If I Were a Caveman…

If I were a caveman, perhaps my “photos” of Great Blue Herons would have been rendered like the relics below.

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

Great Blue Heron overhead.

Even the ancient peoples tried to capture heron-like birds in their art. Without cameras they painted and carved likenesses on the rock walls of caves.

Does this first image look like the heron has caught a frog?

Embed from Getty Images

USA, Arizona, Petrified Forest National Park, Cave paintings


This image shows crane-like birds:

Embed from Getty Images

Detailed petroglyph depicts snakes and cranes. Nine Mile Canyon, Utah.

More heron-like birds:

Embed from Getty Images

‘Carved Petroglyph’ (People, deers, elks, birds, boots and circles), 4th-3rd millenium BC. Russian Forest Cultures. Found in the collection of the State Hermitage, St. Petersburg. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)


I’m a big fan of ancient cave art, and was pleased to find a small number of images that portrayed birds similar to herons and cranes. Many of the cave paintings, carvings, and rock petroglyphs center on large game animals and hunting figures, and the large wading birds appear only rarely.

Because I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag, as the expression goes, it’s a good thing that I live in an era of modern cameras instead of prehistoric times – when my heron captures would only have had cave walls for their canvas.


Thanks to Donncha and WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic.


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, Cave Art, Petroglyphs

Posted on July 18, 2014, in ardea herodias, Art, Birds, Cave art, Great Blue Heron, Nature, Petroglyphs, Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wild Bird Wednesday, Wildlife Photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Hard to imagine the next step beyond digital photography… holograms?

    • Possibly holograms. A few years ago I rean an obit of a local woman artist and was surprised that she had been producing holograms for her pieces. Amazing. Thanks for the thought-provoker!

  2. Really interesting – and yes, to me that really does look like a frog or something very like that. RH

  3. Very cool…. that’s quite a shot … in flight !!!

  4. Beautiful photos! Now and then a Great Blue Heron drifts over the prairie pothole behind our property, and though I’ve never seen one actually stop in for a visit, just the sight of them passing by is a great treat.

    • It must be great to see them there flying by on the prairie. I’ve heard from a fellow blogger of herons perching atop gopher holes, waiting for lunch, when the water holes run dry. Thanks for visiting and commenting here!

  5. laurie27wsmith

    I like to think of these petroglyphs as ‘CaveBook.’ They’re all posting their pics on walls.

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