Not Art

This photo is not a work of art, but the model is.

Great blue heron perching on a well-healed broken leg.

Great blue heron perching on a well-healed broken leg.

They say that once it has healed, a broken bone is stronger than it was originally.

Our great blue heron shown here is standing with all of her weight on her broken leg. You can see the healed break in her lower leg, midway between knobby knee and ankle. (She has been featured in earlier photos in my blog. If you missed seeing those previous posts, please click here and here and here.)

After first noticing the broken leg, I wondered how the heron would cope with sleeping and perching, especially when the weather turned cold. Would the heron be limited to perching only on her “good” unbroken leg? Herons tuck one leg up into their chest feathers for comfort and warmth, preventing frost bitten feet in cold weather. It could spell disaster if the foot on her good leg got frostbite.

My earlier posts show the heron prevailing in aerial combat with an interloper, and soaring low and slow across the lake, and high above the trees, but still I worried about her standing positions.

Perhaps you can imagine my relief, then, when I saw her perching on her broken leg. What they say about a broken bone healing stronger in the end seems borne out by the above photo. That, and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Asking me which great blue heron is my favorite is like asking a parent which of their children they love the most. While I love all of the herons – just as an artist falls in love with his models – this one is clearly special.

Alligator on the shore of the Charles River.

Alligator on the shore of the Charles River.

And while we’re on the subject of “Not Art,” this second photo shown here is also definitely not art.

It certainly was exciting fun, though, to be kayaking the Charles River that October day. Imagine coming round a bend and seeing him leering from the northern shore, underneath that canopy of early Autumn leaves!

From time to time, there are reports in the local media of pet alligators being released in the local rivers once they grow too large. Happily, this was not one of them.

(Question: what size is too large for an alligator to be kept as a pet? Answer: Any size.)


Thanks to Paula and WordPress for the Thursday’s Special Non-Challenge Challenge.

Thanks once more to Ese for her Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Obsession prompt. Maybe one day I will overcome my obsession with great blue herons, but today is still not that day.

Thanks also to Sue for the Word a Week Challenge: Favorite. No secret, great blue herons are my favorite passion.

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

Thanks also to Ed Prescott for the Sunday Stills: Trees & Leaves prompt. I couldn’t resist posting the alligator in Autumn.

With thanks again to Verena for her Festival of Leaves opportunity.

And thank-you once more as well to Michelle for the Weekly Pet Challenge Roundup nudge.


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.

© 2013 Babsje. (

Posted on October 24, 2013, in A Word A Week Photo Challenge, ardea herodias, Art, daily prompt, Ese's Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge, Great Blue Heron, Michelle's Weekly Pet Challenge, postaday, Sunday Stills, Thursday's Special, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wild Bird Wednesday, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. I can also stand on my once broken leg. It healed beautifully. Isn’t it amazing how the body can regenerate itself? That alligator pic is quite scary. I would have paddled away as though the devil was after me. 😀

  2. Beautiful photo of the heron. I’m glad the leg has healed.

    • Many thanks for your kind words, I’m glad you visited my blog and commented here! It was wonderful to see the heron year after year and she got on nicely even with her broken leg.

  3. Fabulous pictures, Babsje! She balances so well.

  4. I think more people should see your post 🙂 This is fantastic Babsje 🙂 Have a nice weekend and thank you so much for your generous offering 🙂

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