Beautiful Great Blue Heron Sweet, Tender Moment and Fly-on-the-Wall

Great Blue Heron Profile - babsjeheeon   © Babsje (

Great Blue Heron Profile – babsjeheeon

She’s gathered up all the time in the world
– nothing else – and waits for scanty trophies,
complete in herself as a heron.

Denise Levertov,
Sands of the Well

Mid-week afternoons in August are good at the lake. Many people are at work and many others go away on vacation the last 10 days of August, so I had the waters almost to myself.

I rounded a bend and unexpectedly came upon a man in a green canoe with the name Puffin stenciled on the side in white. He was sitting in the stern with his young son tucked against him, holding the boy with one arm, paddling with the other.

The boy was about 2 or 3, and beaming with happiness in his nice, bright yellow pfd.

Their canoe was perpendicular to the shore, and the little boy’s hand was pointing to the bank, his eyes so wide.

My eyes followed his finger … to a Great Blue Heron.

The Heron flew off, the canoe glided off, and I paddled on my way.

About half an hour later the green canoe returned, gliding up behind my yellow kayak, and then alongside me, so soundlessly I was unaware of their approach until they had overtaken me.

But the Heron on the shore had seen them — his posture straightened, head perked up, a subtle shift in his stance as though about to brace for flight.

The green canoe just glided by, very very slowly, and when closest to the bird, the toddler jutted out out his hand and waved at the Heron. “Bye Heron,” said the boy.

And so the father waved, too.

“Bye Heron,” said the man.

Then they were gone.

It was a tender, sweet encounter with the toddler in the green canoe. At any moment, he could have jumped up and squealed and clapped his hands in delight – all perfectly normal for a two-year-old. The spell thus broken, though, the Heron would have flushed in alarm.

But the toddler didn’t.

And the Heron stayed with me in the cove that day.
The cove is a mere finger of water, pointing to the east, bounded by tall pines and oaks and an occasional maple. As the season shifts into Autumn, the sun spreads her gold very narrowly, illuminating the full swath of water only at certain times of day. By October, the Great Blue Herons all work a similar circuit as they follow the sun in the cove.

In the top photo of this post, the Heron stands on a dock shrouded in shadow. The sun blazes on the far shore, but only teases the Heron across the way, illuminating just her head.

As they follow the sun, I follow the Herons.

Great Blue Heron Camouflaged - babsjeheron © Babsje (

Great Blue Heron Back-lit by Golden Hour Light – babsjeheron

This post is prompted by Cee and Debhie and Paula and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. This week, the Lens Artists focus on gorgeous photos with the theme of It’s All About the Light.

The two photos above in this post reveal lighting with different qualities – elusive autumn light and Golden Hour back-lighting. This next photo shows artificial lighting bathing gallery walls at Mass Audubon for my one-woman show. Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Herons and Egrets .

MASS Audubon One-Woman Show July 2009 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (

MASS Audubon One-Woman Show July 2009


Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Two M’s The word ‘Moment’ in the post title has two m’s.

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

Thanks to Paula for her Thursdays Special: Pick a Word in August: Solitary. The Great Blue Herons show above are solitary beings when not at a rookery or in breeding season.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .


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.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
Natick Town Hall
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
Audubon Sanctuary

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Herons and Egrets .


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (

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

Posted on August 28, 2021, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Birds, golden hour, Great Blue Heron, Heron, Nature, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 45 Comments.

  1. I bet that young boy will remember this paddling adventure for the rest of his life!

  2. Enjoyed your story this week Babsje, and of course your beautiful herons. Also enjoyed my visit to your art at your show which looked terrific (and of course the Arbus story as well!)

    • Hi Tina many thanks for your kind comment. That father and son were so endearing. They lived on a home with a dock in the small cove. What a playground they shared in that green canoe. Thanks also for visiting the gallery art. TCAN is a converted firehouse from the 1860s or thereabouts and still has some original brick walls. I used to get a kick out of the brass firefighter pole – it was the real deal. Best, Babsje

  3. Another marvelous heron story, Babsje. I love the toddler’s response and heron’s as well. Very sweet.

  4. Wow! Beautiful story and excellent photo of Heron. Well expressed 😊😊🌹👌

  5. Wow beautiful story and excellent photo of Heron! Well expressed 🤗🌹❣️

  6. That is a marvelous GBH and an excellent moment to capture. 😀

  7. Lovely post! The image of the heron is just beautiful!

  8. Babsje, with so much appreciative response to your story I’m not sure what to add except that i see the tension and beauty in “braced for flight.” Occasionally true for all of us.

    • Hi Gary. Many thanks for your thought-provoking comment. As you point out, being braced for flight is a state we all have experienced. Sometimes it is a flight FROM. Sometimes it can be a flight TO. I’m sure you understand the difference. There is much I have learned about that from kayaking and boat handling. Bow into the rough seas for no good will come from turning and getting swamped. As someone smarter than I said: the only way out is through. Your comment made me think. Thanks Gary! Best. Babsje

  9. Lovely post. Loved the part about the child. Training little ones in the wonders of quiet and peaceful enjoyment of nature is so often overlooked these days (said the teacher of many years 😉 ).
    I like Levertov’s poetry, too.

    • Hi Julie. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I’m sure as a teacher you would appreciate the wonderful job that father did raising his son in that green canoe. They lived in a home on the cove with a dock and would regularly take the canoe out for a short ride before afternoon nap time. The family had a second child a year or so later and moved away. And I missed seeing them after that. But that little boy definitely mastered sitting still and using his inside voice even at an early pre-school age. It was delightful. Best, Babsje

  10. Love that image of the heron as it “stands on a dock shrouded in shadow” and imagining the toddler in awe and quiet calmness was a beautiful moment to share via a blog post!

  11. What a joy in connecting with the wildlife 🙂 Lovely romantic bokeh, Babsje.

  12. How wonderful to see your exhibit at Mass Audubon! Thank you for the link!

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: