Beautiful Heron Upstages… Bogart and Hepburn?

Great Blue Heron in the cove, foraging. - babsjeheron  © 2016 Babsje All. rights reserved. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron in the cove, foraging. – babsjeheron

I heard the Heron’s distress call before I saw him.

After literally thousands of hours in the field watching the Great Blue Herons, I am susceptible to “trompe l’oeil” moments. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve mistaken a twisted tree trunk glinting in the sun for a Heron, or a rock formation that fools my eye from a distance.

So, yes, my eyes have been fooled. But my ears?

In what seemed a “trompe l’oreille” fool-the-ears experience, the frantic frawhnk, frawhnk of a Heron being flushed erupted from the movie screen. In the blink of an eye, the Heron burst from the shoreline and fled the approaching boat.

That urgent croaking distress call distracted me from the actors on the screen: Bogart and Hepburn had been upstaged by a Heron!

Heron in African Queen circa 1950

You can hear Great Blue Heron calls at Audubon and also at Cornell’s All About Birds.

If you like old Bogart movies as much as I do, The Africa Queen spins a delightful story.

Filmed live on location, the film crew boat flushed the Heron, who burst away with frantic cries. The wildlife in The African Queen is as real as it gets. Not a frame of CGI, all shot on location in Africa. Hippos, fierce crocs, monkeys, lions, and that unexpected Heron.

(Who but yours truly will review a film and only focus on the Heron??)

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Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Nancy Merrill, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya all 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 Tina is “You Choose.” Big surprise – I chose the Heron in pop culture.

Audubon Quacking Frog Trail - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Audubon Quacking Frog Trail – babsjeheron

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Thanks to Nancy Merrill for her A Photo a Week Challenge: Funny Signs . The sign post for the Quacking Frog Trail shown here tickles my funny bone. Quacking Frogs are native to Australia and so that arrow must be pointing a far ways away from here.

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Thanks to Cee for her Cee’s CMMC: Favorite Color. My favorite color for Herons is blue, although they come in many colors, including green, purple, white, and tri-color.
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Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: Guess What I’m Watching This Evening . The title is the requisite six words long.
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 178: You Choose .
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From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 178: You Choose .
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From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 178: You Choose .

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From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 178: You Choose.
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Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District logo

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.

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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!

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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 for the month of January at TCAN.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
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Natick Town Hall
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Five Crows Gallery in Natick
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Audubon Sanctuary
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Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
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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, African Queen

Posted on December 18, 2021, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Audubon, Birds, Mindfulness, movies, Nature, Photography, postaday, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Many times I’ve been hiking along a trail when suddenly I hear something that sounds like a banshee caught in a fence! Other birds just fly away but do you think a heron can do something so simple………NNNOOO! They have to make a big deal out of it!

  2. Great to hear about a star heron! I love your passion for these might birds.

    • Hi Debbie. Thanks so much for your kind compliment. I had to watch African Queen frame by frame slowly to find the exact frames where the Heron appeared and quickly did a screen capture of the image to post in the blog. Very tricky. I hope you enjoyed watching Gloria. Best, Babsje

  3. What a fun choice for the week Babsje! I had no idea there was a heron in the classic film. Not surprisingly because I’d never have looked for one LOL. Only you would research herons in films!! Have you found them in any others? Whatever made you look there in the first place?

    • Hi Tina, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I actually did not “research” Herons in film. I went to see African Queen at TCAN with my friend Naomi and was innocently just watching the film when out of the blue I heard the unmistakable sqwak of what could only have been a Heron and sure enough for fleeting seconds there it was. Just as I wrote in my post the boat cruising the river flushed a real Heron. It was a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it moment! Back at home I watched the movie on my computer and found that riverbank scene and painstakingly scrolled frame-by-frame until I could grab a screen print to create the image I pasted into my post. (Yes. I need to get a life.) Best, Babsje

  4. You do spend a lot of time with the heron! Beautiful photos
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  5. Interesting find! I would never have managed to do that!

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Ann-Christine. It was totally an unexpected thing to notice and had I not recognized the call of a Heron, I would have missed it entirely, so it was a lucky find! Best, Babsje

  6. When heading into a swamp this time of year the Heron calls guide you right to rookeries. Unmistakable and loud. 🤗🤗

  7. I had to read, again, how they made the film. The African Queen was one of the first location shoots using technicolor film cameras. The cameras were quite bulky in size. John Huston, who directed, wanted a lot of the scenes in one take. Re-shoot a scene would be hard to do. It’s like convincing a croc to enter the water in the same way, to have the heron call in the same tone, fly away in the same way. The close-up shots of Bogart and Hepburn on the boat were done in studio in England.

    PS – Watch your inbox, Elizabeth sent an email. She’s attached somethiong special for you.

    • Hi David. Many thanks for your great summary of the filming of The African Queen. Yes, they did the wildlife sequences in Uganda and The Congo and many of the Bogart-Hepburn boat shots in England. John Huston was a masterful director and his daughter Angelica a formidable actor, too. Lots of talent in that family, just like there is in your own. Best, Babsje. P.S. thanks for the heads up about an email from Elizabeth.

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