Mute Swans Saturday Night Bath Time

© Babsje (

Mute Swan Bathing Beauty – babsjeheron

Another bath? Do we have to?

Well it IS Saturday and that does mean bath day – even for birds.

That Saturday, I was tired, and the journey back to the home dock would take another hour and a half. I had already bagged a fair number of Great Blue Heron captures and was eager to take out.

From a distance, I gave a passing glance at the southern shoreline and saw the usual pair of Mute Swans floating in their usual spot, and so I paddled on.

Rounding the curve below the Labs, coming closer to the Swans, I noticed an odd-looking thrashing and splashing unlike any Swan behavior I’d seen before.

Binoculars up, I sat transfixed, watching from across the channel as one of the Swans took a Saturday bath. Amazing.

Many of us have seen Robins, or Warblers, or other small songbirds splashing about in a backyard garden birdbath. Now, imagine a bird with a 7-to-8 foot wingspan behaving just the same – dunking their head and neck fully below the surface, coming back up to shake off the water, rearing up on legs, wings akimbo flapping and expelling droplets galore, and preening, preening, preening to sort out feathers. The Swan’s bath lasted more than 15 minutes. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. i took just over 250 photographs in that 15 minutes. Canon burst mode for the win.

Mute Swan Bathing Nbr 3 – babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (

Mute Swan Bathing Nbr 3 – babsjeheron

And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

The Swan, Excerpt.
Mary Oliver,
Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

Mute Swan Bathing Nbr 2 - babsjeheron  © 2021 Babsje (

Mute Swan Bathing Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

Obligatory. What’s a Saturday night bath without a Rubber Ducky!

Rubber Duckie you’re the one,
You make bathtime lots of fun,
Rubber Duckie I’m awfully fond of you

Jeff Moss
The Sesame Street Songbook

giant inflated rubber ducky floating © 2020 Babsje (

Rubber Ducky at the Lake – babsjeheron


This post is prompted by the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage the community. This week, the Lens Artists focus on gorgeous photos with the theme of Feet and Shoes. What a fun topic! Did you know that Great Blue Herons have webbed toes? Here’s one example:

The circle shows webbing between two toes

Great Blue Heron in the Rain Nbr 2 – babsjeheron The circle shows webbing between two toes

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 161: Feet and Shoes .

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 161: Feet and Shoes .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 161: Feet and Shoes .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 161: Feet and Shoes .

Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Blue.

Thanks to Paula for her Thursdays Special: Pick a Word in July: Flow. The water flow cascaded off the Swan as she bathed.

Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday . This post title has the requisite six words!


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.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, Mute Swan, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick

Posted on August 14, 2021, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Birds, Cee's Fun Foto Challenge, Heron, Mute Swan, Nature, Thursday's Special, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. oh these are gorgeous 😀

    • Hi Cee. Thanks so much for your kind compliment. That session is one where doing a video would have been nice. That pair of Swans is so endearing. Best, Babsje

  2. You certainly came along at the right moment Babsje! Great shots!

  3. Exciting action shots, Babsje. Great series.

    • Hi Jane. Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the bathing beauty Swan. The second Swan was far to the left and I couldn’t fit both Swans in the frame but they both were bathing at the same time. Best, Babsje

  4. Well now we know how they stay so white Babsje 😊. You captured their exuberance beautifully – well done! Thanks for adding the herons feet for our challenge this week – expecting lots of variety on this one LOL.

    • Hi Tina. I love your word choice of exuberance! That perfectly describes the Swan’s mood! Great comment. Many thanks. And yes 161 has a great topic and I expect some really off-the-wall responses. Best, Babsje

  5. Incredible! Beautifully captured!

  6. A great gallery with these beautiful birds, Babsje! And thank you for telling and showing the heron’s feet!

  7. “Splish splash, I was taking a bath
    Long about a Saturday night, yeah
    A rub dub, just relaxing in the tub
    Thinking everything was alright” –Bobby Darin

    Great photos.

  8. A beautiful sequence, Babsje. I also love the poetry. Mary Oliver is wonderful.

  9. Falling behind AGAIN! But I’m so glad I didn’t miss this. Utterly beautiful and spectacular and a whole bunch of other superlatives!!! (all complimentary, of course.)

  10. I have never seen such swan beauty and one that is captured so beautifully. Bravo your your passion, persistence and hooray for “bursting mode”. Thank your for this gift, Babsje

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