Wherein the Beautiful Great Blue Heron Sticks Her Landing

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

Wherein the Great Blue Heron Sticks her Landing

.
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.

.
.
.

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.

.
.

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.
.
.
.

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.

.
.

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

Thanks to the kind folks hosting SkyWatch Friday.

.
.
.

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.

.
.

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.

.
.

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.
.
.
.

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

Each time I see the upside down Heron

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)  Great blue heron reflection.

Great blue heron reflection.

Our Great Blue Heron in affectionate homage to Shel Silverstein…

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com) Great blue heron with reflection.

Great blue heron with reflection.


.

“Each time I see the Upside-Down Man 
Standing in the water, 
I look at him and start to laugh, 
Although I shouldn’t oughtter. 
For maybe in another world 
Another time 
Another town, 
Maybe HE is right side up 
And I am upside down.”

Shel Silverstein
Reflection

A Light in the Attic

.
.

This week’s photo challenge is symmetry. Reflection is the most elemental form of symmetry. The photos here show a fledgling Great Blue Heron in relection. I find the reflection, with its sense of fluid movement, more visually interesting than the actual heron image, itself. Which do you prefer? Thanks to Cheri and WordPress for this topic.

.
.

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™

© 2014 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Fledgling, Kayaking

There Be Herons Here

Out of the shadows, the wild steps
lightly, all sharing the same dream
rising from the dry, dry earth.

In Sight (excerpt)

John Dofflemyer
Wind Under my Skin

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

Great Blue Heron and Boulder Nbr1 (09-21-2014)

 © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)   Great blue heron with broken leg perched on boulder.

For perspective, the only-slightly-below-normal water level of an earlier summer. (09-05-2011)

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

Great Blue Heron and Boulder Nbr2 (09-21-2014)

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

There Be Herons Here (09-28-2014)

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

Great Blue Heron and Boulder Nbr3 (10-13-2014)

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

Two Boulders Après le Deluge (10-25-14)

.
.

Last week’s photo challenge is Depth. Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for this topic. Our lake is 625 acres, with a depth around 69 feet. The water level fluctuates during every summer, but the summer of 2014 saw a drought unlike years in recent memory. As the drought wore on, the receding waters opened new shallows where the Great Blue Herons could forage. The rains came at last during mid-October, raising the water level more than two feet. How much rainfall do you suppose it takes to raise a 625 acre lake two feet?

This week’s photo challenge is Scale. Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress. The three Great Blue Herons here offer a glimpse of the scale of the drought here last summer. Compared to the heartbreaking drought out West, the scope of the situation in Massachusetts was nothing. One of my favorite WordPress poets, John Dofflemyer, has eloquently, poignantly chronicled the impact of the near-five-year-long drought at his ranch. If you like the poetry of Wendell Berry, you will like John’s. Check it out at drycrikjournal.
.
.
.

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

Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 5: Art on a Snowy Day

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

Great blue heron walking along the shore.

Last weekend, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston to see the Goya Exhibit courtesy of tickets from my friend, Marge. While the Goya show was superb, the Monet, Gauguin, O’Keefe, and Matisse brought goosebumps as always.

What moved me most, though, was a visiting Klimt masterpiece, “Adam and Eve.” At the time of Klimt’s death, Eve’s hands had not yet been painted, with just the barest of outlines hinting at the apple she would have grasped. Left unfinished, the painting evoked a palpable poignancy – it seemed as though the artist had merely put down his brushes and stepped away for a few minutes, instead of for eternity.

The gallery was very crowded that day, with a 50 minute wait for people standing in line. As my friend Naomi remarked, “Whoever said the internet would replace art galleries and museums? Look at all these people.”

She’s right, you know. The vast array of art available online transforms where and how we experience art and artists. In retrospect, my own art history coursework back in the days of those boxed sets of prints feels meager in light of the riches available today at the click of a button.

And yet, there is nothing like standing in front of the actual piece of art, an arm’s length from a canvas and realizing the artist was also at one time the same arm’s length from the same canvas, but with brush in hand, bringing a vision to life. Looking closely at Eve’s unfinished arms from only a foot away brought the painting into a very human realm where I could almost see Klimt standing were I stood, calculating the placement and shape of the missing apple, the colors and brushes he would use.

I’m glad they left it unfinished instead of having an apprentice complete the piece.

It’s a snowy day here, where better to spend it than in a gallery?

.
.

Special thanks to my friend Marge for the VIP tickets to the MFA!

Thanks to Krista and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself challenge. For a photographer who can’t paint her way out of a paper bag, as the expression goes, I’ve expressed a lot of my thinking around “paintings” in this post, and so the photo in this post is one of my more painterly photos.

.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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.

Great Blue Heron, Klimt, Goya, MFA Boston

Great Blue Heron Photos of the Year

Frequent visitors here know that my photos are a mixed bag in terms of genre – some have more artistic merit than others, and some are quirky and just for fun. Some are personal anecdotes of encounters in my kayak, and some the field notes of a naturalist. One thing they all have in common, though, is they’re wild creatures observed in nature along the waterways of Eastern Massachusetts.

Coming up on the horizon in a few months is my next one-woman photography show, comprised of 35 photos. For the most part in the past, pieces I’ve included in the galleries are different than the ones I post online, selections made in a vacuum, by myself.

As a new approach for 2015, I’m reaching out to readers here for your input, for your votes on which of the 2014 posts you like the most.

So, after the photos posted here, there’s a poll where you can let me know which are your favorites.

I do hope you participate, and I’m looking forward to seeing your responses.

Wishing peace, prosperity, and creativity to all in 2015!

.
.

.
.

Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: New. Soliciting the opinions of others about which photos to include in the upcoming show is a new approach for me. Like many artists and writers, I’m often surprised by what resonates with people. Looking forward to being surprised by the poll results here!

.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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.

Great Blue Heron, Egret, Kayaking, Photography

Memories – reblogged from ospreypaddler

babsje:

As 2014 glides into 2015, memories of years past float to the surface for many of us. In this post, fellow kayaker kestrelgwh elegantly explores the role of memories, saying “…sometimes the memories take the form of a story. Like a tool in a cabinet, we keep pulling it out of the drawer where it is stored, handle it, turn it, reflect on its significance and use to us.”  He shares a memory of an exhilarating kayak outing written with such a sense of immediacy that my pulse quickened as though I were there in the kayak, myself, as the bow rose the crest of powerful waves, only to plummet quickly into the following trough – over and over for his two-hour solo journey under perilous conditions.

I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did. And may your memories this New Years Eve nourish that which sustains you.

Originally posted on ospreypaddler:

We lose everything, but make harvest

of the consequences it was to us. Memory

builds this kingdom from the fragments

and approximation. We are gleaners who fill

the barn for the winter that comes on.

 –Jack Gilbert, “Moreover”

This is the time of year when ranchers in Montana pull stored sunlight out of their barns and spread it on frozen fields for hungry animals. This is the time of year when Blackfeet, Salish and Crow pull stories out of ancient storehouses and remind each other who they are and where they came from. Memories are the feast of the season.

At this time of the year a paddler builds a kingdom out of remembered fragments and approximations of the season past. In many cases the memories are composed only of images—a wave that caught my brother on the upwind side of a dock, lifted him on its crest and almost…

View original 797 more words

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 482 other followers

%d bloggers like this: