Autumn Sun – Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated and Sunday Stills: Birds

The whitewater kayak carved circles in the water whenever I pulled on the paddle too sharply. Seeing the fledgling great blue heron on the eastern shore quickened my pulse, and my paddle strokes.

Great blue heron fledgling in autumn.

Great blue heron fledgling in autumn.

The boat wasn’t designed for flat-water outings, but it was the only one I had that autumn afternoon. The kayak was overly-nimble, and at times it seemed like merely turning my head too quickly would also turn the boat. When I saw the heron out of the corner of my eye, my head turned in that direction automatically, and instinctively I dug in the paddle to set a course for that end of the cove.

“Wheeeee!” I thought to myself as the kayak spun full donuts on the otherwise smooth waters, around and around.

The kayak stopped spinning and I adjusted my touch, with feather-light strokes of the blades planted less deeply in the water. I settled in amongst the surface vegetation to the west of Monkey Island to stabilize the kayak, and waited for the ripples to subside.

The fledgling foraged in the shallows, and stood there for quite a while basking in the warming rays of the late afternoon sun.

It was a good day for being alive.


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

Thanks also to Ed Prescott for the Sunday Stills: Birds prompt.

The topic for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week is “saturated.” The photo included in this post is one of the more saturated of my heron photos because of the bright late-afternoon autumn sun.


(This took place November 9, 2008)

© 2013 Babsje. (

Posted on October 1, 2013, in ardea herodias, Bird photography, daily prompt, Fledgling heron, Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, Nature Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Sunday Stills, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I love those nice warm colors. Great shot,Babs.

  2. Beautiful photo with the pattern of the reeds seeming to play in the bird’s feathers.

    • I’m glad you noticed the interplay of the reeds and feathers, good eye. I like that the golden colors are compatible, since fledgling great blues are more russet than the older birds. Thanks for your kind words and for visiting here again! Best, Babsje

  3. What a perfect autumn shot! And you were having so much fun! Thanks for the recent like.

  4. This is abeautiful one!!!! I can even see the color of his /her eyes…Great!

  5. Love the golden background Babsje!

    • Thanks for th kind words Tina! Most of my heron photos are taken in the green seasons, since they migrate. this one was taken in early November that year, and by Thanksgiving most of them had flown to warmer places. Most, but not all. best, Babsje

  6. “tis” a good day to be alive:-)

  7. Love the golden colour in this pic, Babsje, and I enjoyed your narrative. I felt as though I was watching you spinning in that kayak. 🙂

    • Thanks! Spinning in that white-water boat was always fun. At the time, I lived on the small lake where that photo was taken and I only had the one small kayak. Because it spun around so easily and without warning, I learned to paddle gingerly.

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Saturation | Joe's Musings

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