Category Archives: Art

Put the Great Blue Heron Back on her Pedestal? Who, me?

Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal Nbr 2 - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Monday Portrait: Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

And when I’ve reached the end of my days, may I be found with a Great Blue Heron’s nest built within my ribcage.
With apologies to Robert Macfarlane
The Old Ways

Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal - babsjeheron  © 2017 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal – babsjeheron

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.

Goosebumps!

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.
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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.

Bears repeating:

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

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:

Great Blue Heron Profile - babsjeheeon © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Profile – babsjeheron

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Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Close up or macro.
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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. 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.
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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.

.

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!

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.

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.
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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

Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Heron… and the Man with the Spider Tattoo

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Warrior Nbr 2 - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Warrior Portrait – babsjeheron

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

Great Blue Fledgling Surveying the Scene – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Fledgling About to Leap - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fledgling About to Leap – babsjeheron

Great Blue Fledgling Sticks His Landing - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Fledgling Sticks The Landing – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Touch Down Nbr 1 - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Touch Down Nbr 1 – babsjeheron

It was only after I had maneuvered in close enough to grab onto the strut of his pontoon – without t-boning my kayak against the point – 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.

Before deciding to pull alongside the paddleboat, I had focused on the pilot’s gang colors and insignia, and hadn’t noticed the man with the spider tattoo. The pilot’s hat alone screamed to me of power and danger, and yet there he was piloting a four-seater paddle-boat into the southern lake, with three similarly bedecked men. Somehow paddle-boats and gang activity don’t go hand-in-glove, and they looked to be strangers in a new and strange land, for them.

Maybe it was the fact that one of his passengers was a young girl wearing pink shorts that emboldened me enough to approach them. She looked to be about ten or eleven, still innocent-looking despite the company she was keeping, and I guessed her to be one of the men’s daughter. Their women were surely back at the grills near the beach making dinner.

I had planted the kayak in the shade of overhanging trees along the western shore where the water gently lapped against my hull, picking up in intensity only when a larger boat rounded the point.

I heard them – boisterous and happy – before I felt their wake, and I felt their wake before I saw them, and when I saw them the first thing I saw was the captain’s over-size gang hat.

And the second thing I saw was their telegraphed trajectory – heading straight for the small nesting island. There was no doubt about that, and no doubt that they would make landfall, and no doubt that the adult male Heron would flee the nest and chicks when they did, for he is a skittish Heron. I say this all from experience.

I paddled out from under the leafy canopy into the open water and shouted out a greeting while paddling quickly towards them, aiming to cut off their path in a subtle way.

They answered my greeting, a good sign, and so I called out to them and explained “You can’t go to the island. There are protected birds there in a nest with babies. Don’t go to the island.”

And I held out my arm with the binoculars, gestured with the binocs, and asked them “Would you like to see the birds?”

And closer I paddled, not knowing if we even spoke enough of the same language to understand each other.

They pedaled towards me, and I paddled towards them until the tip of my bow nudged alongside their right pontoon.

I handed off the binoculars to the man with the spider tattoo, and pointed to the nest and gave him the quick nature story talk about the Herons and chicks and Cormorants. As I was explaining that the Heron is around four feet tall, he exclaimed “Beautiful,” and “Grande,” and something else that I couldn’t follow, but the look on his face was so soft and kind and he was clearly pleased to see the birds up close through the binoculars.

He handed off the binocs to the young girl, and all three of the grown men were solicitous of her, each wanting to make sure she could focus the binocs and see the nest. And when they were assured that, yes, she did see the nest and the birds, they each took turns with the binocs, and made big smiles and little exclamations about how grande and beautiful, and we talked about how the Cormorants are much smaller than the Herons and they taught me their word for small – Pequeño.

A new bird for them, a new word for me, and for all on those two small boats that day I think, a new understanding of how the beauty of Great Blue Herons can bridge the gaps between us.
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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 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 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. 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.
.

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 Amy is “Earth Story.” Amy wrote “The natural world has many stories to tell. They are written on the ground, in the mountains and rivers, and on rocks and trees.” My story today is about how we ALL share our one beautiful Earth. We share it with ALL peoples. We share it with the magnificent Herons and ALL of Nature.

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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Birds. Anybody see any birds around here?
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 192: Earth Story.
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From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 192: Earth Story .
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From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 192: Earth Story .
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From Anne Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 192: Earth Story .
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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.

.

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, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick

Read the rest of this entry

Romancing the Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons pair bonding - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Herons pair bonding – babsjeheron

During a break in nest building, the Great Blue Heron pair enhanced their bond with courtship moves so intimate I imagined hearing the soft refrains of that old chestnut “I only have eyes for you, dear.”

“Our love must be some kind of kind of blind love.
I can’t see anyone but you.


Are the stars out tonight?
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright.
I only have eyes for you, dear…”

A. Dubin, H. Warren
I Only Have Eyes for You

“I Only Have Eyes for You” is a gem of a tune. This chestnut has been performed by a who’s who of musicians, including The Flamingos, Sinatra & Count Basie, Rod Stewart, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Mathis, Carly Simon, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and more…

But the best ever version in my opinion is this very sweet Art Garfunkle cover. Trust me on that.

This next trio of frames taken during a break in nest building that day shows the obvious connection between the mated pair of Great Blue Herons.

The Herons engage each other during a break in nest building - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Nest building had been completed four weeks earlier and the Great Blue Heron eggs were due to hatch any moment. The suspense was mounting daily – would this be the day? And then one day, the female swooped back to the nest bearing a small stick. How sweet, I thought to myself – a token of her affection for her mate, who was hunkered down on the eggs.

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 (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

It was a touching, tender moment to behold. They only had eyes for each other while courting, but even once they got down to the business of incubating the eggs, their pair bonding efforts persisted, with lavish greeting displays when one returned to the nest, occasional preening (allopreening) of each other, and more. I had watched their courtship and nest building four weeks earlier, but there was something special about seeing her bring that twig back to the male in the nest. I had never before seen them take little gifts like this small stick back to the nest. How sweet.

I am still smitten by their deep bonding, their dedication to each other and their nest.

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Great Blue Herons & me!

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Once again, the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the water’s surface is gracing gallery walls.

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio

My Great Blue Heron photographs are 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.

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 to see the Great Blue Herons. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.

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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.

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.

Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Square Odds and Thursday Trios.
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Thanks to Becky for her The Square Odds challenge. Yes, it’s hip to be square!
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Thanks to Becky also for her Square Odds Gallery which showcases some delightful images from many interesting photographers.

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Thanks to Debbie for her One Word Sunday: Even.
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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.

.

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 – Current 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, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Pink Flamingo
Read the rest of this entry

Great Blue Herons Guest…Pink Flamingo?

Great Blue Heron Fledgling in Territorial Display - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron in territorial display by boat garden – babsjeheron

A favorite location for photographing Herons is the sunken boat garden shown in the above photo. Each year, the property owners plant something different. One year the boat contained tubs of cherry tomatoes that looked delectable when fully ripe, the bright red of the fruit promising sweetness. In other years, the focus is flowers, like the gladiolus you see in the top photo.

Every year, it’s a treat to explore that area of the lake to see what has been planted, and to try for Heron photos with the boat garden. Photographing them there is tricky for a couple of reasons. The angle of the sun is good for only a short while each day; it’s in the shadows in the morning and for much of the afternoon the light is too bright and harsh. Even when the light is good, of course there’s no guarantee that there will be any Herons plying that section of the cove.

This square image shows only a smattering of changes to the boat garden that I have photographed over the years, including the variety of flowers and even the paint job to the boat, itself.

Boat Garden Through Years - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Boat Garden Through Years – babsjeheron
Top Left – 2009, Top Right – 2011, Middle Left – 2011, Middle Right – 2015, Bottom Left – 2017, Bottom Right – 2018

To the south of the boat garden is an idyllic area of the shoreline: two hammocks suspended out over the water look so inviting on sweltering August afternoons. Next door is a tableau of Adirondack chairs gathered near a fire pit, and I can imagine lounging in a hammock while dinner sizzling nearby teases my senses. 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 or three, lazing in one of the hammocks, with 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, too.

Great blue heron exploring the shoreline near suspended hammocks - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron exploring the shoreline near suspended hammocks – babsjeheron

On this day, I was in luck – there was a yearling Great Blue Heron foraging along the shore to the north of the boat garden. Most Great Blues follow a consistent direction when fishing along the shore. Just like “mall walkers” who get their exercise by walking a circuit around a mall before the shops open, Herons generally pick a direction and follow that direction. That day, it was looking good because the yearling was heading down the shore in the direction of the boat garden.

I settled the kayak into a secluded spot and set up to photograph the Heron when it neared the boat garden. And then I waited.

Sometimes no matter how well a photographer plans, the model has others ideas, and this was one of those times. The Heron lazily worked his way up to the boat and just when I was ready for shots of the Heron moving along in front of the boat, it ducked behind the stern, instead, and proceeded south, obscured by the towering gladiolus in the boat!

All was not lost, I thought to myself, maybe the Heron would do something photogenic by the hammocks or the Adirondack chairs and fire pit while the light was still good. I shifted my focus in that direction and waited for the Heron to catch up. Totally unaware of the fledgling Great Blue Heron beside the boat garden stalking him with increasing speed and determination, the yearling Heron plied the shoreline. Perhaps it was his curiosity about the fire pit on the lake-front beach that led him to put his guard down?

Great Blue Heron yearling investigates a fire pit - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron yearling investigates a fire pit – babsjeheron

It was looking promising for some photos with the chairs, and I had started firing off a few when I heard a slight rustle overhead. I looked up and saw a fledgling Great Blue Heron perching on a limb directly over the beach where the other Heron was curiously investigating the fire pit.

The fledgling swooped out of the canopy and landed just to the north of the boat garden and suddenly took on a territorial posture. I have blogged here in the past about fledgling herons in the nest playfully practicng various displays (click here and here) but this was the first time I had seen a fledgling put a genuine territorial display to use against an older, larger Heron in a shoreline situation.

Back feathers erect, such as they were at this point in the fledgling’s development, the fledgling strutted down the shore towards the yearling, who was engrossed with the fire pit. A few moments after the photo shown above, though, the older Heron caught sight of the aggressive fledgling bearing down on him and burst from the sand out over the water, heading southwest.

Fledgling great blue heron taking flight near boat garden - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Fledgling Great Blue Heron taking flight near boat garden – babsjeheron

The fledgling, having proved his mettle and securing both the beach and his status as an alpha bird, relaxed his pose and spent several minutes exploring the boat garden before eventually flying off to the north.

What a thrilling experience that day, to see a very young Great Blue Heron assert dominance over an older and larger Heron.
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And when I take photos like this, I often wonder if the property owners have any idea about the Herons’ visits that make their beautiful stretch of shore even more lovely.

The one very odd boat garden installation over all of the years has no plants, just this solitary Plastic Flamingo.

Plastic Flamingo in Boat Garden - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Plastic Flamingo in Boat Garden – babsjeheron

I have sometimes wondered if that Flamingo was intended as a “scarecrow” figure, to keep the Herons away? I hope not.
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Once again, the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the water’s surface is gracing gallery walls.

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio

My Great Blue Heron photographs are 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.

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 to see the Great Blue Herons. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.

.
.

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.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by John is “Change.” This post chronicles many changes to the picturesque sunken boat at the lake.
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Thanks to Cee for her FOTD: Flower of the Day. I wish I knew the names of all of the flowers in my photos.
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Thanks to Becky for her The Square Odds challenge. Is that Pink Flamingo odd or what?

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Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday. Sometimes Known as Sir Paul’s Cathedral.
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From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 185: Change .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 185: Change .
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From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 185: Change .

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From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 185: Change .
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From John Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 185: Change .

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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.

.

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 – Current 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, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Pink Flamingo
Read the rest of this entry

Great Blue Herons Dam Love Letter

Great Blue Heron at the Dam - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron at the Dam – babsjeheron

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 who become too absorbed by the scene within their viewfinder: I was so engrossed with following the Great Blue Heron through my lens that I nearly stepped over the edge into clear air. Every couple of years, we read news stories of people falling off cliffs or going into waterfalls while taking photos. The day I took the above photo, I learned how easily that can happen. One more step, and I would have been in the water below the falls.

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.

― Lao Tzu

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

Great Blue Heron Balanced on Fish Ladder – babsjeheron

Water – fluid and soft – does indeed wear away rigid, unyielding substances. Look closely at the right-hand side of the above photo of the beautiful Great Blue Heron balancing on the fish ladder. Do you see the small torrent cascading through the sidewall of the ladder? We don’t often think of concrete as being fragile, but it is susceptible to the forces of water.

Plans are in the works to replace – or even remove – the dam over the Charles River and perhaps also the associated lovely park that is a gem of the community, frequented by families and artists and photographers for generations.

The experiences shown here today are a love letter to that special place, told in photos.

Great Blue Heron Fishing at Fish Ladder - babsjeheron © 2018 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishing at Fish Ladder – babsjeheron

For more than an hour, the Great Blue Heron stalked a Salmon, climbing the fish ladder slowly, intently scanning the pooled water at the base of the dam, then pausing to rest, perched there on one leg. All the while, she faced away from the torrent gushing down the ladder behind her. I could see fish in the rushing waters and wondered if the Heron would shift her focus. Finally, she looked at the fish ladder right, and left no doubt at all about the fate of that Salmon. Fortunately for the Great Blue Heron, the ‘no fishing in fish ladder’ sign and policy don’t apply to Herons.

Great Blue Heron Catching Large Fish - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Catching Large Fish – babsjeheron

The purpose of the fish ladder is to give fish the means to travel upstream to their spawning ground, since they cannot jump over the dam along side the ladder. I have never observed any fish swimming up the ladder, but I have seen fish tumbling down. Which brings me back to Great Blue Herons. They love to wait at the base of the dam for unlucky fish swept over the edge. It’s not just water that cascades over the lip of this dam on the Charles River – the tug of gravity pulls with it hapless fish destined to become dinner for an eagle-eyed Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron and Waterfall - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron and Waterfall – babsjeheron

The Charles River was in drought conditions in the above photo, with the usually-robust waterfall at the dam subdued to a trickle. Compare to the seething, frothing foam at the base of the dam shown next.

Great Blue Heron at the base of the dam  fishing - babsjeheron © 2016 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron at the base of the dam fishing – babsjeheron

Photography is a solitary endeavor for me, so imagine my dismay upon arriving at the Charles River dam one morning to see a big splash of color looming over the ancient grinding wheel across from the fish ladder. There would be no Great Blue Herons that day. Taking in the entire scene, though, dismay quickly turned to joy.

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 - babsjeheron © 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

What came into view was first one, then two, then three, then four artists set up in 19th century vignettes with easels under brightly-colored umbrellas. They were spaced a good distance from each other, all with a differing vantage point of the river and dam and old stone bridge where the Herons fish. One of the painters in particular called to mind a scene from the mid-1800s as she gazed out over the lush water lilies floating above the dam, paints at the ready, paintbrush in hand.

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 - babsjeheron © 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 – babsjeheron

Rosemary Morelli teaches painting including en plain air style at her studio in eastern Massachusetts. The artists painting at the dam that day were a few of her students.

The bridge in this photo below was constructed in the mid-19th century, around the same time that the cyanotype process came into vogue. There is a palpable timelessness to this location and the artists and easels enhanced that feeling. I can easily imagine a 19th century painter or photographer capturing an ancestor of one of the Great Blue Herons that frequent the area today.

© 2016 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron – Charles River Blues Nbr 2 – In the Cyanotype Style – babsjeheron

I chose the above 19th century style cyanoprint series “Charles River Blues” for part of my current exhibit at TCAN because the Summer Street Gallery, itself, is from that same 19th century period.

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

Fledgling Great Blue Heron on Log at Dam – babsjeheron

The log teetered at the brink of the falling water (in the photo above), and I quickly positioned the camera to capture the moment it began the inevitable cascade over the brink. A shadow suddenly passed overhead in the morning drizzle, outside the range of my lens, and I looked up too late to see what it was. Only when peering through the eyepiece once again was the mystery solved: a fledgling Great Blue Heron was now perched atop the precarious log. It was the same Great Blue fledgling seen in that area weeks earlier. My heart sang to see him so healthy and strong.

Fish Ladder Freezing in January- babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Fish Ladder at the dam freezing in January- babsjeheron

Our winters can be harsh, as this weekend’s blizzard righteously reminded us, and my thoughts are drawn to reassuring scenes of the Great Blue Herons of warmer seasons. But what becomes of the fish ladder in winter? Above and below, a view in January. It was so cold, the splashing water froze when it bounced upwards and tried to stream over the edge.

Fish Ladder Freezing in January Detail - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Fish Ladder at the dam freezing in January, Detail – babsjeheron

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I do not know the ultimate fate of the dam and fish ladder and beautiful park, along with the beloved Herons who call that area home, but I hope Douglas Adams was onto something when he wrote:

There is no problem so complicated that you can’t find a very simple answer to it if you look at it right.
Douglas Adams
The Salmon of Doubt

Here’s hoping the powers that be are looking at things right.

It is difficult to envision what change will bring to the lovely park and dam when all is said and done. I like to keep the poem below in mind:

Life spreads itself across
the ceiling to make you think
you are penned in, but that
is just another gift. Life takes
what you thought you couldn’t live
without and gives you a heron instead.

On the Meaning of (excerpt)
Linda Back McKay

Once again, the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the water’s surface is gracing gallery walls.

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio

My Great Blue Heron photographs are 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.

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 to see the Great Blue Herons. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.

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Cee Neuner, Debhie Smyth, 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 Amy is “Travel.” All of the photos on my blog were taken within 5 miles from home. I love that the beautiful Great Blue Herons spend part of their lives each year within the Charles River and Sudbury River watersheds. I’m very fortunate that my studies of them don’t require expensive travel to distant locations. And after this weekend’s blizzard, traveling to see the Herons at the dam “virtually” in photos was a delight.
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Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: Cold or Chilly. The water freezing as it cascaded in the fish ladder in January was definitely cold

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Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday. Don’t ask me, I’ve no idea.
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From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 184: Travel .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 184: Travel .
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From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 184: Travel .

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From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 184: Travel .

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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.

.

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 – Currently appearing one-woman photography show 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, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick
Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Herons on Exhibit (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 20)

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

Great Blue Heron Camouflaged – babsjeheron

It was the golden hour, that last hour of daylight when the sun’s rays bathed the cove in gold. It was so close to twilight that the Heron’s body was nearly camouflaged against the slate-grey rocks. The only movement was a slight tilt to her head, first to the left, and then an almost imperceptible extending of her neck, up up higher higher until she was staring straight down into the lake. Whoosh, as her arrow beak pierced the surface, and her body lunged fully beneath the water, energy exploding water droplets everywhere. This was the scene only moments before the Great Blue Heron flew off with the prize catch – the enormous Pike clenched in her bill that you can see in the top right-hand photo on my blog.

The patron in the Audubon gallery had browsed through the collection of my Great Blue Heron photos on the walls, but she kept returning to the one you see above.

Finally, she came over to me and asked why I had included one without any Herons.

We walked over to the wall together and I pointed out the Heron, it’s back perfectly camouflaged against the rocks.

Had I cropped out the tell-tale burst of water drops that were flung upwards as the Heron thrust her head beneath the surface, the camouflage effect would be even more apparent. If you cover that burst of water in the photo with your hand, you can see how the Heron’s back blends in with the rocks.

Once again, the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the water’s surface is gracing gallery walls.

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio

From January 12, 2022, ongoing, my Great Blue Heron photographs are 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.

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 to see the Great Blue Herons. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.

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.

Cee Neuner, Debhie Smyth, 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 Patti is “Interesting Objects.” The stained glass TCAN lobby art is an interesting object and it adds visual impact when the reflection appears superimposed on the photo of the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the surface.
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Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: Black and White Birds. Many of the Heron photos are monochromatic.
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Thanks to Debbie for her One Word Sunday: Action. The image of the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the surface is a dramatic action shot.
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From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 182: Interesting Objects .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 182: Interesting Objects .
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From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 182: Interesting Objects .

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From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 182: Interesting Objects .

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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.

.

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!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick – Current one-woman show thru January 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, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick
Read the rest of this entry

Weird Wonderful Wordless Wednesday Whatzit

Wild Rumpus at Tower Hill - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Wild Rumpus Stickwork at Tower Hill – babsjeheron

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This post is prompted by the ever-inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers.

This week’s Lens Artist challenge comes from Ann-Christine. The topic is Weird and Wonderful. What do you think? Is Patrick Dougherty’s installation not weird and wonderful?
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Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from the Lens Artists.
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From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .
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From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .
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From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .

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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.
.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District

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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!

.
.

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.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
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™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Stickwork, Patrick Dougherty
Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Breaks into Flight

Great Blue Heron With Wounded Wing Soaring - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron With Wounded Wing Soaring – babsjeheron

Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into flight.

With apologies to James Wright’s poem “A Blessing”
The Branch Will not Break

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

Great Blue Heron fishing near the mossy log – babsjeheron

That day, I went out in the kayak for two and a half hours. There was no wind then, it was calm, and sweet, and I felt suffused with joy.

At one point in the secluded cove, I failed to notice a Great Blue Heron on a fallen willow, the one felled by the big winds of the previous summer.

I had drifted up very close. I didn’t see her, but she saw me. Only when she burst into flight did I notice her.

Usually when they take off, the air is silent. That day, though, what alerted me to her presence was the rustle of her feathers. It was a sound unlike any other, and the soft, unmistakable friction of quill against quill brought me to goosebumps.

Her flight was only a short, slow hop across the cove, to the other side, and when she landed, she stood upright and stared at me as if to say “Well, are you happy now?”

We stayed together, the Heron staring at me, for a few minutes, then she turned and stalked deeper into the mysterious forest at the eastern end of the cove, where humans never go.

Only this time – since she knew I was there and, even knowing of my presence, she plied the shore very slowly, unafraid, not at all warily – I took her behavior as an invitation to follow her deeper and deeper along the slender finger of water until it was too shallow for even a kayak.

Any farther and I would have had to grow flight feathers to continue on.

Some day, I may just do that anyway – step out of my body and break into flight.

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This post is prompted by Cee Neuner and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. The focus for this week’s LAPC is Artificial Light. Herons usually don’t hang out in artificial light where I live, so how about a two-fer: two full moon photos with artificial light.

Full Moon with Lights - babsje© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)heron

Full Moon with Lights – babsjeheron

Full Moon Train Mass Turnpike - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Full Moon Train Mass Turnpike – babsjeheron

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Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy. I don’t know if this challenge is still on, but I really like the idea of searching for joy. The Herons bring joy.
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From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .
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From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .

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From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .
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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 they need your love.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
.

.

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, Full Moon
Read the rest of this entry

Great Blue Heron’s Guest…Flower???

Magnolia

“I have always trusted pink,” Audrey Hepburn

From Blossoms

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

~ Li-Young Lee ~
From Blossoms (excerpt)
Rose (New Poets of America)

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You were expecting maybe a Heron today?
Just something a little different for Cee’s FOTD and (Not entirely) WordlessWednesday.
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© 2004-2021 Babsje. (Http://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Magnolia in B&W

Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

James Wright
A Blessing (excerpt)
The Branch Will Not Break

Magnolias

Magnolias

They say that scent has more power to elicit past memories and emotions than any of our other senses. The scent of magnolia blossoms transports me back just as surely as a photograph would, and I am enraptured all over again.
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Yes, I know they’re not herons. Here’s an obligatory Heron photo …
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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron in small pond with flowering grasses – babsjeheron

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Thanks to Cee for her FOTD Flower of the Day Challenge.
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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 they need your love.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

2015 (May), 2016 (March and July), 2018 (May, June, July), 2019 (December), 2020 (January) several one-woman photography shows at TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, 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.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick
Read the rest of this entry

Great Blue Heron and Friends’ Saturday Night Baths

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

Mute Swan Bathing Beauty – babsjeheron

Rubber Duckie you’re the one,
You make bathtime lots of fun,
Rubber Duckie I’m awfully fond of you
Vo-vo-dee-o!

Jeff Moss
The Sesame Street Songbook

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

Two Red Tailed Hawks – babsjeheron

Great blue heron taking a bath.

Great blue heron continues bathing after turning around.

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Great blue heron bathing.

Great blue heron bathing.

Great Blue Heron feathers fray and yet still retain their beauty. Frayed chest feathers are combed with a specially adapted claw, and a whitish powder down dusting protects the heron from oils and surface scum from the water. After a Great Blue Heron takes a birdbath, a filmy white coating of powder down often remains behind floating on the water. A heron taking a bath is an amusing sight to behold.

Paddling around the bend at the far end of the middle pond, I caught a glimpse of a great blue heron lurking at the eastern end of the cove. Through the binoculars it looked like the heron was in a territorial display, erect back feathers gleaming in the bright sun. My pulse quickened. It’s always exciting to capture a territorial encounter between two herons with a camera.

The glare on the water made it difficult to be certain where the other bird was, and I needed to keep a good distance to not disturb their interaction. I was assuming that the territorial stance was directed at another bird, but try as I might, I couldn’t find any other herons nearby. I followed the heron’s gaze, looking for any antagonist in his line of sight, to no avail.

Confused about the heron’s behavior, I decided to just bide my time, and settled the kayak along the opposite shore, downwind and hidden from view.

A few minutes passed, with the heron still in a territorial pose.

A few more minutes, and suddenly the heron immersed itself fully under the water. Then that stiletto beak broke the surface, and the heron splashed up a froth of water.

The heron was taking a bath!

Great blue heron taking a bath.

Great blue heron taking a bath.

In nearly a decade of watching herons, this was only the second time I’d ever seen one bathing. I sat there mouth agape, watching and taking photographs as quickly as possible.

Great blue heron taking a bath.

Great blue heron continues bathing after turning around.

I stayed there sharing bath time with the heron until an interloper in an inflatable boat flushed the heron off, but even that couldn’t wipe the silly smile from my face.

Great blue heron on bath day.

Great blue heron on bath day.

Herons aren’t necessarily known for being playful when they’re alone, but perhaps bath time is a playful exception. That’s my story theory, and I’m sticking to it.
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.Bonus Bird:

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

Rubber Ducky at the Lake – babsjeheron

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This week’s Lens Artist challenge from Tina, with Patti, Amy, and Leya, focuses on on the.colors blue and green. Did you know that although Ardea herodias is known as the Great Blue Heron, it’s feathers are not actually blue at all? Have a look at the masthead art at the top of this page of my blog. That is a photo I took of an aigrette feather from a great blue heron. There is nothing blue about it. The secret that makes feathers appear blue to the human eye is the result of refraction. It is the play of light on the structure of the feather that allows our eyes to perceive blue.

Check out the Lens Artists’ Blue and Green photos here:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 149: Cool Colors – Blue and Green .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 149: Cool Colors – Blue and Green .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 149: Cool Colors – Blue and Green .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 149: Cool Colors – Blue and Green .

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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 they need your love.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

2015 (May), 2016 (March and July), 2018 (May, June, July), 2019 (December), 2020 (January) several one-woman photography shows at TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, 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.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick
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