For That Fearlessness

© Babsje (

Great blue heron on swimming float.

After feeding the birds that afternoon, I walked over to the shrubbery along the shore to look at the swimming float platform half-way across the cove.

My distance vision isn’t very good. I could tell there was a largish bird on the platform, but not whether it was a cormorant or a great blue heron from so far away. It was preening, stretching its neck up, bill down, and could have been either as far as I could tell.

I decided to call to it, and if it responded, that would tell me which.



And suddenly – before I could utter a third arrrh – there was a short clamoring of frawhnk… frawhnk… frawhnk… coming from my immediate left, not five feet away.

Obscured by the trees and bushes, a juvenile heron had been on a neighbor’s dock.

It heard my call, answered my call, and then flew directly towards the shore where I stood, right past me with less than two feet separating us, and landed on the dock to my right.

I walked over to the path by the dock, careful to not aproach too closely, and called again…



And the heron’s neck craned up full height, its right eye seeking me out, watching me, watching me.

I stood still for a long while, until the bird folded its neck back into that graceful curve and began foraging along the shore.

Goosebumps that the juvenile responded to my call, and came closer.

Juveniles are great in that way – fearless their first summer in the world.

I love them for that fearlessness.


Thanks to Paula for her Thursday’s Special Non-Challenge Challenge. (Thursday, Tuesday, any day in the company of herons is a good day, the right day.)

Thanks to Ailsa for her Where’s My Backpack: Work prompt. (It was hard work when crafting this post to not bemoan the bitterly cold weather, but one look at this photo brought warmth flooding back.)

Thanks to Ese for her Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge: Alive prompt. (What a great day, to be so alive.)


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. (

Great Blue Heron

Posted on February 25, 2014, in ardea herodias, Art, Birds, Ese's Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge, Great Blue Heron, Nature, Photography, postaday, Thursday's Special, Weekly Travel Themes, Wildlife Photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. This was an awesome experience. I can feel your joy and excitement. A beautiful capture you brought 🙂 Thank you for linking to my post, Babsje.

    • Many thanks for your kind comment, Paula – you’re right, it was a very special, heart-warming moment. Thanks again for hosting Thursday’s Special and allowing me to participate.

  2. We love that about kids—it never occurs to them that they can’t do something!

  3. Amazing. There is just something so very special when one of God’s creatures acknowledges us! 🙂

  4. Fantastic! Reminds me of the time when hubby used to talk to a resident Great Horned Owl who hung out in a tree across the street from us. It’s a thrill indeed.

  5. Beautiful shot.

  6. Oh I am so far behind on my blog reading this week—-great post…yes, I use to be fearless too-lol! You sure do speak their language;-)

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