branch 70 plus feet above the island floor. They then took the break shown in the bottom photo, enhancing their bond in courtship moves so intimate I imagined hearing the soft refrains “I only have eyes for you, dear.”
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For the month of July 2016, I will be the Featured Artist once again at the Summer Street Gallery of The Center for Arts in Natick. TCAN is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2016 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Kayaking, The Center for Arts Natick

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Head-Shot

© 2016 Babsje. All rights reserved. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron head-shot in the cove.


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For the month of March 2016, my Great Blue Heron photographs grace the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick. TCAN is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2016 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Kayaking, The Center for Arts Natick

Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 8: Artist of the Month for a one-woman photography show at TCAN thru March 31

© 2016 Babsje All. rights reserved. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron in the cove, foraging.

From March 1 through March 31, 2016, I am the Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery in Natick, Massachusetts. My Great Blue Heron photographs grace the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick.

Housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the Great Blue Herons. Most of the photos in the exhibit are being shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog.

As always, many of the photos were taken from the seat of my kayak on the lake, courtesy of the splendid outfitters Boating in Boston and Charles River Canoe & Kayak.

The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.

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TCAN is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

A selection of my heron and flower photos is also now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2016 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Summer Street Gallery

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Along the Shore

© 2016 Babsje https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com

Great Blue Heron Along the Shore Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

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For the month of March 2016, my Great Blue Heron photographs grace the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick. TCAN is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2016 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Kayaking, The Center for Arts Natick

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Takes Advantage of Gravity

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron and Waterfall

Sunlight streams on the river stones.
From high above, the river steadily plunges–

three thousand feet of sparkling water–
the Milky Way pouring down from heaven.

Waterfall at Lu-shan
by Li Po

From Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese by Sam Hamill

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Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for hosting the Weekly Photo Challenge: Weightless. It’s not just water that cascades over the lip of this dam on the Charles River – the tug of gravity pulls with it hapless fish destined to become dinner for an eagle-eyed Great Blue Heron.
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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2016 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron

Circle of Great Blue Heron Life

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Fledgling Great Blue Heron on Log at Dam – babsjeheron

The log teetered at the brink of the falling water, and I quickly positioned the camera to capture the moment it began the inevitable cascade over the brink.

A shadow suddenly passed overhead in the morning drizzle, outside the range of my lens, and I looked up too late to see what it was.

Only when peering through the eyepiece once again was the mystery solved: a fledgling Great Blue Heron was now perched atop the precarious log.

It was the same Great Blue fledgling seen in that area weeks earlier.

My heart sang to see him so healthy and strong.

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Thanks to Cheri and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle. 2015 was a slow year for Great Blue Heron fledglings in the area. As of November, I had observed only two that had successfully fledged. The fledgling in today’s photo is the first observed, and I like the idea of starting this new year with a new Heron. The circle of Heron life continues.
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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2016 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Fledgling

Beautiful Great Blue Heron with Water Lily Blossoms

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron With Water Lilies

If climate change and/or El Nino keep it up, will the cove eventually be this lush in December?

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Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for the recent WPC Challenge: Eye Spy. Eye spy with my camera’s eye this Great Blue Heron spying a Bass with his sharp eye.

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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2015 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking

Not Art Nbr 4: I Have No Words

The 2015 brood of four nestlings is the largest at the nesting island in at least eight years.
Babsje, June 12, 2015

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Nesting Island August 8 2015

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Nesting Island August 18 2015

Can you tell me what is different between the two photos above?

Take a moment, look closely.

Back in June, I wrote that the 2015 brood of four nestlings is the largest at the nesting island in at least eight years.

As I discovered this week, those chicks are destined to be the last brood to fledge from our island.

I have no words.

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Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy.

Thanks also to Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday challenge.

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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2015 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, Great Blue Heron Nest

Beautiful Great Blue Heron in the Forest

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Beautiful Great Blue Heron in the Forest

Any Great Blue Heron nestlings that have survived this long would be grown enough by now to be left alone in their nests, and so both parents can be found foraging. On this day, both male and female Great Blue Herons plied the shore – separately. No longer together now that nesting is done, the male becomes territorial about his feeding grounds, and will aggressively chase off the female or offspring.

So, I was not surprised at the high-velocity chase scene that unfolded when first the kayak slipped out of the tunnel that morning. The female flew directly overhead in a burst of feathers, and banked to the northwest out of sight. The male caught sight of the kayak and swiftly reversed course, heading back, deeper into the cove.

What did surprise me was this: the male in the photo here is not the ‘usual’ one that inhabits that cove. It is an adult male with breeding plumes, but younger and with very different markings than the usual male that “owns” that patch of shoreline,

So, a mystery. Does our female Great Blue Heron have a new mate? Or was this younger male just an interloper? Stay tuned. Time – and more photos – will tell.

I love a good mystery!

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Thanks to Cee for hosting Cee’s Black & White Challenge. This tree is clearly older than 50 years, the Heron? I wish they could live to be 50, but as far as I am aware, early 20’s may be the record for a Great Blue

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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2015 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron

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