Tunnels of Great Blue Heron Love

Great Blue Heron at Keyhole Tunnel - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron at Keyhole Tunnel – babsjeheron

Charles River Blues Nbr 2 B&W - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Morning – Charles River Blues Nbr 2 B&W – babsjeheron

Great Blue Herons know the best fishing holes in town: the entrances of tunnels often funnel small schools of fish into waiting Heron bills – tasty Brown Trout, Atlantic Salmon, Walleye, Largemouth Bass and more. Smart fishermen the Herons!


This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Marsha Ingrao, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Patti is “Shapes and Designs.” The lead photos today feature very old bridges and their tunnels with interesting arch shapes.

For Marsha’s and Cee’s co-hosted Photographing Public Art: Many towns have Little Free Libraries, but this town has a Free Little Art Gallery: Make Art – Leave Art – Take Art, which encourages making and sharing Art publicly.

Make Art Take Art Natick - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Make Art Take Art Natick – babsjeheron

And below you see making Art in a public place in town.

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 - babsjeheron   © 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

One morning I arrived at the Charles River dam and saw a big splash of color looming over the ancient grinding wheel across from the fish ladder. What came into view was first one, then two, then three, then four artists set up in 19th century vignettes with easels under brightly-colored umbrellas. They were spaced a good distance from each other, all with a differing vantage point of the river and dam and old stone bridge where the Herons fish.

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 -  babsjeheron  © 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 – babsjeheron

One of the painters in particular called to mind a scene from the mid-1800s as she gazed out over the lush water lilies floating above the dam, paints at the ready, paintbrush in hand.

The bridge in the second photo at the top of this post was constructed in the mid-19th century. There is a palpable timelessness to this location and the artists and easels enhanced that feeling. I can easily imagine a 19th century painter or photographer capturing an ancestor of one of the Great Blue Herons that frequent the area today.

Rosemary Morelli teaches painting including en plain air style at her studio in eastern Massachusetts. The artists painting at the dam that day were a few of her students.


Thanks to Cee and Marsha for their jointly hosted PPAC from Marsha: Photographing Public Art Challenge #23. And here’s PPAC from Cee: Photographing Public Art Challenge.
Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: In or On Water.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: I Didn’t Recognize the Christmas Tree. The title is the requisite six words long.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs .
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs.


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 a half and they need your love more than ever.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District


The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Learn more!


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

Please watch this space for news of my upcoming Winter 2022 gallery show.

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 Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.


Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Posted on November 20, 2021, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, B&W, Birds, Black and White Photo Challenge, Heron, Nature, Photography, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. And the artists are creating even more shapes and designs for our viewing pleasure Babsje!

  2. I love the top picture where you lined the opening of the tunnel right behind the Heron Babsje!
    I can see a Heron holding a paintbrush in its bill painting along side the other artists!

    • Thanks so much Wayne for your kind and clever comment. The Heron holding the paintbrush in its bill was under the mistaken impression that he was invisible, but clearly not to you. That top photo was a fun challenge: while taking many photos and trying to keep the kayak and camera aligned “just so,” a pair of F16 fighter jets started circling overhead, round and round for half an hour. The Heron glared upwards, obviously annoyed at the audacity that anyone would interrupt the photo shoot. As did I. Thanks. Best, Babsje

  3. excellent capture of the heron by the tunnel. Bravo!

  4. Love the composition in the top photo.

    • Thank you very much for your thoughtful compliment! That location is one I had scouted for more than 10 years in hopes of catching a Heron. The first time a couple of years earlier, one darted quickly across the tunnel entrance, but on the day I took the b&w photo, the fledgling posed there fishing for more than an hour. I was ecstatic at the opportunity to observe and photograph. Best, Babsje

  5. You heron’s are gorgeous in black and white. I love you public art too. 😀 😀

  6. Your comment about fish being funneled through the tunnel was an “Ah, ha!” moment for me. I suspect now that’s why I so often see egrets and herons at culverts — I had assumed more fish, but hadn’t taken the next step and thought about the way the culverts affect water flow. It may be that increased oxygen levels attract more fish to those spots, too, especially in summer.

  7. A free art box! What a unique and fun idea! I have bird love today as well, but of a different sort. 🙂


    • Hi Janet. Thanks, so glad you like that Make Art Take Art box. I had never seen anything like that myself. I thought your post today “Give me a little peck, Darlin” has such an adorable photo! Best, Babsje

  8. It is a beautiful area, scenic and nostalgic!! A Great blue heron and that wonderful old stone bridge make a timeless scene.

    • Hi Judy. Great to hear from you. Many thanks for your thoughtful compliment. I hope you’re well and getting out with your camera at the lovely nature sanctuary there. Best, Babsje

      • I appreciate not just your photography but the joy you show in all your posts. Lifts me up really. Hoping to get out the the rookery this week even. Carve out just a little time and its a teeny bit cooler to do so. It is a bit early for nesting but it does start early in South Florida. Happy Thanksgiving!!

        • Thanks so much, Judy. What a sweet thing for you to say. Looking forward to seeing more of your always gorgeous photos from the rookery. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, too. Best, Babsje

  9. Locally, I’ve seen only two Free Little Libraries here, one is in my sister’s neighorhood. I don’t know what it says about literacy in our neck of the woods, if it does at all. The Free Little Art Gallery, now that is different. But, again, we’re not blessed with too many regular art galleries here either.

    • Hi David. Thanks for your thought-provoking comment. I lived and worked in Denver back in the Pleistocene age and I have no memories at all of a library. The cute book store at Cherry Creek – now that’s a different matter. I was there at least once a week. But Colorado is great for music, if not reading. Your family is a good example of that! Best, Babsje

      • The bookstore in Cherry Creek, I know the place you’re talking about. I’ve been there myself. You and I could have walked past each other in the early 80s, none the wiser. (If we only knew, lol.) I think the bookstore may have gone out of business during the Great Barnes & Noble expansion. Cherry Creek is not the same as it once was. I thought turning it into a high-end, upscale shopping center/mall was a mistake considering a Sears department store was one of their longtime, main tenants.

        • Maybe we did pass each other on occasion – what a small world. It was a special place, and you’re right that not all of the changes were thought out very well. Such is the nature of progress, I suppose.

  10. Love the black and white! That first pic is especially wonderful!

    • Hi Julie. Many thanks for your kind words! I’m so glad you like that Heron photo. It’s one of my favorites and is on the wall in my bedroom. Best, Babsje

  11. I love the concept of little free art gallery! We recently launched little free library at my hospital.

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