Great Blue Heron’s Guest…Insect? (Not Art Nbr 28)

Fireflies glimmering after dark on a summer's night.

What’s that glimmering after dark on a summer’s night? – babsjeheron

In the mood for something with a mysterious, otherworldly vibe?

What are those mysterious amber spots at top left? The otherworldly yellowish crcles blurred in the foreground? The vivid yellow dots suspended mid-frame?

Growing up, we always had swarms of fireflies each summer. It had been decades, though, since I had seen them last, when suddenly one summer, there they were – twinkling in the woods separating highway from the reservoir.

My heart skipped a beat, and my inner child skipped in joy.

As children, we captured them in mason jars and watched them twinkle, before releasing them.

As an adult, I captured them on film – using real film and an old Konica on a tripod, standing in the breakdown lane of Route 9, scooting out of the way whenever a car rounded the bend.

The things I do in search of the mysterious.

And did you know that Firefly swarms can synchronize their flashes? They’re even more mysterious than I thought.

Obligatory Great Blue Heron:

Great blue heron exploring the shoreline near suspended hammocks.

Great blue heron exploring the shoreline near suspended hammocks – babsjeheron

While my favorite elements of nature are always the wild and untrammeled ones, this section of the shoreline is a place I’d love to inhabit for an evening, lazing in one of the hammocks, with fireflies twinkling around the flowers. And a Great Blue Heron, there would be a Heron there, too.

Thanks to Cee for her FOTD. I don’t know the name of the flowers but can imagine the fireflies flittering about just after sunset.
The amazing Lens Artists Tina, Patti, Amy, and Leya are still taking a much-deserved and much-needed break for the month of July. A recent Lens Artist challenge from them focused on Spots and Dots. Frankly I’m not sure if my fireflies are spots or if they’re dots!

Check out the Lens Artists’ beautiful photos here:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and they need your love.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

2015 (May), 2016 (March and July), 2018 (May, June, July), 2019 (December), 2020 (January) several one-woman photography shows at TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary

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 were 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.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick

Posted on July 12, 2021, in # Lens-Artists, Birds, Great Blue Heron, Nature Photography, Photography, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. We do not get Fireflies here but back home we did! You gave me the idea of doing a time lapse with hundreds of them swarming about! I wonder what that would look like?
    Great work Babsje!

  2. Love fireflies! So reminds me of my childhood in rural western Massachusetts. Thanks for posting!

    • Hi Julie. So glad my post brought back fond memories for you. I went many years without seeing a single one. Thanks for your kind comment. Best, Babsje

  3. Fireflies remind me of my youth too Babsje. A clean jam or pickle jar and I sat on the front porch with my parents and watched them light up the bottle. Summer was glorious as there was no school so I could stay up a little later. The rest of the time those big jars were reserved for “rescuing” pollywogs at the creek at the end of the street. Those were the days and the youth today with their eyes trained on their devices or the television are missing out on oh so much. I do get images of herons, but none so spectacular as these. Harry the Heron at my local park where I walk almost daily is very skittish and takes off in a heartbeat.
    Our friend Wayne is trying to convince me to take the camera off automatic but I’ll learn how to use the camera correctly when I have more time and can afford to live with missed shots. In the meantime, it is automatic, cheating a little with the “sports setting” and living in the moment and enjoying nature just like you said. Thanks again for stopping by tonight and the introduction by Wayne.

    • Hi Linda. Thanks for sharing your experience of walking down memory lane with fireflies and pollywogs and no school. Glad you also like Herons. They are skittish for good reason and it’s great that you keep a respectful distance. Don’t sweat the autofocus. It is good to learn the manual controls even if it means missing some shots here and there. Remember the days of 35mm film and the limited number of shots possible on a roll? And the cost of getting them developed and printed? Digital cameras have truly liberated us from all of that. You can experiment with manual mode and delete your bad shots and simply reuse the card. Practice is so much easier and less expensive than what it was like not so many years ago. We are free. (And I owe you a reply to your kind comment over on tour blog. Will follow up in the morning.) Thanks. Best, Babsje

      • Hi Babsje – The heron at the park fishes off a cement ledge and is spooked every time I round that bend. I was at a new wildlife refuge that opened up last Fall and near a secluded path there was a heron, not 10 feet from me. It was the smallest body of water and I just had my digital compact camera with me that day, but got some good shots as he was intent on fishing and paid no attention to me while standing on a branch, then hopping into the water. I was ecstatic about that. I’m ashamed to say I spent an entire day reading the DSLR camera manual and also “Canon Rebel T6 for Dummies” then went to the park and none of the shots came out. Too dark or too light. None of those shots were important, just wildflowers so I didn’t despair too much. I do remember those days of film and the expense. I used to travel when I was younger and would come home with 10 or 12 rolls of film. Not all good pictures, some quite cringe worthy, even though I shot those all on automatic, despite taking a photography class for the Canon AE-1. I look forward to retirement and all the extra time I’ll have for myself and any hobbies.

        • Hi Linda. Glad you’re experimenting with your camera. Those days of film? I remember being thrilled if I got just one really good photo on a roll. And often it was the very last one on the roll. My blog has a mix of film and digital photos – even a few taken when I borrowed a Kodak EasyShare to experiment using a make-shift light source on my kitchen table. (People wouldn’t believe me if I pointed out those Kodak photos.) About the Herons…i have opinions. This is the time of year when they need extra extra space. The adults are doing pretty much constant fishing to get food so they can feed their chicks. Every so often I post about that: The story in that post was very intense. Hope you have a good Wednesday!

          • Yes, I have a long way to go Babsje. I need to learn how to use the video capabilities as well. I enjoyed reading that post – it was an excellent PSA. Many people do not understand to simply observe and appreciate nature from afar because they are too preoccupied with their own agendas.

            • Hi Linda. I agree with you. Glad you liked that PSA rant. I try not to rant all over the blog but sometimes my passion gets the better of me. Best, Babsje

              • No problem Babsje – as a nature lover I “get” it. I had my moment to save wildlife this morning. While walking to the Park, I saw a Mama Mallard in distress as all but two of her ducklings fell down a sewer grate and were quacking away. They were very tiny. I called the police but before they got there (45 minutes or so later), many neighbors saw me there (trying to calm down Mama and dissuade her from prancing her ducklings across the grate – there were a few missteps as one webbed foot went down a space and nearly joined its brethren). It ended well with them rescued and off she went, waddling down the street to parts unknown. She wasn’t at the Park though. Everyone banded together, neighbors and the Animal Control Officer and all of us had something to talk about later and in my case, write about if the photos came out okay.

  4. Fireflies definitely brings back sweet memories of that childhood fascination…and still they fascinate. One of nature’s fun marvels.Hammock, Great Blue Heron and fireflies and maybe a glass of red and the sun going down. Heaven!

    • Hi Judy. That would be heavenly indeed. Glad you like the fireflies. It seems almost a universal for people fortunate enough to live in a climate where fireflies are present. Fireflies don’t have that ick factor of some other insects. 😊 Best, Babsje

      • The last time I recall seeing fireflies was when we broke down on I-95 and pulled over at some toll station. While my husband went for help I sat in the car with the three boys as it got dark and were delighted to see fireflies all around.

        • Wow. How lovely that your car misfortune had a moment of glorious firefly beauty. I hope your husband saw them too. (And that your car was ok in the end.)

          • It was a very eventful trip down I-95 as it happens but we made it home safely and the fireflies were a true silver lining. 🙂

            • Oh great that it ended safely. I lived on the Gulf Coast for many years. I don’t recall seeing fireflies there. Do they have them where you are? We has lots of ick factor bugs but no lightning bugs. (Palmetto Bugs I’m looking at you LOL)

  5. I must point out my respect for your kindness for those individuals that actually need guidance on the field. Your special commitment to getting the message around has been unbelievably advantageous and have consistently permitted guys and women like me to arrive at their targets. Your personal invaluable report indicates a lot to me and especially to my fellow workers. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  6. Lovely shots, Babsje – and fireflies are surely mysterious!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: