Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Habitat (Not Art Nbr 12)
The fine was levied: $103,000. $1,000 a day for 103 days in violation of the court order. The scene above can never be photographed again.
It was heartbreaking to discover the habitat destruction on my first kayak outing this spring. Generations of Great Blue Herons had used that tree in all seasons – fishing in the waters below, sunning for warmth on autumn mornings, sleeping soundly on one leg. I’d been photographing them there for more than a decade. Each morning on the water, I would raise binoculars to scan that tree for a Heron, but not any longer. Training the binocs on that spot brings only sadness, not sightings of the Great Blues and Green Herons, Black Crowned Night Herons, and the Turtles often seen there.
While Massachusetts owns the lake and its waters, there are some privately-held properties along areas of the shores. The owner of the property behind the beautiful partly submerged tree shown here illegally cleared land and removed trees after bulldozing the former home on the site. After clearing the land, he brought in an excavator and swept that beautiful tree and others from the water. Someone called the police who caught him red-handed, but it was too late to save that lovely corner of the cove.
His plan? To construct three new homes for some international buyers – people with no great love for the lake, no appreciation and no respect for the wildlife that calls the cove their home. Last fall the court put him on notice that the fine for continuing to desecrate the area was $1,000 a day, but he persisted. This spring, he was assessed $103,000 for the violations, and a new fine of $25,000 a day was imposed for any continued damage.
Shifting gears a bit, one day years ago, a bookcase at home was moved from a hallway to the living room. When I came home from work that night, Phoebe the calico cat greeted me at the door and immediately led me in the direction of where the bookcase had been. She sat there in that spot, as though pointing out to me that it was gone. Another time, a friend’s cat, Minnie, greeted me at their front door and purposely led me up the stairs to show me her new kittens, nestled in the bottom drawer of a bedroom dresser.
So it was that a week ago, one of the Herons showed me that the tree was gone.
Animals and birds can recognize individual humans, and some of the Herons recognize me after all these years. (While I am a huge proponent of taking photographs from a hide or when well-hidden from view, there are places on the lake and rivers here were simply navigating makes my presence known to the wildlife.)
That morning, the adult female Great Blue watched from her perch along the south bank as my kayak curved across the channel towards the tunnel. Suddenly, she swooped across my bow and headed towards where that tree had been. She landed on the shore at that very spot, and stood there staring at me. I have no doubt that she was showing me that her tree was gone… but she was still here.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Delta. The top “before’ and the bottom “after” photos are stark examples of the nature of change.
From now through July 13th, I am a Featured Artist 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.
From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™
The Tao of Feathers™
© 2017 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)
Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows
Posted on July 2, 2017, in ardea herodias, Art, Bird photography, DPchallenge, Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, Nature, Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged great blue heron, postaday. Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.