Beautiful Great Blue Heron Breaks into Flight

Great Blue Heron With Wounded Wing Soaring - babsjeheron © Babsje (

Great Blue Heron With Wounded Wing Soaring – babsjeheron

Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into flight.

With apologies to James Wright’s poem “A Blessing”
The Branch Will not Break

© Babsje (

Great Blue Heron fishing near the mossy log – babsjeheron

That day, I went out in the kayak for two and a half hours. There was no wind then, it was calm, and sweet, and I felt suffused with joy.

At one point in the secluded cove, I failed to notice a Great Blue Heron on a fallen willow, the one felled by the big winds of the previous summer.

I had drifted up very close. I didn’t see her, but she saw me. Only when she burst into flight did I notice her.

Usually when they take off, the air is silent. That day, though, what alerted me to her presence was the rustle of her feathers. It was a sound unlike any other, and the soft, unmistakable friction of quill against quill brought me to goosebumps.

Her flight was only a short, slow hop across the cove, to the other side, and when she landed, she stood upright and stared at me as if to say “Well, are you happy now?”

We stayed together, the Heron staring at me, for a few minutes, then she turned and stalked deeper into the mysterious forest at the eastern end of the cove, where humans never go.

Only this time – since she knew I was there and, even knowing of my presence, she plied the shore very slowly, unafraid, not at all warily – I took her behavior as an invitation to follow her deeper and deeper along the slender finger of water until it was too shallow for even a kayak.

Any farther and I would have had to grow flight feathers to continue on.

Some day, I may just do that anyway – step out of my body and break into flight.



This post is prompted by Cee Neuner and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. The focus for this week’s LAPC is Artificial Light. Herons usually don’t hang out in artificial light where I live, so how about a two-fer: two full moon photos with artificial light.

Full Moon with Lights - babsje© Babsje (

Full Moon with Lights – babsjeheron

Full Moon Train Mass Turnpike - babsjeheron © Babsje (

Full Moon Train Mass Turnpike – babsjeheron


Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy. I don’t know if this challenge is still on, but I really like the idea of searching for joy. The Herons bring joy.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial 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! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .


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, Full Moon

Posted on September 21, 2021, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Art, Birds, Heron, Kayaking, Mindfulness, Nature, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. When you mentioned you followed her deeper into the forest,I immediately thought of you being like Alice and the Heron being the Mad Hatter. Careful where she leads you Babsje, maybe drop bread crumbs to find your way back

    • Hi Wayne. What fanciful imagery your comment conjures up. Good advice about the bread – and maybe a Crow following the bread will add protection? Or Hansel and Gretl? Many thanks for the fun comment! Best, Babsje

  2. Imagining you floating along peacefully in your kayak, Babsje. Beautiful heron images. 🙂

    • Hi Jane. Many thanks for your kind comment about floating along in a kayak – one of the best uses of time in my world! I’m glad you like the Herons. Best, Babsje

  3. The heron in flight is wonderful! I also enjoyed your image of the Pike at night. 😀😀

  4. Enjoyed the two photos with artificial light and the moon – so mysterious
    And opening the post with that mention of breaking into flight! Ahhh – have some lift 🕊

    • Thanks very much. I’m glad you like both photos and the James Wright quite. His poem The Blessing is a favorite

      A Blessing

      “Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
      Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
      And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
      Darken with kindness.
      They have come gladly out of the willows
      To welcome my friend and me.
      We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
      Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
      They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness  
      That we have come.
      They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
      There is no loneliness like theirs.  
      At home once more,
      They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.  
      I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
      For she has walked over to me  
      And nuzzled my left hand.  
      She is black and white,
      Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
      And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
      That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
      Suddenly I realize
      That if I stepped out of my body I would break
      Into blossom.”

  5. A beautiful flight photo – and you are almost there…!

  6. It would not surprise me in the least if you broke into flight…

  7. Wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing them.

  8. As always a lovely story with your beautiful heron, and a nod to Ann-Christine’s artificial lights. Lovely post Babsje

    • Hi Tina. Thanks so much, I’m pleased that you like this one. Your own offerings for this challenge are excellent. That one photo is not a photo. I swear it is a painting by Van Gogh! Best, Babsje

  9. Excellent Babsje. I was trying to photo the full moon last night. Tough customer.

    • Hi John. Thanks so much. You’re right – the moon is a tough customer. And of course I can never get any Heron and the moon to ever play nicely, myself. Best, Babsje

  10. Beautiful light images. Enjoy your heron captures, as always, Babsj!

    • Thanks much, Amy, for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoy the Herons. This week’s challenge was challenging and I really liked your Chiluly selections. Best, Babsje

  11. Do you ever dream that you are a flying heron?
    Just curious…

  12. We just saw a more rare green heron here near UW Bothell. He was fishing in a cove in the stream. Pretty bold. Didn’t seem to mind us admiring him.

  1. Pingback: Beautiful Great Blue Heron Breaks into Flight – Site Title

  2. Pingback: Beautiful Herons and Friends: There are No Wrong Answers | Babsje Heron

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