Urge for Going

I awoke today and found 
the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky 
then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold 
and all the trees are shivering in a naked row

I get the urge for going…

Joni Mitchell
Urge for Going

Great blue heron fledgling with ripples reflecting on underwings.

Great blue heron fledgling with ripples reflected on underwing.

It was already November, and the great blue herons soon would have an urge for going. On that day, the eastern end of the small lake was still, and bathed in golden autumn light. The trees were already bare, and the reeds and grasses shone bronzed by the sun. It was dead calm on the water, not a whisper of a breeze and the water’s surface was mirror-smooth.

Mirror-smooth, until the fledgling took flight. Then a pattern of ripples spread out on the surface of the water, breaking the calm. The angle of the light played subtly upon the ripples, bouncing back upwards underneath the heron. If you look closely at the underside of the back wing in the photo here, you can see the light-colored, horizontal stripes softly patterning the feathers with subtle stripes. I like when that happens, when ripples or waves reflect on great blue heron feathers.


Thanks to Ese for her Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Vibration prompt. This week, Ese challenged people with the topic of vibrations. In a way, all is vibration. The Joni Mitchell song is one we can experience when the sound vibrations hit our ears. You can see the photos on people’s blogs when visual waves hit your eyes. In the case of the great blue heron photo here, the vibration of the heron’s feet moving in the water created ripples. The ripples caused specific vibrations in the waves of sunlight that reflected back underneath the heron. Some vibrations we see, some we hear, some we feel, and some we sense in other ways.

And also thanks to Sue Llewellyn for the Word A Week: Underneath challenge. The vibration-ripple-reflection appears underneath the heron, as the light reflects upwards.


(This took place November 9, 2008)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Posted on October 7, 2013, in A Word A Week Photo Challenge, ardea herodias, Art, Bird photography, Birds, daily prompt, Ese's Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge, Great Blue Heron, Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I see them on the lake behind my home daily. They are magnificent birds. I love the white egrets, as well. Great photo … you captured the sounds and vibrations of flight.

  2. Amazing edges and detail throughout. Good story too!

  3. Beautiful photo. Thanks for pointing out the water’s reflection on the wing. There’s so much happening in that frozen moment in time.

    • I’m happy that you like tthis one, thanks for your kind compliment about the moment frozen in time. It was a delight that day to spend time with the heron in autumn colors.

  4. Stunning capture of that beautiful heron, and I love the Joni song quote. Have a great autumn day, Babsje.

    • I’m glad you nlike both the heron and the Joni Mitchell song! There’s a marvelous cover of Urge for Going by Tom Rush that’s most definitely worth a listen, too. Best, Babsje

  5. I like how you caught the “wave” in the wing…pretty neat….I love curves in nature…the contrast between the wings and neck and somehow the heron just floats away with such ease……:-)

  6. Listening to the Joni Mitchel singing and looking at the photo… A wonderful mood, peaceful movement and beauty of nature.

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