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

Wherein the Beautiful Great Blue Heron Sticks Her Landing

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

Wherein the Great Blue Heron Sticks her Landing

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The poet William Stafford wrote an exquisite poem about muses, “When I Met My Muse.” My reading of that poem is that our muse lives inside each of us. For me, the muse is the Great Blue Heron within. As Stafford wrote

“. . . I am your own
way of looking at things,” she said. “When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation.” And I took her hand.

When I Met My Muse [excerpt]
Poem by William Stafford
Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford

Thanks to Brie and WordPress for the WPC Challenge: Muse.

Thanks also to Leanne Cole for hosting the Monochrome Madness challenge.

And thanks to Paula for hosting her Black & White Sunday. Paula’s topic this week is telling a story. The first part of the story told in this photo was the previous post, taken a few minutes before this capture.

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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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron at the Waterfall

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

Great Blue Heron at our Waterfall

It is very easy to become absorbed – too absorbed – by the scene unfolding through the lens.

I’ve written in the past about one of the dangers facing photographers – the way technology can get in the way of “experiencing” what is happening now, how we as photographers can miss the moment IN the moment by working so hard to preserve the scene for future viewing. Back then, I wrote

Suddenly, I wished I had brought a camera, and then just as quickly, I dismissed that wish – had the camera been there, I would have missed that experience. Instead of sharing stillness with the heron, I would have been absorbed in things like aiming and focusing and f-stops and bracketing and all of the composition things we do; by then the heron would have flown away, alarmed by my fidgeting with the gadgetry, and I would have missed the moment.

Yesterday, I came face to face with a different danger facing photographers who become too absorbed by the scene within their viewfinder: I was so engrossed with following the Great Blue Heron through my lens that I nearly stepped over the edge into clear air.

Every couple of years, we read news stories of people falling off cliffs or going into waterfalls while taking photos.

Now I know how easily that can happen.

One more step, and I would have been in the water below the falls.

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Thanks to Leanne Cole and Laura Mackey for hosting the Monochrome Madness challenge.

Thanks also to Cee for hosting Cee’s Black & White Challenge.

And thanks to Paula for hosting her Black & White Sunday. (My photo today has nothing to do with her topic this week – macro photography – but her offerings in b&w are striking.)

Lastly, thanks to Jen H and WordPress for the recent WPC Challenge: Motion. It was definitely a challenge to capture the motion in this scene: the cascading water sluicing over the rocks moved at a different pace than the water tumbling over the falls, and so keeping the focus sharp was tricky, and even moreso when the Great Blue Heron burst into flight.
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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

Not Art Nbr 3: Brought to You by the Number Four

Chih-chih-chih… chih-chih-chih… chih-chih-chih… changes.

It’s not just a David Bowie song.

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

Great Blue Heron and Four Chicks in Nest

It is music to my ears, the sounds of Great Blue Heron chicks in the nest: chih-chih-chih… chih-chih-chih… chih-chih-chih…

It was utterly absent at the nesting island during all of 2014. The Great Blue Herons had abandoned the nest last year.

In 2013 and 2012 the pair produced two chicks each year that successfully fledged from the nesting island.

For 2011, there were no chicks, and in 2010, they abandoned the nest and chicks due to human encroachment. (If the Heron Can Read This, You’re Too Close.)

The herons had a brood in 2009, nesting in a tree that came down during a storm between 2009 and 2010, but in 2008, there were no chicks.

I am moved beyond words that the plucky Great Blue Heron pair has reclaimed their nest on the island after the extreme weather of 2015, as if the 109 inches of snow this winter was a figment of our collective Boston-area imagination.

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

And even though this photo isn’t art, the Great Blue Heron and her four nestlings are.

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Thanks once again to Stewart Moncton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

Thanks to the kind folks hosting SkyWatch Friday.

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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 Chicks

Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 7: One-woman photography show at TCAN thru May 31

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com) Great blue heron preening Columbus Day weekend.

Great blue heron preening.

From May 1 through May 31, 2015, 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.

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, most of the photos were taken from the seat of my kayak on the lake.

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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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, TCAN, Summer Street Gallery

Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 6: Be Still My Heart

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

Great Blue Heron South Lake B+W

Coming soon to a lake nearby?

A girl can dream.

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

Tsunami Kayak at the Lake in Winter of 2015

When last I visited the lake, Ol Blue was snug in her winter cave, nearly buried beneath some of the 109 inches of snow that fell this season. Despite the stumbling trek over nearly four feet of snow blanketing the shore, it was heartening to see her label “Tsunami” peeking through that slash of an opening, as she hibernated within.

It was March 1st, and by any rights the two of us would be back on the water in a mere 30 days.

Or so I thought.

The snows of February extended well into March, with the lakes still frozen into the start of April. Even now, some mounds of snow border the sidewalks, yet the waves of migrating birds seem undeterred, as Nature awakens all around.

Including the Great Blue Heron I saw foraging in the small retaining pond last week.

Especially including that Great Blue Heron.

Be still my heart.

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This week’s photo challenge is Afloat. Thanks to Krista and WordPress for this topic. Soon, Ol Blue and I will be afloat on the lake. With the herons. Be still my heart.

Thanks also to Leanne Cole and Laura Mackey for hosting the Monochrome Madness challenge. It’s worth visiting Leanne and Laura’s challenge page to see other outstanding interpretations of monochromatic photography.
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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

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