Patience Grasshopper, erm Heron
“Lie still in a stream and breathe water. Climb to the top
of the highest tree until you come to the branch
where the blue heron sleeps. Eat poems for breakfast…”
Advice to Beginners (excerpt)
If I Had My Life to Live Over: I Would Pick More Daisies, Sandra Martz, ed.
It was only after I had maneuvered in close enough to grab onto the strut of his pontoon boat that he came into focus, all gelled and spiky hair and tats, the silver bolts through his eyebrow and lower cheek glinting. He was sinewy and compact and – surprisingly – handsome for someone you wouldn’t want to encounter alone on the street after dark. Read more of The Beautiful Great Blue Heron… and the Man with the Spider Tattoo.
It is very easy to become absorbed – too absorbed – by the scene unfolding through the lens. One day, I came face to face with a different danger facing photographers: I was so engrossed with following the Great Blue Heron through my lens that I nearly stepped over the edge into clear air. One more step, and I would have been in the water below the falls. Read more of The Great Blue Herons Dam Love Letter.
The man sat cross-legged on the sidewalk that skirted the perimeter along the water’s edge. In his lap, a pen and notebook. Pressed against his glasses, the eyepiece of an antique spyglass. Someone else might have used a modern telescope. Herons are ancient, their ancestors appearing 40 million years ago, and so it seemed fitting for him to have an old spyglass trained on the nesting island, instead of a newfangled telescope. Read more of The Beautiful Great Blue Herons Peaceful Muse .
It was then that I heard it, “Arh…. arh…. arh…. arh….” with a little tremolo. It sounded low and deep and like a frog. I swiveled my head to see where the frog was. There had been few frogs that summer; I no longer head the bullfrogs as I drifted off to sleep, so I was excited to hear a frog. And then I realized that this was no frog singing. 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 in reply. Goosebumps! Read more of Put the Great Blue Heron Back on her Pedestal? Who, me?.
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. Read more of Great Blue Heron Earth Day Love Redux .
A favorite location for photographing Herons is this sunken boat garden. One year the boat contained tubs of cherry tomatoes that looked delectable, the bright red of the fruit promising sweetness. In other years, the focus is flowers, like these gladiolus. While my favorite elements of nature are always the wild and untrammeled ones, this section of the shoreline is a place I’d love to inhabit for an evening, lazing in a hammock, fireflies twinkling around the flowers and the scent of dinner wafting from the grill. And a Great Blue Heron, there would be a Heron there. Sometimes no matter how well a photographer plans, the model has others ideas. This was one of those times. Read more of The Great Blue Herons Guest…Pink Flamingo?….
About today’s post: I have been nearly blind for many months and so have been largely absent from WordPress blogs. Yesterday I learned today that retina surgery is being scheduled within the next few weeks, which is an exciting development. Until then, Patience is the word of the day.
Because of my blindness, I’m not able to link in my posts to the various host sites for WP challenges/tags in the way I have always done in the past, but please know that I value the sense of community here, especially among the Lens Artists. Today’s post has Gladiolus flowers for Cee (FOTD), and has peace and follows the path most often taken (both for Lens Artists), and is a walk down memory lane on a Thursday (Throwback Thursday), and highlights the 5 all-time most popular posts for Paula’s Thursdays Special. This is the best I can do – sorry that I cannot link directly.
I do love a happy ending, and hope my eye surgeon delivers one for the Herons & me! Patience Grasshopper.
Once again, the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the water’s surface graced gallery walls.
My Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick. It was great to see so many of you there.
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.
The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. TCAN serves the Boston MetroWest region by increasing opportunities to experience, participate in, and learn about the arts. To this end, TCAN strives to present arts programs of the highest standard that are available to everyone. TCAN dedicates its resources to providing community access to diverse arts programs, reducing barriers to attendance, and building appreciation through arts education.
If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by TCAN to see the wonderful gallery displays of artworks by many talented visual artists, as well as excellent live music performances and stage plays. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
As always, many of my own photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
Cee Neuner, Debhie Smyth, Becky B, 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.
Folks, now that some areas have opened back up in a new normal, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past THREE years and they still 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 – 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
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™
A Patience of Herons™
© 2003-2023 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)
Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick Center Cultural District
Posted on March 16, 2023, in # Lens-Artists, ardea herodias, Art, Inspiration, Nature, Photography, Thursday's Special, Wildlife Photography and tagged # Lens-Artists, #LAPC, Black and White, heron, mindfulness, Nature, throwback thursday. Bookmark the permalink. 82 Comments.
Dear Babsje, thank you for this reprise of some of your most powerful images and observations. You are showing us the source of your inspirations. Thank you.
Dear Gary. You are always a close reader and I appreciate your insights once again. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Looking forward to reading more of your Flathead Lake kayak stories – once Montana gets some real spring weather at last.
amazing pictures like always. Thanks for sharing.
We keep our fingers crossed that your eye surgery will be successful.
All the best to you
The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Many thanks for your lovely compliment and kind well wishes, Klausbernd. All the best to all the Fab Four of Cley. Think Spring !
We have spring here already, dear Babsje.
Wishing you all the best and especially for your eyes.
Ah, spring has already sprung there, lovely. Looking forward your new writings, with Dina’s spring photos along with new discoveries by the Book Fairies! Thanks again.
What a beautiful post, Babsje! I wish you all the best for your eye surgery. I have had four and am so grateful that my eyesight has been saved by skilful surgeons. Sending hugs to you. 🤗🤗🙏🏻
Hi Sylvia. Aw, thanks so much for the hugs and your lovely comments. I’m hapot to hear that your eye surgeries have had such great results! This will be number 7 for me, with 2 more down the road. I feel very optimistic and encouraged by your own success story .
Babsje, hello! Miss you on WP. Love your heron photos. Best wishes for a successful eye surgery.
Hi Rebecca. I’m so glad you enjoy the Herons. Did you notice the actual Pink Flamingo image? When I posted it originally, I thought of you and your blog. Many thanks for the healing wishes.
Thanks for the touch of the hat to Fake Flamenco. 🙂
You’re welcome. So when are we going to get a Pink Flamingo emoji? That could be a fun design contest for your blog.
we all miss your beautiful Heron shots Babsje! Wishing you the best outcome and hope to be “seeing” you around!
Dear Wayne. Thanks for your great comments. Glad to know that you’ve been missing my Great Blues. I miss them deeply and can’t wait until I’ll be “seeing” again, too. In the meantime, cueing the Mission Impossible theme music, your job is to capture and share your Vancouver Island Blues. Deal?
Great. You’re on! Bring on the Blues.
Great information and images of the Blue Heron! I hope all goes well with your surgery.
Thank you very much for your wishes for my eye surgery! It has been a challenging period and I’m eager to see it recede into the rear view mirror of life.
Wow, they can operate on retinas these days? I shouldn’t be surprised, but retinas aren’t exactly front and center. Hope your surgery is 110% successful!
Dear Susan . Yes, it’s amazing what they can do with laser surgery these days. And fortunately the procedure is painless. Results are usually evident within 24 hours. Timing is everything, as they say, and 25 years ago I don’t think my options would have been so great. Thanks for your thoughtful well wishes.
Great pix and post! I’ll be thinking of you. Hope everything works out and we hear from you soon!
Hi Chris. Your kind comments brought a smile, as did your post about the pottery workshop. I don’t know if you noticed, but in my post today, if you click on the link to the Great Blue Herons Dam Love Letter, I’ve included a couple of images of artists doing plein aire paintings. It’s not something one often encounters around here! Thanks again.
OH! Nice! I missed the place to click on it. I’ll have another look! Thanks, Babsje
You’re welcome. To be honest, when I first noticed the painters there, I was concerned that the always shy Herons would disappear for the day, which they of course did BUT some of those plein aire painters were themselves a vision of times gone by. What beautiful vignettes from the past.
Plein air painting is making a comeback but I don’t think it will last because painting in a studio is easier, or typing a prompt in the art AI does it instantly. It is old fashioned.
I understand, though you can call me an old fashioned woman, then. I wonder what the artists of yesterday would have produced if they had access to our tools and technology. Of course I can’t paint my way out of a paper bag to save my life.
I’m old fashioned too. Blogging is as far as I’ll go with tech stuff. There will always be artists drawing from the past because it’s a challenge and a fun skill to work on. But like sewing is not as popular with the younger generations, most artists will take the easy modern way with other art forms too.
I think you’re right. When my eyes started failing” I decided to pivot from photography back to wood block printing, and those supplies call my name every so often but I haven’t made any real inroads. Maybe some day.
That sounds like fun! I hope you post what you do with it!
This Blue Heron was so fascinating. Amazing images. Thanks Anita
Hi Anita. Thank you for your generous compliment about the Herons. They’re a labor of love.
Fantastic bird photography Babs, herons are fascinating birds that I love to catch on my pictures too.
So glad to meet another lover of Herons. Many thanks for your visit and kind words.
My pleasure Babsje.
So happy to hear that surgery is planned soon. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Babsje.
Hi Jo! Thank you very much. It has been a long time coming and I am eager to get out and about and see the world around me. In the meantime, I have been enjoying your own Monday walks. Sometimes, a vicarious walk is a balm for the soul.
❤ 🚶 😊
I wish a successful surgery Babsje, your photos are amazing, but the stories bring them to life, you are always a joy to connect with.
Hi Laura – I’m so glad to hear that you appreciate both the photos and the little stories, thanks for your thoughtful comment. And thank you also for wishing a surgical success. Fingers crossed.
Lovely photos of these fascinating birds!
Hi Denzil- many thanks for your lovely compliment. I’ve been enjoying your own posts and your new challenge on WordPress. Maybe I’ll be able to participate after all is said and done with the eye surgery . That would be fun.
Oh that sounds nasty Babsje. Hope all goes well.
Thanks Denzil. Take care.
Best to you!
Thanks so much for your kind wishes, I appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment!
You do get the most amazing pictures of these guys! Thank you! And good luck with the surgery. We need you back behind the camera!
I love how you said that! “We need you back behind the camera.” I need that, too, myself. I long for getting back out there. Thanks so much for your lovely comment about the Herons and the good luck wishes!
Hello Babsje and thanks for the kind nod to our lens-artists team. We are wishing you a wonderful result from the surgery and hope to see more of you online soon. In the meanwhile keep an eye out (pun intended ) for my next post for some adorable newly-born heron chicks 😊
Hi Tina good to hear from you, thanks for the heads up about the chicks and also your kind well wishes about my eyes. And you’re welcome for my shout out to the Lens Artists. You know when the WP team disbanded all those years ago, the four of you, Amy, Patti, and Ann-Christine, stepped up in a big way and filled the void. And you’ve kept it going for how many years now? I can’t keep track of all the new people, but the enthusiasm each week is contagious!
Lovely shots as always. All the best for your retina surgery.
Hi I.J. I’m happy to hear that you appreciate the Herons. Many thanks for your kind words and well wishes for my eyes. Despite diminished sight, I have continued to enjoy your own postings.
Having come later to your blog, I enjoyed your selection of previous posts. When I begin following people, I always intend to browse their archives, and then don’t. This was a wonderful way to enjoy your writing as well as your photography. In the comments, I smiled at the exchange about plein air painting. I didn’t realize it had fallen out of favor, or was making a comeback, since I (relatively) often come across plein air artists in my wanderings. My favorite was a fellow I found in the middle of the tallgrass prairie in Kansas — far, far from any madding crowd!
I’m so glad to hear that your next surgery has been scheduled. When I had my cataracts removed and new lenses implanted, it was done by laser, and I was astonished by how quick and painless it was. You’re right that timing is everything. I well remember my mother’s cataract surgery, and the long recovery time that was involved. Today’s technologies aren’t an unmixed blessing, but when it comes to medical procedures, they’re truly astonishing. Best of luck!
Hi there. Your generous comment brought a smile this morning, many thanks. I enjoyed your anecdote of the plein air painter miles from nowhere in that Kansas tallgrass prairie. It reminded me of my own encounter with a man using an ancient spyglass to watch the Herons at their nests in the rookery island. The world can bring delightful surprises when least expected.
Thanks for sharing your stories of cataract surgery – your own and your mother’s. Mine were done in 2021 and so painless. Like you say, the new technology makes a huge difference. Claude Monet had such a difficult experience with one eye after surgery that he simply refused to have the operation done on his other eye. And his was done literally 100 years ago! Thanks again for the well wishes and thoughtful comments.
Beautiful pictures and goodly thoughts. 🙂
Thanks so much for your kind words, T.W. I’m pleased to hear that you enjoy the Herons and their stories.
Beautiful photographs and an inspiring story. Your love and appreciation for the Great Blue Heron is evident in your writing. Best of luck with your upcoming surgery.
Thanks for sharing.
Hi Michelle – thanks so much for visiting and for your kind well wishes. The Herons are a true labor of love, and they have taught me a lot about Patience over the years. I’m looking forward to actually being with them in person after surgery, fingers crossed.
Oh Babse, I am so hopeful for your procedure and a successful outcome. I can’t help but think of the additional trial of this setback for a visual artist such as yourself. But then I am also reminded of how the creative impulse endures and nourishes us all. May your herons be with you. 🙂
Dear Lisa – I love your last sentence: “May your herons be with you.” Like “May the Force be with you” but only better IMO. Many thanks for your successful outcome wishes. You’re right – it is difficult being a visual artist with poor eyesight. And as I’ve said before, though, “loss of eyesight” doesn’t mean “loss of vision.” I think you know what I mean. Thanks again.
Love that first picture. Great hairdo! Thinking of you and sending a bit of my Irish luck your way. ☘
Glad you like Heron’s hair raising hairdo and thank you very much for your kind words and that Irish luck! I’m sure it will help a lot. ☘
That is one regal bird!
Good morning, Ruth. Many thanks for your enthusiastic comment about the Heron. I think even that Heron knows he’s regal, too. Also, I’ve been enjoying your posts about Pittsburgh, having grown up there. Your Kennywood Park story from a few years ago brings back so many fond memories!
Oh that’s so good to know you enjoyed the Kennywood post. My friend’s sister had the job of wearing Kenny the kangaroo costume at the park. Isn’t that wild?
Your sister was Kenny the kangaroo?!? What a gig. You’ll have to write about that some day, with photos, please! That’s almost equivalent to being Minnie or Mickey Mouse. 😊
Wow! These are all fabulous! I’m a big fan of the great blue heron and always look for them (as well as egrets) on my daily walks spring through fall. Really enjoyed viewing these majestic birds in photos even if I can’t see one in person just yet. Waiting for spring in Minnesota…..
Hi Toby – so glad you can see Herons and Egrets on your daily walks, and I noticed that you mentioned daily in spring through fall. I don’t blame you for skipping those winter walks in Minnesota! Brrrr. I hope you’ll be seeing your lovely Great Blues soon there. Thanks for your visit and lovely compliment about the Herons.
Soon! maybe another month if we’re lucky. Thanks!
You’re welcome, and you’re brave for coping through Minnesota winters.
I love blue herons and these are beautiful images. I hope you get your sight back. Your view of the world is so lovely and you have so much talent to offer the world. Best always, Deborah
Hi Deborah. I’m so glad to hear that you are a lover of Herons, too! Thanks much for your lovely compliment about the photos and kind wishes for my eyesight. I’m hoping to indulge my “addiction” to the Great Blues as soon as possible thus spring or summer.
Lovely photo “Heron and the boat
Hi Marylou – many thanks for your kind comment about the Heron and the boat photo. I love seeing that boat every year – the owners place some new plants there every year. It is like a garden in a boat!
To me, the links don’t matter, it’s a delight just to see these photos and read the accompanying text. Best of luck with the surgery – better eyesight is around the corner, hooray!
Oh thanks so much for saying that! I know you’re a fellow lover of Herons and watch them when you can there, too. You understand the labor of Heron love. And yes, I’m counting on better eyesight coming right along. Thanks again!
You’re welcome. Yes, herons have been at the top of my birdlove list for…60 years? A long time in any case. And now I’ll be privy to their nesting habits because I’m volunteering for a GBH nesting data collection project. I may have mentioned the huge rookery near here. The land trust that owns the land has 3 cameras there that we as volunteers operate from our home computers at scheduled times throughout the nesting season. This is my first time doing this and they just returned to the rookery yesterday. It should be interesting!
I remember you telling me about that huge rookery and what a marvelous project! The only danger I can foresee is the temptation to spend every waking hour perched in front of the computer instead of perched in front of your lens in the field. Frankly, I would eagerly take on that risk, myself. Looking forward to any updates you can share along the way. What a lucky woman and what lucky Herons!
They’re not really visible in the rookery – it’s on a hill, it’s densely wooded, and there’s no way to get close. So no photography other than a look at an eagle’s nest on the edge. I’m not a bird photographer like you so it’s OK.
The cameras are solar powered and it’s still too dark here (lots of cloudy days and relatively high latitude) to power them well. So it’s one camera at a time, maybe two, and we have to sign up for camera time on a schedule.
Also, visibility can be difficult, especially after the deciduous trees leaf out, so I think the number of good looks will be somewhat limited. That being said, some of the volunteers who observed last year say they became very attached to certain nest families. 🙂
I can imagine this project is right up your alley! Later in the season they’ll try to have one camera available to the public. There are videos & images from last year on the website. https://www.skagitlandtrust.org/heronry.aspx
What a fantastic project. Thanks so much for the link – I have bookmarked so I can check in periodically. You’ll have to let me know if and when “your” nest appears on camera. Our largest heron rookery island is totally inaccessible to people, even by boat, but I bet someone with a drone will attempt it. I am concerned about a drone interfering with the serenity there and hurt the breeding efforts. A well-placed webcam would go a long way towards satisfying randomly curious lookie-loos and more importantly increase understanding of these magnificent creatures. Thanks so much for writing about this.
Yes, drones are a worry in so many places…once again, we have to get used to new technology. Please nudge me in a month or so if I forget – there’s a lot going on right now – spring wildflowers, this project, another one, and possibly a third. Good talking to you! 🙂
Thanks again for the chat! Will give you a nudge later in April. I’m eager to hear more as the nest cam efforts unfold. Good luck with your spring flowers and other projects. It’s feels like coming out of winter hibernation, doesn’t it.