Great Blue Heron Earth Day Love Redux

Great Blue Heron soaring upwards, like the mythical Phoenix - babsjeheron © Babsje (

Great Blue Heron soaring upwards – babsjeheron

There wading through grasses,
the birds lean skyward…

Great Blue Heron Landing at Nest with Branch for Nest Building - babsjeheron  © 2016 Babsje (

Great Blue Heron Landing at Nest with Branch for Nest Building – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Nest Building Sequence 1   © Babsje (

The new stick is so large the female props it on the male’s back for an assist.

The Herons engage each other during a break in nest building - babsjeheron © Babsje (

The Herons engage each other during a break in nest building – babsjeheron

Four weeks after mating, a Great Blue Heron returns to the nest and presents a stick to the mate, hunkered down atop the eggs about to hatch - babsjeheron © Babsje (

Four weeks after mating, a Great Blue Heron returns to the nest and presents a stick to the mate, hunkered down atop the eggs about to hatch – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Guarding the Nest - babsjeheron  © 2012-2013 Babsje. (Http://

Great Blue Heron guarding the nest while a Red Tail Hawk circles in the background – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Bill Duel   © Babsje (

Great Blue Heron fledglings at play: bill dueling – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Nestlings Learning to Fly - Sequence Nbr1  © Babsje (

Great Blue Heron nestlings – first attempt at flying – babsjeheron.

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Testing Wings  © Babsje (

Great Blue Heron fledgling practicing flying one day before fledging for good – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Alone in Nest - babsjeheron  © Babsje (

Great Blue Heron fledgling alone in the nest minutes after his nestmate fledged for good – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron and Four Chicks in Nest- babsjeheron  © Babsje (

The following year at the same nest: Great Blue Heron and Four Chicks in Nest – babsjeheron

When the Green Shoots Come

We went out to watch
the comet that night

across the road,
where the break in the trees
opened to heaven.

The nights were warmer by then,
that April night,

and climbing the short fence
between roadway and nature,

you stumbled into grasses
left flattened by snow.

I broke your fall.

And do you remember
how i spun you to the East?

At my feet, the heron’s neck
bent at the wrong angle,

and the nylon filament
wrapped feathers and bone, flightless.

I never told you.

For five seasons now,
I’ve watched the marshes…
the geese, the swans, the coots…

One blue heron…

Wondering if they mate for life
like coyote? quail…loons…

For five seasons since…

Today i am enthralled
when the green shoots come

to the surface of the field
like an ocean of spring.

There wading through grasses,
the birds lean skyward

and, gathering momentum, rise up
to soar.

Both of them.

The herons.


14 April, 2003


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.

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 Cee for her CFFC: Water. The Herons and nest photos took place 70 feet above the water!


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.

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2022 Babsje (

TCAN One-Woman Show January thru February 2022 Front Lobby Wall With TCAN Sign Reflected; TCAN Stained glass art by Carol Krentzman, framed by Jay Ball

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 January 3 2023
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™

© 2003-2023 Babsje. (

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


Posted on April 22, 2022, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Birds, Inspiration, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Poetry, ukraine, Wildlife Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 53 Comments.

  1. They’re marvelous to watch as they go through their mating rituals and then support their chicks until they are able to fledge. Lovely series Babsje

    • Hi Tina. Thanks so much for your lovely compliments. I’m sure that you have an abundance of active nests you follow at your beloved island. No two breeding seasons are the same!
      Best, Babsje

  2. I was struck by the form in the first photo. Toes pointed just so. Feet, legs, body, head all aligned. Wings fully extended at an exact 90 degrees to the body. Nailed it: a perfect 10.

  3. A nice post for this special day !

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment. I agree – Earth Day is a special day, incredible to realize that this is year 52 for something that started as an obscure commemoration. Best, Babsje

  4. Beautiful captures of love from those herons.
    How beautiful nature is.


  5. If only we could follow the blue heron’s example and settle in peace

  6. You got some great shots here Babsje! Patience pays off!

    • Many thanks for your enthusiastic comment, Wayne. I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time for that breeding and nesting and fledging season. The icing on the cake was when those two fledglings returned the following spring. I was elated beyond words to find them that next year. Best, Babsje

  7. While I’ve yet to see Great Blue Herons engaged in the processes you show here so wonderfully well, I have finally spotted some nest building going on — in trees at a marina where I work. I heard the Great Egrets first, and then four two pair, high in some oaks in the middle of a parking area! There was stick-carrying going on, so there was no question that a nest was being built. I looked and look, and finally found two nests. Next week, once the weekend traffic has diminished, I’m going to go back. I don’t want to call attention to the nests by standing around with a camera trained on them!

    • Many thanks for your expansive comment! It’s wonderful that you are seeing signs of nest building and EQUALLY wonderful that you are taking care to not draw attention to them. No good can come from spectators who would likely interfere with nesting. Best, Babsje

  8. Fabulous, love the heron alighting on the branch. The photos with chicks really warm my heart.

    • Hi Rebecca! So pleased that you found the chicks heartwarming. They are endearing and often playful – like many baby animals their play helps master skills they will ultimately need for survival in the wild. Their bill dueling wordplay is especially fun to watch as they try to grab each other’s bills. Many thanks for your kind comment. Best, Babsje

  9. How sad this world, where so many of us can enjoy life but many, many more are trapped in a nightmare not of their making.

    • Yes, I agree Jo. The whole world is watching…and yet there are signs of “media fatigue” or “war fatigue.” Neither of those will bring peace, I’m afraid. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Best, Babsje

  10. This is photographic treat and a treasure. Great pics

  11. Wonderful pictures, Babsje. I echo your sentiments about Ukraine. I don’t know anyone with a heart who doesn’t. In fact, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t.

  12. What an absolutely wonderful series of photographs, Babsje! Thanks for the uplift reminding us that the cycle of life persists in spite of everything we have done.

    • Hi Lisa. Thank you very much for your lovely compliments. And you’re right – the cycle of life continues despite man’s worst behaviors. Best, Babsje

  13. Love this series, Babsje! Great captures, Wow!!

    • Hi Amy. I’m so pleased that you appreciated this series, thanks for your kind comments. It was so rewarding to be able to observe the breeding seasons at that tiny island! Best, Babsje

  14. Excellent post, Babsje. Love your nesting photos. I share your hope for peace. 🇺🇦

    • Hi Jane. Many thanks for your lovely thoughts. I’m glad you love the nesting Herons – their world has so much beauty and positive implications for the circle of new life and I agree with you about hopes for peace in Ukraine. I fervently wish for a peaceful, speedy, and diplomatic end to the travesty. Thanks again.

  15. They certainly bring big sticks for nest building.
    This my bird story … I thought I saw a new bird sitting in a stand of pines, white in color. First thing that comes to mind is snowy owl. But, we haven’t seen snowy owls for generations in Colorado … maybe dating back to early 1900s. I take out my cameras. Shot #1 – good focus, but lacks detail. (Would need to be resolved on the computer). I take out the SLR with the long lens. Shot #2 – good focus, close to the subject. Since I can magnify in camera, I magnify. Not a snowy owl, but a white plastic shopping bag. How it got here, I don’t know, but we’ve had successive weeks of strong winds. The bag must’ve got caught in the wind and rode the wind currents. (Remind you of a certain song???)

  16. Your photos remind of of those ancient Asian shadow puppets. Such striking poses! I especially enjoyed the fledgling practicing!

    • Many thanks Julie! I like your mention of the Asian shadow puppets. Glad you enjoyed the practicing fledgling! I hope you’re enjoying what passes for Spring these days. Best, Babsje

  17. Amazing captures of these herons Babsje.

  18. How splendid a homage to this lovely and noble bird!

  19. What a beautiful set of photos, from the nest building to the youngsters – the life cycle of incredible creatures. Love, love, love this.

  20. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Hope you are doing well.

    • Many thanks for your kind comment. I have had medical challenges that have kept me off the grid since May and my eyesight is very limited at the moment and so blogging. Including posting and reading and commenting, isn’t possible. I’m sure it is temporary. Thanks for asking. I hope you are well and enjoying the last days of summer there. Best. Babsje

      • Sorry to hear about your medical challenges! I hope your eye sight improves and you are back to normal soon. All OK here. Thanks for the response! I miss your posts.

        • Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words. It’s nice to know you miss the Herons. I miss being out with them, myself, and am hopeful for 2023. As I’ve said before Rome wasn’t healed in a day. Take care and be well.

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