Going the Distance… Marathon Monday Redux

Great Blue Heron on Bough - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Portrait of a Great Blue Heron on Bough – babsjeheron

If you smile at me I will understand,
‘Cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language.

David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Paul Kantner
Wooden Ships
Crosby, Stills & Nash

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Oranges Figured Prominently in the Boston Marathon – babsjeheron

Let’s go on a walk – er run – down memory lane today to honor the memory of those affected by the Marathon bombings here in Boston a few years ago and to support the 30,000 runners taking part today, the 126th running of the Boston Marathon.

I am a solitary walker.

And yet, there I was with thousands. Walking the Boston Marathon. All 26.2 miles. Twice.

For five years, I lived right on the marathon route. In fact, it cuts through the lake where I spend time with the Herons and Hawks and Egrets and Swans. The photos of the beautiful Mute Swan bathing were captured less than 20 yards from the Marathon route, as were the Bald Eagle eyeing the Great Blue Heron fledglings and the Great Egret looking at that Amtrak train as a migration option.

People who know me are aware that I’m recovering from a bad fall six weeks ago, and the only marathons I am doing for now are in my sweet dreams.

The photos below were taken from my street during the 2014 running of the Marathon. It was a poignant year, one year after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. Certainly the bombings at the finish line of the 2013 race were not expected. For the 2014 running, I had expected that things would be different – new security, new logistics, new “motivations” for some, etc. Media coverage in the months leading up to the race had ramped up, and I was prepared for the intense “Boston Strong” focus, but I was not expecting the emotional experience of seeing the many yellow shirts with “Team MR8” in honor of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old who died in the blast.

There, beneath the lettering MR8 on those shirts was the word “peace” in Martin’s childish penmanship, the same young handwriting on his now-famous poster that says “No more hurting people. Peace.”

When I saw that simple word “peace” through my lens, I wept. I sat down on the wall and wept unexpectedly.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Boston Marathon 2014 Team MR8. Note the word “peace” partly obscured by the runner’s bib – babsjeheron

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Increased security prohibited outlandish costumes but didn’t bar utili-kilts and star-spangled tights – babsjeheron

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Juggling and all that jazz.
The drummer played non-stop for six hours, and the juggler kept the balls in the air for 26.2 miles – babsjeheron

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

This was the Hoyt’s 32nd and final Boston Marathon – babsjeheron.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Boston Strong – Boston Marathon 2014 – babsjeheron

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Running through the crowds on the street where I lived – Boston Marathon 2014 – babsjeheron

A variation of this post was first published in 2014.


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 nearly April, it seems my sentiment from only two three four months ago has fallen on deaf ears. I continue to pray that it is still not too late to turn the tides of war.

The Boston Athletic Association has not remained neutral for the 2022 Marathon: in support of Ukraine, the B.A.A. has announced that it will not recognize the country affiliation or flags of Russia and Belarus.

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 Anne is “Colorful Expressions.” The Boston Marathon is a sea of many colors.

Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: One Square Short of a Quilt.


Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: In the Distance. It doesn’t get much more distant than Comet Hale-Bopp:

Comet Hale-Bopp at Sons of Mary - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Comet Hale-Bopp at Sons of Mary Hillside – babsjeheron


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.

Great Blue Herons at TCAN Lobby January & February 2022 - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Herons at TCAN Lobby One-Woman Show January & February 2022 – babsjeheron

The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. Since 2001, TCAN 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.

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.


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


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
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™

© 2003-2022 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Boston Marathon, Comet Hale-Bopp

Posted on April 18, 2022, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Astrophotography, Inspiration, monday portrait, Nature, Photography, ukraine, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Wishing all the runners and fans a safe and wonderful day.

    • What a lovely sentiment, Dan. Ditto! The weather is nice and cool and sunny so far – perfect for going the distance. Many thanks! Best, Babsje

  2. This act of domestic terrorism shook not just Boston but the world. Lets hope no more acts like this happen!

    • Hi Wayne. Yes, I agree with you. And now the battles in Ukraine are shaking the whole world. Tragic. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Best, Babsje

  3. How wonderful to have experienced an event like that, and right in your own front yard.

    • Hi Susan. Thanks so much for your great observation. Yes, living on the Marathon route was indescribable. Most years, a source of joyful moments, light-hearted, high-energy sharings with runners and spectators alike. And so many inspirational moments. Best, Babsje

  4. Going the Distance has always been an emotional phrase for me. These three words ignite courage and resilience in our souls and within our communities. A wonderful reflection, Babsje, one that I will hold to this coming week. Many, many thanks!

    As it happens, Vancouver will be having the Vancouver Sun Run next Sunday.

    This year, there is an option to complete the marathon virtually for those who are unable to join the runners/walkers that traverse the the streets from Vancouver’s West End to the English Bay, crossing both the Burrard Bridge and Cambie Bridge. Marathons bring communities together – it is exciting and life-affirming. Sending hugs!

    • Many thanks for this lovely comment, Rebecca, and the link to Vancouver’s Fun Run. You’re right when you say that marathons bring communities together. I have done the Boston Marathon twice, and one thing I have noticed is the unique character of the spectator communities along the route. When passing Wellesley College, the gathered young women were an incredible force in urging each runner on. The atmosphere around Boston College was like party central, a fun, exuberant vibe. The scene at Newton was intense, with spectators strenuously encouraging runners to dig deep into their reserves as they faced the challenge of Heartbreak Hill. So as a race participant, myself, I really appreciated the outpouring of encouragement and cheer from the crowds. Thanks again for the great comment. Best, Babsje

  5. Oh what a wonderful capture of the Hale-Bob comet 😀 😀

    • Many thanks, Cee. I took that back in 1997 and spelunked through my old archives to find it just for your great CBBC challenge this week. It was taken using actual film, not digital. Calculating exposure duration was a small adventure. Best, Babsje

  6. I am with you about the situation in Ukraine. I just hope it will not fade from the news as people get “bored” with it. Oddly enough I noticed the blue and yellow in the Boston runners tops. I know that was 2014 so it was just a coincidence.

    • Hi Anne. That was very observant of you to notice the blue and yellow Marathon colors! Every year they have a specific color scheme. Im not sure what they chose for this year, but there is something fitting about the blue & yellow bib colors in the photos I had posted. And you’re right to be concerned about people possibly becoming “bored” with the news out of Ukraine. Such tragic events should not be met with complacency. Many thanks for your thought-provoking words. Best, Babsje

  7. A sea of many colors indeed Babsje, such a vivid memory and so very sad.

    • Hi Tina. Thanks so much for your kind comment about the sadness. You’re right, the 2013 bombings were beyond sad, and the 2014 running of the marathon was a small sign of resilience and hope. I’m wishing for continued resilience in, and hope for, Ukraine now where the bombings are so much bigger than the ones in Boston. I also like what you said about “vivid memory.” Photography

      • Hi Tina. Hit send too soon. Your mention of memory brought back this Paul Simon lyric that mentions a photograph and memories: “Time it was
        And what a time it was, it was
        A time of innocence
        A time of confidences

        Long ago it must be
        I have a photograph
        Preserve your memories…”

  8. Emailed in my comment. 🦩🦢🦢🦢🦩

    (Standing in for the GBH, the pink flamingo.)

    • Hi David. Thanks for letting me know – and the pink Flamingo! (Parenthetically, I have been toying with the idea of turning off post comments and/or likes. There are a few “stalkerish” folks mis-using and I find it a bit unsettling.) Thanks. Best, Babsje

  9. It seems it all went well. May peace come in 2022 and “no more hurting people.” A lovely post!

    • Hi Jonell. Thanks so much for your lovely thoughts. Yes, the marathon yesterday seemed to have gone well. One thing I enjoy every year is rooting for the stragglers, those runners who are still struggling to attain the finish line after 18, 20, 23 hours on the course. The media sings the praises of the fleet of foot who complete the race with fast times, but give me the dedicated stragglers who valiantly overcome the odds, placing one foot in front of the other for what must be to them an agonizing 26.2 miles. They show Herculean endurance as equally worthy of praise as those who finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd. And yes to “no more hurting people” and no more war. Many thanks. Best, Babsje

  10. Thanks for sharing these with us, Babsje! It was a sad event…

    • Hi Amy. Thanks so much for your kind words. The 2013 marathon had a tragic end. 2014 felt alternately somber and hopeful with that vibe of “Boston Strong” and the many charities established after 2013 to try to bring about peace and healing. If only there can be similar worldwide now. Best, Babsje

  11. Great image of this Great Blue Heron

    • Thank you very much for your lovely compliment. I’m pleased that you noticed that Heron photo. It’s one of my own favorites. I passed by that spot literally on every single outing at the lake and scanned that bough in hopes of seeing a Heron perched there. And only one time did any Heron pose there. I was thrilled. Best, Babsje

  12. Great photo with a lots of bokeh and nice colours!

  13. Great photo with a lot of Bokeh and nice colours

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