There Be Herons Here

Out of the shadows, the wild steps
lightly, all sharing the same dream
rising from the dry, dry earth.

In Sight (excerpt)

John Dofflemyer
Wind Under my Skin

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron and Boulder Nbr1 (09-21-2014)

 © Babsje (   Great blue heron with broken leg perched on boulder.

For perspective, the only-slightly-below-normal water level of an earlier summer. (09-05-2011)

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron and Boulder Nbr2 (09-21-2014)

© Babsje (

There Be Herons Here (09-28-2014)

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron and Boulder Nbr3 (10-13-2014)

© Babsje (

Two Boulders Après le Deluge (10-25-14)


Last week’s photo challenge is Depth. Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for this topic. Our lake is 625 acres, with a depth around 69 feet. The water level fluctuates during every summer, but the summer of 2014 saw a drought unlike years in recent memory. As the drought wore on, the receding waters opened new shallows where the Great Blue Herons could forage. The rains came at last during mid-October, raising the water level more than two feet. How much rainfall do you suppose it takes to raise a 625 acre lake two feet?

This week’s photo challenge is Scale. Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress. The three Great Blue Herons here offer a glimpse of the scale of the drought here last summer. Compared to the heartbreaking drought out West, the scope of the situation in Massachusetts was nothing. One of my favorite WordPress poets, John Dofflemyer, has eloquently, poignantly chronicled the impact of the near-five-year-long drought at his ranch. If you like the poetry of Wendell Berry, you will like John’s. Check it out at drycrikjournal.

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™

© 2015 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking

Posted on February 7, 2015, in ardea herodias, Art, Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, Nature, Photo Essay, Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Wonderful photos, Babsje. Otherworldly.

    • Hi Tish – many thanks for your kind comment, I’m glad you like these Herons, and I like your word choice of “otherworldly.” Seeing the herons on those boulders is not at all commonplace, and that makes otherworldly a good description. Thanks!

  2. Thanks, Babsje. Received nearly an inch of rain yesterday, first appreciable amount since December 15th — the hillsides sighing, beginning to breathe.

    • You’re welcome, John, and I’m thrilled to hear that you got a goodly amount of rain there yesterday. What a moving phrase you use: “the hillsides sighing, beginning to breathe.”

  3. Babsje,
    I love the tension in these photos, the paradox of light and heavy, drawn-down dry and returning abundance. You teach us to see.

    • Hi Gary – Many thanks for your kind words, and your observation about light/heavy, and dry/abundance. I have been paddling those same waters for nearly a decade, know the shoreline like the back of my hand, and yet no two days there are the same. There are assumptions we make about what is below the surface – of the water, of life – and in the case of the top photo, until the drought, I had no idea that top boulder was concealing a small cave-like opening below. I might have paddled on by without noticing were it not for that Great Blue Heron. Even now, with the waters high, my curiosity is piqued – is it really a cave there? How deep? Any Native American cave art? A heron would be fitting.

  4. I always feel so energized by your photos, babsje. Herons, like ravens, are very close to my heart…oh, and let’s not forget about soaring Mexican frigates. But herons are so meditative, often alone meditating deeply on the Eternal Now. Perhaps you are their messenger.

    • Many thanks for your thoughtful words! Being a messenger for the GBHs would be quite an honor. I’m moved by how much your birds resonate with you, especially the Ravens. There is a magazine called “Orion,” and the cover of a recent issue shows a pair of Ravens perched together in B&W, revealing them in a new light to me. I will post a link for you if I can find on line. Best, Babsje

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