Beautiful Great Blue Heron in the Morning

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

Great Blue Heron on Bough – babsjeheron

I would rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.

e.e. cummingsE.E. Cummings:
Complete Poems 1904-1962

On the first outing each spring, I am reminded that there is an art to seeing the very familiar with fresh eyes, where no two days are the same. I am reminded to not take for granted the usual wildlife and their commonplace behaviors, to not fall into the trap of my own routines.

The inaugural circumnavigation of the lake is fast approaching – though not quite fast enough for me this spring.

Will I see this Great Blue Heron once again this year?

Have I ever mentioned that no two years are the same?

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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: I’d Rather Be. I’d rather be out, camera in hand, today, but it is still too cold for kayaking. Soon. Soon I keep telling myself. Soon.

Thanks to Cheri and WordPress for the recent WPC: Favorite Place. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is.

Thanks to Paula for her Thursday’s Special: Verdant. The green of the bough in the faint mist that morning was verdant.

Thanks to Cee for her recent Photo Challenge: Birds. Once again, I am very tardy, Cee, but I couldn’t resist. Your challenges are inspiring.
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Watch this space for news of my next one-woman photography show for the months of May and June, 2018.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

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Beautiful Heron in the African Queen

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

Great blue heron soaring upwards.

I heard the Heron’s distress call before I saw him.

After literally thousands of hours in the field watching the Great Blue Herons, I am susceptible to “trompe l’oeil” moments. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve mistaken a twisted tree trunk glinting in the sun for a Heron, or a rock formation that fools my eye from a distance.

So, yes, my eyes have been fooled. But my ears?

In what seemed a “trompe l’oreille” fool-the-ears experience, the frantic frawhnk, frawhnk of a Heron being flushed erupted from the movie screen, and in the blink of an eye, the Heron burst from the shoreline and fled the approaching boat.

Heron in African Queen circa 1950

You can hear Great Blue Heron calls at Audubon and also at Cornell’s All About Birds.

(Who but yours truly will review a film and only focus on the Heron??)
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Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Story. If you like old Bogart movies as much as I do, The Africa Queen spins a delightful story.

And more thanks to Cheri and WordPress for the recent Daily Prompt: Frantic. Filmed live on location, the film crew boat flushed the Heron, who burst away with frantic cries.

Thanks to Cee for her recent Photo Challenge: Wildlife. Once again, I am very tardy, Cee, but I couldn’t resist. The wildlife in The African Queen is as real as it gets. Not a frame of CGI, all shot on location in Africa. Hippos, fierce crocs, monkeys, lions, and that unexpected Heron.
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Watch this space for news of my next one-woman photography show for the months of May and June, 2018.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Alternate Reality — No Blizzard Here

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

Great Blue Heron Preens in Summer – babsjeheron

We stood there, staring eye-to-eye for a long, long time, though it could not have been more than twenty seconds. His eyes, doe eyes almost, soft eyes, like those of a deer. His long break, the orange-yellow of Aztec gold. His cap feathers, pure white. It felt as though I was looking at a being of kindness and intelligence, and an equal.
From About,
by Babsje

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Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for today’s Daily Prompt: Grasp. I am grasping at any avenue of escape from today’s blizzard

And more thanks to Krista S and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Weathered. In the past ten days, we have had three ferocious Nor’Easter storms, with winds up to 65 mph. It is around this time of year when the Great Blue Herons migrate back. I am concerned for them, that they have weathered these storms. I hope to see this Great Blue once again during my inaugural spring circumnavigation of the lake in a few weeks.

Thanks to Paula for her Thursday’s Special: Wintry challenge. In defiance of our third fierce Nor’Easter in ten days, I present a placid, summer scene.

Thanks to Cee for her recent Photo Challenge: Birds. Once again, I am very tardy, Cee.
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Watch this space for news of my next one-woman photography show for the months of May and June, 2018.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

We Now Interrupt your Regularly-Scheduled Great Blue Herons

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

My daughter strikes a pose with Comet Hale-Bopp.

Me and my comet,
strolling down the avenue

With apologies to Judy Garland

It doesn’t get more out of this world than Comet Hale-Bopp, poised above my daughter’s shoulder.

If you missed Hale-Bopp last time around, it will be back in our neighborhood in about 4,500+ years, assuming that our neighborhood will still be here, of course.

(We now return to the Great Blue Herons with thanks for allowing this temporary derail.)
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Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Out of this World.

And more thanks to Ben and WordPress for today’s Daily Prompt: Above.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Great Blue Heron and the Salmon of Doubt (Apologies to Douglas Adams)

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

Great Blue Heron Catching Large Fish – babsjeheron

There is no problem so complicated that you can’t find a very simple answer to it if you look at it right.
Douglas Adams
The Salmon of Doubt

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For more than an hour, she stalked the Salmon, climbing the fish ladder slowly, intently scanning the pooled water at the base of the dam, then pausing to rest, perched there on one leg. All the while, she faced away from the torrent gushing down the ladder behind her.

I could see fish in the rushing waters and wondered if the Heron would shift her focus.

True to that Douglas Adams thought, she finally looked at the fish ladder right, and left no doubt at all about that Salmon.
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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Tour Guide. Krista had asked us recently what we love about where we live. Today’s photo was taken a short walk from my home. In fact, all of the photos on my blog were taken within 5 miles from home. I love that the beautiful Great Blue Herons spend part of their lives each year within the Charles River and Sudbury River watersheds. I’m very fortunate that my studies of them don’t require expensive travel to distant locations.

And more thanks to Krista S and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Weathered. Do you notice how weathered the Heron’s toes are?

Thanks to Paula for her occasional Black and White Sunday challenge. Paula, your captive gibbon is exquisitely enigmatic, moving.

Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent: Fish.

Thanks to Cee for her recent Black and White Photo Challenge: Water. Once again, I am very tardy, Cee.

Thanks to CosmicGirlie for hosting Silent Sunday. I do really like CosmicGirlie’s ethos about the way that words can affect the meaning of photos and her goal of no words, just a single photo. Yes, there are “words” in today’s post, which is against the “rules,” but I can’t credit the authors of the fine prompts mentioned above without using words.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Sticks the Landing Nbr 2

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

Great Blue Heron Sticks the Landing Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

She’s gathered up all the time in the world
— nothing else — and waits for scanty trophies,
complete in herself as a heron.

Denise Levertov
The Great Black Heron [Excerpt]
Sands of the Well

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So, about the title of today’s post? If there were Avian Olympics, surely this Great Blue Heron would take Gold for sticking that landing… Ahem.
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There are rhythms to the lake, and the creatures there are no less creatures of habit than we humans.

The life cycle of the flora in the cove is predictable and, unless the Canada Geese and their goslings have stripped the plants, pickerel weed thrives for weeks each July through August. The vivid purple-blue flower spikes attract beautiful butterflies and bees and other insects.

And the Great Blue Herons.

Plural.

You may think the Heron in today’s photo is the same Heron shown here, but you would be mistaken.

The location in the cove is the same, but the photos were taken 10 days apart, and the Herons are different, they are are a mated pair. It is fascinating to watch the pair jockey for position on that half-submerged tree: the male lays territorial claim there, and chases the female away.

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This photo is a variation of two earlier themes of mine: Great Blue Herons with Pickerel Weed and Sticking the Landing and here, too.

Thanks to Cheri and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Sweet. I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours over decades in that cove watching the Great Blues nibble on insects attracted by that sweet pickerel weed.

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Sweetly Preens

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

Great Blue Heron Preening in the Cove – babsjeheron

… Sound in his ears more sweet than yours,
And if yours are not sweeter and wilder and better…

The Herons of Elmwood [Excerpt]
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Birds of Passage

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This photo is a variation of an earlier theme of mine: Great Blue Herons with Pickerel Weed. Click here and here if you don’t remember those photos. Which of the three do you prefer?

Thanks to Cheri and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Sweet. For two days in a row, I witnessed this beautiful Great Blue Heron at the far end of the cove. He preened, and slept, and preened and slept some more, for hours both days.

Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for the recent WPC Challenge: Beloved. This is one of the most beloved Herons at the lake.

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

When is a Beautiful Great Blue Heron Most Like a Golden Retriever?

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

Great Blue Heron Shaking off Water – babsjeheron

Happiness is a warm puppy Great Blue Heron.

With apologies to Charles Schultz and Peanuts

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Just like a wet dog, a Heron sheds water by doing a whole-body shake. Today’s Heron is the same one shown running on the water. When she came to a stop at the water’s edge, she launched into a full-body shake that sent her wings shimmying, feathers ruffling and water spraying in all directions.

This photo is a variation on an earlier theme of mine: When is a Great Blue Heron Most Like a Dog? In that post, you can see multiple photos showing the range of motion used to dry off.

When dogs shake off water, the movement starts at their snout, and if you grab their muzzle, supposedly they can’t complete the shake. Do you suppose grabbing a Heron’s bill would have the same effect?

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Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Beloved. The love I feel for this Great Blue Heron in particular is long-standing. She is the same Heron as featured here and even here.

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Put a Beautiful Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal? Who, me? Take 2

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

Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

… Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into flight.

With apologies to James Wright’s poem “A Blessing”
The Branch Will not Break

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In more than a dozen years kayaking that area of the lake, I saw a Great Blue Heron atop that tree pedestal only once – and that day, before I could raise the camera, a pod of kayakers approached from the north, flushing the Great Blue. It was very satisfying to finally stumble across her there a couple of months ago. I watched her through binocs and telephoto lens from a distance for nearly an hour as she slept and then preened and then slept some more, perched on one leg the whole time.

This photo is a variation of an earlier image. Click here if you didn’t see that photo. Which do you prefer?

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Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Beloved. The love I feel for the magnificent Great Blue Herons is no small secret.

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Silhouette on Silent Sunday

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

Great blue heron underneath a bridge.

For he had come to quietness,
He had come to the place where sun and moon meet
And where the spaces of the heavens open their doors.
He was understanding and love and the silence.
He was the voice of these, as he fed the woodpecker.

The Sky-Goer [excerpt]
Zona Gale

The Le Gallienne Book of English and American Poetry, Richard Le Gallienne, ed.

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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for the recent Daily Prompt: Silhouette.

Thanks also to Cheri and WordPress for the recent WPC: Silence.

Thanks to CosmicGirlie for hosting Silent Sunday. Yes, there are “words” in today’s post, which is against the “rules,” but I can’t credit the authors of the fine prompts mentioned above without using words. You know what they say about rules anyway… And I know the folks at WordPress put a lot of thought and effort into creating their daily and weekly prompts, so credit where credit is due.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist 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.

From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

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