Put the Great Blue Heron Back on her Pedestal? Who, me?
In more than a dozen years kayaking that area of the lake, I had observed a Great Blue Heron atop that tree pedestal only once – and at that time, before I could raise the camera, a pod of kayaks approached from the north, flushing the Great Blue.
It was very satisfying to finally stumble across her there that day. I observed through binocs and telephoto lens from a distance for nearly an hour as she slept and then preened and then slept some more, perched on one leg the whole time. It was a slow hour spent watching the Great Blue Heron languidly perched atop her pedestal. I was grateful to be in her presence, the two of us alone in a fine drizzle in the cove.
Later, I maneuvered the blue kayak into position and slowly nosed towards the tunnel entrance, when I noticed the other Great Blue Heron just inside. It was the mother of the fledglings that had left the nest on the island just nine days earlier. Quickly, I backpaddled a bit to get safely downwind and far enough back so I wouldn’t be seen, yet within camera range.
She strode slowly ahead, picking her way along the underwater ledge along the eastern side of the tunnel channel, then paused, erect, and stared across at something unseen. After a moment, she clambered higher onto the rocks along the wall and stood there, framed in stillness. I waited and watched from just outside the mouth of the tunnel.
She looked in my direction.
It was then that I heard it, during a lull in the muffled whoosh of car tires from the roadway twenty feet overhead, not simply the sound of the water lapping softly against the rocks.
“Arh…. arh…. arh…. arh….” with a little tremolo.
It sounded low and deep and like a frog, and I swiveled my head to see where the frog was. There had been very few frogs that summer, due to the weather and water levels; I no longer head the bullfrogs as I drifted off to sleep each night as in years past, and so was excited to hear a frog.
And then I realized that this was no frog singing there within the tunnel. It was the Heron vocalizing.
I edged in just a little closer and softly echoed back my own version of her 4-syllable call.
She repeated her refrain.
Great Blue Herons are often thought of as silent birds, but they are not. When frightened or fighting and sometimes when in flight, they call a croaking sound like “frawhnk.” During courtship, they sometimes intone a quiet call that sounds like “goo.” They sometimes greet members of their species with the “arh…” sounds.
I had heard this greeting sound only once before, about 6 years earlier while watching an immature Heron in the cove in late summer. At the time back then, I also had thought it was a frog, but it wasn’t. It was the Heron.
Crossing the tunnel at a slow glide in a kayak takes less than a minute. The Great Blue Heron took more than six that day. What a wonderful six minutes to be present and observe there in stillness.
Folks, I have written here before that this is a politics-free space. You won’t hear me advancing any political agenda. Posts here are not opinion pieces about current events.
HOWEVER, failing to weigh in on the heartbreaking events continuing to unfold in Europe would be exceedingly tone-deaf on my part.
I wrote back in December “Tis the season for wishes of peace on earth, goodwill to all. But wait. On second thought, why should those sentiments be extended only during the holiday season? I encourage peace on earth and goodwill to all for every season of the year. May 2022 bring you peace, health, happiness, and joy to all.”
And now in
February March nearlyApril, it seems my sentiment from only two threefour months ago has fallen on deaf ears. I continue to pray that it is still not too late to turn the tides of war.
If you smile at me I will understand,
‘Cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language.
Cee Neuner, Debbie Smythe, and the community of Lens Artists encourage the entire international network 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 Sofia is “Bokeh.” Here is my Heron bokeh:
Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Close up or macro.
The Great Blue Herons once again graced the gallery walls through February 26th for a one-woman all-Heron show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.
The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. To this end, TCAN strives to present arts programs of the highest standard that are available to everyone and dedicates its resources to providing community access to diverse arts programs, reducing barriers to attendance, and building appreciation through arts education. Since 2001, the Center for Arts Natick has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.
Some of the images from my January February 2022 TCAN show have been placed in the online Art gallery, with more to be uploaded in coming days. You can be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
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.
My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.
TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick – Recent one-woman photography show through February 2022
Natick Town Hall – Current group exhibit thru June 2022
Five Crows Gallery in Natick – Represented since 2013
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™
© 2003-2022 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)
Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick
Posted on April 11, 2022, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Art, Birds, Inspiration, Mindfulness, monday portrait, Nature, Photography, ukraine, Wildlife Photography and tagged #fivecrows, CMMC, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, TCAN. Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.