Category Archives: Art

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.
.

.
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.
.

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.
.

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron at an Exhibition (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 19)

Great blue heron in the cove, foraging.

Great Blue Heron foraging amongst water lilies in the cove – babsjeheron.

Plop – bird poo splatted on my shoulder!”

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My first paying photography gig was hanging a Diane Arbus exhibit, for minimum wage. I was at university taking a course in graphic design then, and I was thrilled by the exposure to her work first-hand. The job was a nail-biter though and my boss Leo sternly exhorted us “Whatever you do, don’t cut yourself!” All of the photographs were originals, not reproductions. They were mounted in floating glass frames, the kind with only glass, no wood or metal around the borders. The glass edges were not beveled and were extremely sharp – there was a high risk of getting cut and bleeding on the art that could have ruined her work. It was intense but so rewarding, and no blood was shed that show.
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Fast forward to a few years ago. The photo in this post was one of the cornerstone pieces in a one-woman show I had. As you can see, there’s no evidence of Arbus’ influence in that photo.

Although…

The day of my artist reception, I spent some time sitting outside on a bench before going inside to meet & greet gallery visitors. I sat there under the trees, composing myself and enjoying the dappled sunlight when i felt it.

Plop!

A present from an overhead bird landed on my shoulder, anointing me with sacred bird poo, an ironic baptism for a bird photographer.

I think Arbus would have appreciated the irony.

(There are those who consider getting pooped on by a bird to be good luck…)
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Fast forward again a few more years…

The southwest staircase wall was empty – a blank white space stared at me starkly from the landing between floors. The framed great blue heron was gone!
Shades of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist

Someone had been in the house, but who?

Time for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to get on the case of the purloined photo.

Had a burglar made off with the heron?

Was anything else missing?

Was he still in the house?

Was it safe for me to be there alone?

My sensitive radar for danger didn’t kick in this one time – I didn’t “sense” anyone lurking about in the broad daylight. The 19th century wood floors gave no telltale creaks of footfalls, and, most significantly, the dog snored loudly on his cushion.

I roused the dog and gingerly we checked all the rooms, upstairs and downstairs – looking behind doors, peering into closets and even behind the shower curtain.

Whomever it was, was gone.

A relief.

And a mystery: nothing else seemed to have been disturbed, nothing else missing. Just that one great blue heron photo.

It is a good photograph – one of my favorite painterly photos, one I’m proud of, and definitely “art.”

But definitely not great art.

Yet it was missing,

Had someone thought it valuable enough to steal?

How much self-flattery would it take for me to believe that someone entered my home and stole a photograph, yet left behind anything else of value? A lot. I would really have to be flattering myself a lot to believe that.

And yet the great blue heron was missing, and remained missing.

Until…

Until I opened the built-in pantry cupboard two days later, and found the missing photograph. The glass had been partly shattered and the frame dinged a bit, but the print, itself, was undamaged.

A relief.

And another mystery: who hid the heron photograph in my pantry, and why?

The mystery became amusing, and I had a bit of fun imagining scenarios once I realized that the heron hadn’t been purloined.

My landlord’s son solved the mystery a few days later: he had accidentally bumped into the framed print on the staircase wall while taking something up to the attic. The painting fell and he hid it in the pantry. His plan was to get a new pane of glass and replace the photo before I noticed it missing. What a sweet, thoughtful young man.

And what fun entertaining the thought – if only for the fleetingest of moments – that someone might have liked this photo enough to take it for themselves.

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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.
.

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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons’ Nest Construction Dance (Memory Lane Nbr 2)

The herons engage each other during a break in nest building.

Great Blue Herons engage each other during a break in nest building.

Can you almost hear someone singing that old chestnut, “I only have eyes for you, dear?”

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The above sequence of frames taken during a break in nest building that day in May shows the obvious connection between the mated pair of Great Blue Herons.

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

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

On one of his stick-gathering forays, the young male great blue heron retrieved a branch that was longer then his wingspan and carried it across the channel back to the island where his mate waited patiently.

It was a very macho thing to do – he was clearly out to impress her, and show what a good provider he could be. (Forgive me for anthropomorphizing.)

Once back at the nest, it took a very long time for him to maneuver the branch into a good position for her to grasp it, and the two herons both held the branch in their beaks at the same time, twisting and turning it around and then upside down. At one point, they both held it nearly vertical and their struggle with the branch brought to mind that iconic photo of the troops raising the flag at Iwo-Jima.

Positioning the huge stick upright and then it starts to fall...

Positioning the huge stick upright and then it starts to fall…

I could see all of that through the binocs, but it was too far to make out the finer details of their construction dance.

After downloading the photos at night, I could see more clearly their teamwork in trying to negotiate such a large branch into position and weave it into the nest.

Incredibly, at one point, while the female is holding the larger end of the branch horizontally in her beak, the male has managed to maneuver himself underneath the rest of the branch. And then he tucked into position so that the branch straddled his shoulder area, bearing all the weight with his upper back while his mate got a better purchase on it, just like a human construction worker will balance a beam on his shoulders or back. You can see this in the next sequence of frames here.

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

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

Amazing!

It took them quite a while to position the branch just so in the nest, and there  were a few cliffhanger moments as the branch nearly escaped their beaks’ grasp and almost plummets to the island floor 70 feet below.

Recovering from almost dropping the ginormous stick while nest building.

Recovering from almost dropping the huge stick while nest building.

When the branch was secured into position, it was the female’s turn to fly off in search of the next  stick for the nest. Unlike her macho mate, five minutes later she returned to the nest with a dainty, foot-long twig. I think they were both in the mood for an easier time of it, consruction-wise.

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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Birds. The twilight sky bathed the ducks and heron in an ever-deepening purplish hue, and the color of the kayak takes on a purple tone in some conditions.

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The very creative Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on Spots and Dots this week. Because it’s a beautiful day in May, I’m feeling nostalgic for one of my favorite spots, the nesting island. I hope I’m forgiven for a less-literal interpretation of spots! Check out the Lens Artists here:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .

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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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During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Gets the Point (Memory Lane Nbr 1)

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

Solar Twinkle Spots and My Kayak – babsjeheron

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

The Next Best Thing: Poems

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My goal that December was to spend New Year’s Eve out on the lake in my kayak. Mother Nature had other ideas, and the lake was frozen over on December 31st. This was the last kayak photo that year. The sparkling spots were from sunlight glinting on the slushy ice.
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Changing the subject for a moment, I am recovering from some foot and eye injuries that mean I won’t be in my kayak any time soon. I long to be out with my Heron friends and that poem is a source of optimism. Please humor me as I’ve combined three photo challenges here. Reading and writing are a challenge these days.
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Changing the subject once again, fall migration can be very exciting in the cove, and no two years are alike. The scene below shows my favorite spot on the water, as my favorite Great Blue Heron was literally overrun by ducks who had been practicing their take offs and landings ahead of migrating. By the following evening, they were all gone, off to their winter grounds.
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The first wave of incoming ducks approaches the great blue heron.

For twelve minutes the ducks arrived non-stop…

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Even more incoming ducks approaching the great blue heron as twilight deepens.

…in wave after wave overtaking the Heron as purple twilight deepened – babsjeheron.

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And just for the lighter side, I saved the best for last:

Great blue heron in molt preening.

Great blue heron in molt preening – babsjeheron.
(Here’s the carrot…but where’s the stick?)

i took many photos of the above Great Blue Heron preening, and his bill poked through on only one single frame. It was a blink and you would have missed it moment. In fact, I did miss it entirely there in the cove real-time. Only did I see it when flipping through the downloaded photos. I like those sorts of surprises!

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Thanks to Cee for her CMMC Color Purple. The twilight sky bathed the ducks and heron in an ever-deepening purplish hue, and the color of the kayak takes on a purple tone in some conditions.

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Debbie’s One Word Sunday’s prompt asks for posts with a Point . Do you like the humorous carrot-like point of the heron’s bill as it penetrates his wing feathers while preening? The kayak bow is also a pointy thing.

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The inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on Spots and Dots this week, with some very unique photos on their sites. Check them out:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .

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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.
.

.
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.
.

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron and an Unusual Boat Garden

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

Great Blue Heron Fledgling in Territorial Display at Sunken Boat – babsjeheron

Sometimes no matter how well a photographer plans, the wildlife model has others ideas, and this was one of those times.

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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?

One of my favorite locations for photographing herons is this partly-sunken boat “garden.” Every year, the property owners plant a different crop and it is a delight in late spring or early summer to see what is growing. 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 here.

Whenever I paddle to that area of the lake to see how that garden is doing, I try for heron photos with the boat garden. Photographing them there is tricky because 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 harsh. Even when the light is good, of course there’s no guarantee that there will be any herons around.

That day, I was in luck – a yearling great blue heron foraged 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 – a photo op in the making!

But sometimes no matter how well a photographer plans, the wildlife model has others ideas, and this was one of those times. The yearling 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!

Anticipating that the yearling would eventually emerge from behind the boat garden, I shifted my focus towards the south and waited for the heron to catch up.

Suddenly, 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. This was the first time I had seen a fledgling put a genuine territorial display to use against an older, larger heron.

With his back feathers erect, 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.

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 to see a very young great blue heron assert dominance over an older and larger heron.

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The fabulous Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on Gardens this week. Sincerely, I don’t know how they consistently produce such in-depth posts week-in-and-week-out and the same goes for Cee’s many challenges: I especially appreciate Cee’s “Hunt for Joy” theme.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 147: Gardens .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 147: Gardens .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 147: Gardens .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 147: Gardens .
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And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
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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.
.

.
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.
.

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

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 Photographer Don’t Let Their Broken Legs Get Them Down (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 18)

Great blue heron wings her way across the lake. © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron wings her way across the lake – babsjeheron

As they say in show business, break a leg…

Look closely at the Great Blue Heron’s left leg. Do you see the extra bend between knee and ankle that’s not supposed to be there?

The origin of the expression “break a leg” is in dispute. It may harken back to the ancient Greeks or to 19th or 20th century performances. Whichever it may be, both this Great Blue Heron and I took the expression far too literally.

For the Heron, it was the tibia that broke. In my case, the fibula and calcaneus, aka heel bone. Heading into month seven on crutches wearing an orthopedic walking boot, I am grateful for expert medical care, yet long to be back on two feet and able to fit my foot into a kayak and get back out with the Herons.

That Heron graced the lake for years afterward without benefit of any medical care.

A fledgling great blue in South Carolina, however, underwent successful surgery for a leg fracture. Dr. Biascoechea at the vet clinic inserted pins in the Heron’s leg. The photos there are heartwarming. I love happy Heron stories.
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The always-inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on the “details” this week. Only by focusing on the Heron’s left leg after downloading this photo did I notice the broken leg. I didn’t see it at all when photographing out in the field.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 146: Focusing on the Details .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 146: Focus on the Details .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 146: Focusing on the Details .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 146: Focusing on the Details .
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Last week, the Lens Artists’ theme was “Getting to Know You.” My blog series titled “Quirky Artist Stories” offer some glimpses behind the viewfinder. (But as I always say, its always about the Great Blue Herons, not about me.)

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 145: Getting to Know You .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 145: Getting to Know You .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 145: Getting to Know You .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 145: Getting to Know You .

And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
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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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During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
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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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Love on Earth Day

© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Soaring Upwards – babsjeheron

There wading through grasses,
the birds lean skyward…

When the Green Shoots Come

We went out to watch
the comet that night

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

The nights were warmer by then,
that April night,

and climbing the short fence
between roadway and nature,

you stumbled into grasses
left flattened by snow.

I broke your fall.

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

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

and the nylon filament
wrapped feathers and bone, flightless.

I never told you.

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

One blue heron…

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

For five seasons since…

Today i am enthralled
when the green shoots come

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

There wading through grasses,
the birds lean skyward

and, gathering momentum, rise up
to soar.

Both of them.

The herons.

~~~

14 April, 2003
joyce

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Like music to a Heron lover’s ears, the always-inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on Taking Flight this week.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 144: Taking Flight .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 144: Taking Flight.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 144: Taking Flight .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 144: Taking Flight .

And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
.
.
,

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.
.

.
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.
.

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons’ Whimsical Holiday Retrospective

© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

2017 Holiday Heron – babsjeheron

A warm comment from a reader once exhorted “Keep having loads of fun!”

In that spirit, putting the year 2020 to bed by sharing a few readers’ endearing replies to the five-year-long series of Great Blue Heron holiday cards shown here.

Wishing you peace, health, happiness, joy, and fun in 2021.

Happy New Year!
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© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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This light-hearted comment from a reader brought big smiles:

Now I want a Christmas hat for my GBH. I’m sure that mine wouldn’t let me get close enough to put it on though. You must be a heron whisperer.

Click here for 2019
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© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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This whimsical comment from a reader brought on giggles:

Wow, I’ve never seen a heron in a santa cap….You are so lucky that he posed for you. ; )

Click here for 2016
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© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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This creative comment from a reader made my day:

And I used to think that the breeding plumage was the best. Never knew about the wonderful holiday plumage


Click here for 2020
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© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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More than a few readers posted fun comments for the 2018 version:

“Your Christmas Heron is a hoot…oh wait…that an owl…its a Kraak not a hoot??? LOL!”
“How did you get that hat on your bird?”
“I’m sure your heron enjoyed having his (her?) ears warmed.”
“He looks wonderful with his hat”
“Your heron looks fetching in his Santa hat!”
“Keep having loads of fun!”

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Click here for 2018
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For their final challenge of 2020, the always-inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on the holiday season.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .

And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
.
.
,

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.
.

.
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.
.

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2020 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Wishing Peace on Earth (Not Art Nbr 26)

© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron 2020 Greetings – babsjeheron

There is not only peacefulness, there is joy. And the joy, less deniable in its evidence than the peacefulness, is the confirmation of it. I sat one summer evening and watched a great blue heron make his descent from the top of the hill into the valley. He came down at a measured deliberate pace, stately as always, like a dignitary going down a stair. And then, at a point I judged to be midway over the river, without at all varying his wingbeat he did a backward turn in the air, a loop-the-loop. It could only have been a gesture of pure exuberance, of joy — a speaking of his sense of the evening, the day’s fulfillment, his descent homeward.

Wendell Berry
The Art of the Commonplace: Agrarian Essays by Wendell Berry

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 2021 bring you peace, health, happiness, and joy to all.

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This week, the always-inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on the holiday season.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 127: Precious Moments .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .

And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.

.
.
.

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.
.

.
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.
.

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2020 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

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