Beautiful Great Blue Herons – Your Favorite Photos and Egg on my Face

The thing is to be attentively present. 
To sit and wait is as important as to move.
Patience is as valuable as industry.
What is to be known is always there.
When it reveals itself to you, or when you come upon it, it is by chance.
The only condition is your being there and being watchful.

Wendell Berry
The Long-Legged House

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron at Keyhole Tunnel – babsjeheron

This week, the Lens Artists’ challenge topic is ‘Narrow.’ The tunnel shown here is barely wider than the length of my paddle. Sometimes, 1 can only maneuver my paddle at an awkward angle, stroking with only one blade in the water if the level in the lake has risen due to rainfall.

In the aftermath of tropical storm Irene a few years ago, one day I encountered three other kayakers in line to paddle through single-file. One after another, they each nosed into the tunnel but quickly failed to progress forward more than a couple of feet.

*Rookies,” I thought to myself, and made a move to show them how it is done. However, the water level was so much higher and the current so much stronger than usual that I was able to enter the tunnel only about five feet before the swiftly rushing water spit my boat out backwards into the cove. So much for showing those other kayakers how to navigate the tunnel. Boy did I have egg on my face. (Only belatedly did I learn that the huge current resulted from opening flood gates to control waters in the reservoir system serving the city.)

A few weeks ago, I invited readers to vote on their favorite Great Blue Heron photos. If you missed that post, it’s not too late to participate. Click here and share your opinion..

Spoiler alert: The photo of the fledgling Great Blue Heron shown in today’s post won the vote. Here are the results:

© Babsje (

Reader’s Favorite Heron Poll Results


Thanks to Cee for her B&W Challenge: Moving Water. .

Once more, thanks and kudos to the inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – for their continuing devotion to elevating and celebrating photography.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 84: Narrow.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 84: Narrow.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 84: Narrow.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 84: Narrow.

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on 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.

Many of the photos in the exhibit are being shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

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.

During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2020 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Wayland

Posted on February 16, 2020, in ardea herodias, Art, Birds, Black & White Sunday, Cee's Black & White Challenge, Great Blue Heron, Monochrome Monday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Excellent choice Babsje, great timing to catch that gorgeous heron right in front of the narrow tunnel. Loved your story about the kayakers 😊

    • Many thanks Tina. It took many years of looking and waiting to capture a Heron there, and then an hour plus to maneuver into position so he was framed properly. At one point, a couple of fighter jets flew low overhead – so close that the photos I squeezed off clearly show the pilot’s face in his cockpit. The Heron froze rather than fled, fortunately, and the photo session went in happily ever after. Best, Babsje

  2. Very beautifully captured! Thank you for sharing the result of the votes. Wonderful to hear about your displays in 2018. Congratulations!

    • Hi Amy. Thanks so much, and thank you and the other 3 Lens Artists for creating the space for sharing. Looking forward to more of your inspiring work. Best, Babsje

  3. An excellent choice, Babsje! I also loved the story and your thoughts before and after…Thank you for showing us the results as well (of the voting). Wishing you a wonderful week.

    • Many thanks for your kind words Leya. I’m glad you liked this photo and the poll results. As an artist, I have my own favorites. Sometimes a favorite is because of how the final photo looks, and other times it is because of memories from what the experience was like while taking the photo. But I am always interested to know the readers preferences and what about a photo moves people. Best, Babsje

  4. Babsje, I couldn’t decide the first time around which image I liked best; each had its qualities. But the keyhole image seems the perfect expression of what Berrry calls for in The Long Legged House. As for passing through the tunnel, it reminds me of trying to paddle around beaver dams in Montana. Not always successful.

    • Hi Gary, thanks for your thoughtful words. I agree with you about the connection with Berry’s passage. Navigating beaver dams in Montana sounds both challenging and fun. Looking forward to reading more of your writings once you’re back in the water in spring. Best, Babsje

  5. Definitely a perfectly positioned scene and done from the water!! Always a challenge to shoot from a boat I think.!!

    • Hi Judy. Good to hear from you, thanks for your kind words. Yes, photographed from a moving kayak. It is a very tiny passage and so not a lot of other boat traffic but what small number of others makes it very challenging what with small waves and rising and falling waters. It took a lot of maneuvering to center the fledgling and I had to stay sufficiently far away that he didn’t see me there. I never want the birds to be aware of my presence. Best, Babsje

  6. Excellent photo. Good contrast of bird against tunnel.

  7. What a great capture, Babsje! Perfect for the “narrow” challenge!

  8. What a charming capture, thanks.

  9. Wow! Fantastic photos!
    They truly are amazing creatures!

  10. lining yourself up with the background was a great idea! Higher contrast,so it projects better!

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