Beautiful Great Blue Heron at the Keyhole Tunnel

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron at Keyhole Tunnel – babsjeheron


For the months of September and October, the Great Blue Herons are featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA. Feel free to stop in during office hours Monday thru Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm; Friday 8:00 am – 12:30 pm

From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the Great Blue Herons. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

Thanks to Cee for her recent WPC: Black & White Challenge. The water had been smooth as glass until a passing pair of kayakers played through! (And apologies to Cee for once again bending the rules.)

Thanks again to Paula for her earlier WPC: Black & White Sunday: Traces of the Past. This bridge and tunnel are from days gone by, using ingenious technology of the earlier era.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.

Through July 13, 2017 I was 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.


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Posted on September 12, 2018, in ardea herodias, Art, Black & White Sunday, Black and White Photo Challenge, Cee's Black & White Challenge, Great Blue Heron, Monochrome Madness Challenge, Monochrome Monday, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography, Wordless Wednesday and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Oh what a stunning photo for this week 😀

    • Many thanks, Cee. That location is one of those where I hope to see a Heron. This was only the second time in more than a dozen years. I am smitten with that Fledgling. Best, Babsje

  2. Great pose framed by that tunnel opening.

    • Hi Judy. Thanks so much for your kind comment. I’m glad you like this one. Needless to say that the”degree of difficulty” involved in framing the Fledgling just so was pretty high, what with me being in a floating kayak that kept moving him to the right of the arch. Best, Babsje

      • Yeah, I get that. I’ve shot a few from motor boats and even that is difficult enough to balance DOF, SS compensating for motion of bird and boat as well as framing while you drift. One of my favourites was a Great White Heron on some mangrove roots shot from our inflatable boat many years ago now, and I still like that one. But, I remember getting my husband to cut the engine so I could QUIETLY drift to a good vantage point without scaring the beautiful bird.
        This one turned out so nicely and well worth the work from the kayak. I admire your versatility and the fact you exercise. Admirable! I am lacking these days in that area, badly I mean!!

        • I can’t imagine doing photography of Herons or Egrets from a motor boat, good for you. Was the gorgeous photo that is the main attraction on your blog taken from the water? It is still one of my all-time favorites. So, about exercise: 2018 has been a challenge. First we had a long winter, then I broke a rib, then I broke a foot, then I broke a different rib, and in between all of that we had either excessive rain or excessive heat. The upshot was that my first outing on the water this year wasn’t until September 1st. I am usually out in March. So, looking on the bright side was this Great Blue Fledgling who so patiently sat for his portrait. I usually shoot from a hide so the birds aren’t disturbed by my presence. Again, many thanks for your comments, Judy! Best, Babsje

          • Oh wow!! My goodness! You do take your calcium don’t you? 🙂 Yeah, with me its just been a bunch of family things…evidenced by my eulogies on the blog causing me to retract a bit. PLUS excessive heat which I cannot handle well anymore unless I am floating in a cool pool.

            If you mean the Great While Heron in the mangroves on the banner of the blog, then yeah that is the one. Took several shots while the boat floated by so have several images I like of him (or her). Later on after getting more knowledgeable about the Great Herons, I decided that that one was a young adult. What a great morning that was.

            Hope we both get plenty of exercise as fall approaches and the weather is cooler and drier for working out or kayaking or hiking.

            • I noticed your heart-felt eulogies. They were very moving tributes… And YES that is the photo I meant. Now that I know you took it from a drifting MOTOR BOAT it is even more impressive. Truly one of my all time favs. And calcium, yes but apparently too little too late for a while it seems. Here’s to us both getting out. Best, Babsje

    • I’m glad you like it! Many tha thanks for your kind words. I’m lucky to have been in the right place at the right time to capture this scene. Best, Babsje

  3. Think is a very good place for fishing

  4. do you have to paddle through this opening Babsje?

    • Yes if I want to get to ‘South Lake.” My lake is divided into 3 sections. North Lake, Middle Lake and South Lake. South Lake has the nesting island and had that exciting Bald Eagle day and bathing Mute Swans. The tunnel is barely wider than my paddle when water is high. On average water level days you should see power boats inching through by pressing hands against the tunnel walls and ceiling! Best, Babsje

      • I wonder how old it is? Looks like it’s from 1800?

        • I don’t know the exact date but it existed earlier than 1846. My lake used to be called Long Pond. In 1846 they built it into a reservoir to serve aa Boston’s water supply and renamed it Lake Cochituate. When they did that, they raised the water level so only the top of the tunnel arch appears. The walls of the tunnel go down much deeper. When the light is right large schools of Brown Trout can be seen at the tunnel ends. Hence Heron fishing is good. Also human fishing from the sides.

          • contact the local historical society and try and find out more about it’s origin Babsje?

            • This is a great suggestion Wayne. Thanks! Town history is a little murky. There were massive fires in 1872 and 1874 and the historic society was a total loss along with most of downtown. Like Lytton in BC last week. The present historical society was founded in 1870 AFTER the two fires. This is the best info I have about the keyhole tunnel: And this is about the fires that destroyed town:
              Thanks for your great suggestion. Will keep trying! Best, Babsje

            • Not leaving any stone unturned, I tried to call them this morning and they are still closed until further notice due to Covid 19. They have a research request option I can use however that is also closed due to Covid and they say they will respond when they reopen after Covid lifts. Next stop: the History collection at the library. Stay tuned!

            • Well checking with the library since the historical society is closed due to Covid, it turns out the Reference Desk and Historical collection are both on the 2nd floor of the library…which is still closed to patrons due to Covid. I have emailed them for the year it was built. Staying tuned. I suspect there is something on microfilm from a newspaper from the early 1800s that will solve the mystery but unfortunately no access til they are done with Covid. And frankly my vision is too poor to read microfilm at this point. I’m able to see here only by expanding the font and using a magnifying glass and only with one eye. Take care of your eyes!

    • Here is a boater doing hand over hand to edge through the keyhole: One great thing is that tunnel is impossible for those floating pontoon party boats to traverse

      • Oh,………It’s bigger than I thought! I thought it was only a few feet wide but still a tight spot!

        • Yes it is very narrow depending on the water level. The depth of the original granite tunnel walls is around 9 feet lower than what is seen today. The path above the parapet was a hangout for a nude man who liked to parade back and forth and surprise folks on the water!

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