Category Archives: Audubon

Great Blue Heron in Autumn Nbr 6 Urges Get Out the Vote

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

Great blue heron in small pond in Autumn.

This is a politics-free space. You won’t hear me advancing any political agenda.

The Great Blue Herons, on the other hand, want to remind everyone – regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof – to vote when and where you can so that your voice can be heard.

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A couple of days ago, I took down my one-woman Great Blue Heron photography show that had been hanging at the Natick Town Hall for the months of September and October. A couple of the Heron photos were displayed above examples of election ballots. Upon entering the building, this sign reminded everyone that early voting was underway.

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

Early Voting in Natick Town Hall

Whatever your party affiliation or lack thereof, please exercise your right to vote this week. The future depends on you.

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Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent Challenge – One Word Sunday: Earth. Nearly all of the Heron photos on my blog were captured from my kayak floating on the water. The photo in today’s post, however, was taken with both feet planted firmly on earth. Out of hundreds of thousands of Heron photos, all but two locations were shot from the water. Less than 100 of the photos were captured on solid earth. This photo is one of them.
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Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves: Week 7. I was delighted to see this Great Blue Heron in the small pond on my afternoon walk. A woman with a small child also stood at pond’s edge, transfixed by the Heron. It was a thrilling moment for all three of us.
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Thanks to Su for her (The) Changing Seasons Challenge. One final submission for Su’s delightful October challenge. Where has the year gone, November already? (I wrote this post while it was still October. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
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Thanks to LEYA for this week’s Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 17: Blending in or Standing Out. As seen form this vantage point, the Great Blue Heron in the top photo of this post stands out. But from across the pond, the Heron blends in behind the grasses, as you can see in the thumbnail at left. Same Heron, same pond, same day – it’s all a matter of perspective.
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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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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced 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. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the current gallery show at TCAN. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick

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Great Blue Heron in Autumn Nbr 5

Great blue heron foraging on the shore in Autumn.

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Through Halloween, tomorrow October 31st, the Great Blue Herons are featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA. Feel free to stop in during office hours Monday thru Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm; Friday 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
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Thanks to Patti for her recent Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 17: Just for Fun. This photo is not a ‘funny’ photo, but my idea of great fun is floating on the water, admiring the Herons through binocs.
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Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves: Week 6. This Heron calmly foraged along the shore, and ultimately caught a large Bass of the size that would make any fisherman envious.
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Thanks to Su for her (The) Changing Seasons Challenge. I hope a second submission to Su’s delightful Changing Seasons is allowed. There is somwething universal about the way Nature morphs from one into the next, and also in the way humans respond. People commiserate about frigid temps and too much snow, and whine about excessive heat, but almost universally we delight in the lovely bursting forth of spring and the glorious colors of autumn.
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Thanks to Cee for her recent For the Love of Challenges: Photo Challenges. Cee is a treasure, and she serves the community well with her compendium of challenges.

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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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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced 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. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the current gallery show at TCAN. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Great Blue Heron in Autumn Nbr 4 (Body Language Part 1)

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

Great blue heron fledgling in autumn.

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The posture of this fledgling Great Blue Heron indicates that the Heron is on high-alert. The bird is very aware of it’s surroundings and any possible predators nearby. In fact, this fledgling bolted skyward moments after this photo was taken. A Heron standing ramrod-straight such as this is not a relaxed bird at rest.

My practice is to use a natural-cover hide when photographing in the wild to remain unseen and not interfere with th wildlife , but sometimes – especially when moving from location to location – that isn’t always possible. In the case of this photo, the Heron saw me and my kayak and, predictably, fled.
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Through October 31st, the Great Blue Herons are featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA. Feel free to stop in during office hours Monday thru Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm; Friday 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
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Thanks to Dawn for her recent Festival of Leaves: Week 6. I will miss Dawn’s Festival of Leaves photos when our autumn slips into winter.
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Thanks to Su for her (The) Changing Seasons Challenge. I have been a long-time follower of Su’s blog and photos, and only recently discovered her charming challenge through a link on Cee’s site..
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Thanks to Cee for her recent For the Love of Challenges: Photo Challenges. Cee is a treasure, and she serves the community well with her compendium of challenges.

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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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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced 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. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the current gallery show at TCAN. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Great Blue Herons’ First Mink (Not Art Nbr 21)

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

Mink Nbr 2 – babjseheron

No Mink were harmed in the making of this post, so please don’t get all #PETA on the Herons.

Speaking of PETA, during her high-school years, a friend’s daughter worked in a now-defunct local shop that sold fur coats on consignment. She delighted in hiding a card from PETA deep in the pocket of as many furs as possible.

The Mink shown here is the first I’ve ever encountered – in more than a dozen years on the lake. It was late in the day. I was heading for home and apparently the Mink was, as well, when we met eyeball-to-eyeball beneath the tunnel.

Looking at the Mink’s lustrous pelt, it is not difficult to understand why their fur has been so sought-after over the ages.

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For the months of September and October, the Great Blue Herons are featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA. Feel free to stop in during office hours Monday thru Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm; Friday 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced 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. 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.

Thanks to Cee for her recent CFFC: Things People Grow Challenge. Farming “American Minks” was a thing in the UK, driven by greed no doubt. Unfortunately, many farm-bred Mink escaped and they are now considered an invasive species in the UK, where they are a threat to waterfowl and other creatures.

Thanks again to Paula for her WPC: Pick a word in September challenge: Cavernous. This Mink appears tp make it’s den in one of the cavernous holes among the rocks.
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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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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Wishing You Peace On Earth (Not Art Nbr 15)

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

Great Blue Heron
Greetings of Peace – babsjeheron

There is only one question:
how to love this world.

Mary Oliver
“Spring” (excerpt)
“House of Light”

Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for today’s Daily Prompt: Cherish. My love for the Great Blue Herons is no small secret, nor is my perpetual wish for peace on earth for all beings – human and other.

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for the recent WPC challenge: Rounded. The eliptical frame around this photo has rounded curves.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2017 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron – What Goes Up…

Great blue heron fledgling practicing flying one day before fledging for good.

Great blue heron fledgling practicing flying one day before fledging for good.

I am ready for flight
oh my wings are so ripe
come wake me
take me from the nest

Jimmie Spheeris, The Nest

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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for this week’s WPC challenge: Ascend. What goes up, must come down… in one place or another. My heart was in my throat as I watched this Great Blue Heron chick learn how to fly, 80 feet above the island floor.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2017 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Transformation (Not Art Nbr 14)

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

Young Great Blue Heron in Molt – 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

Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for the recent WPC challenge: Transformation. A few years ago I pondered “How do great blue herons fly when they’re molting?” The answer: Awkwardly. Jenn’s prompt reminded me that the process of molting is a fundamental transformation.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2017 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Put a Beautiful Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal? Who, me?

© 2017 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal – 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

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Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Satisfaction/. 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 two weeks ago. 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.

Thanks also to Paula for hosting her Thursday’s Special: Slow. 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.

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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2017 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 12: Five Crows Brick & Mortar Features Great Blue Herons

In these days when anyone can set up an online shop to sell photography, I am proud to be represented by an honest-to-goodness brick & mortar gallery, Five Crows. Owned by a group of dynamic women artists – aka The Crows – the gallery is a true gem, showcasing the works of more than 150 local and regional artists, designers and artisans. Five Crows offers fine art photography, handmade jewelry, original paintings, scarves, stained glass, pottery and a slate of fascinating artist-taught classes. I’m honored to be one of the Featured Artists there this June and July, and to be in the company of the accomplished photographer Beth Hoffer.

Also, a quick thanks to the kind folks at Charles River Canoe & Kayak. Many of the Great Blue Heron photos shown here were taken from the seat of a CRCK kayak.

Maybe this should be filed under shameless self-promotion?

From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2017 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Calm Before the Storm (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 11)

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

Great Blue Heron Sleeping Calmly Before the Storm – babsjeheron

With one eyelid partly open, the Great Blue Heron slept perched on one leg as the kayak slowly drifted past. Heron eyelids close from the bottom up – unlike ours – and they can sleep with an eye slightly open, as a cat will do.

It was exciting to discover where this Heron sleeps, and I took care to stay a healthy distance away as I paddled towards a natural hide in the trees along the shore. Was she aware of my presence across the cove? Perhaps. If she was, she didn’t let on.

Rain was in the forecast, and the lake deserted, calm and serene.

I floated onward to a favorite cove in search of that Heron’s mate. The cove is a narrow finger of water, with thick tree canopy on either side, making it difficult to see the sky for much of the length of the cove.

I was following the other Great Blue from a distance with a telephoto lens and noticed a lot of those plinking circles on the water’s surface that insects and nymphs make.

Belatedly, I realized it wasn’t insects making those circles – it was raindrops.

Quickly, I put my camera it its dry bag, stashed it below decks and paddled rapidly for the boathouse.

When I exited the cove, my kayak was SLAMMED broadside by the fiercest winds I’ve ever experienced – easily gusting greater that 50mph, if not an actual microburst. In moments of heart-pounding terror, I was sure my kayak was going to slam onto the jagged rocks and then roll.

Paddling as though my life depended on it, I steadied the kayak long enough to make it to the mouth of a tunnel, but there was a large powerboat inside, headed straight towards me, and another kayak on the left. The powerboat cut engines and managed to stop along the tunnel wall. He found a handhold in a seam of the concrete the way a rock climber grabs finger-width holds. I snugged my kayak as close to his bow as possible and another motor boat swung in behind me. The three of us waited out the vicious storm together, watching the winds blow sideways at alarming with alarming power.

When the storm abated sufficiently that it was safe to head in, we all did.

And the two Herons? I don’t know where or how they shelter, I just know they came through the storm and were back at their usual territories the next day.

I love happy endings.
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Thanks to Cherie and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Bridge. My place of refuge from the harrowing storm was a tunnel below a bridge of the Massachusetts Turnpike.
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From now through July 13th, I am a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2017 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

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