Category Archives: Audubon

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.

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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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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.

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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. 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
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Natick Town Hall – Current group exhibit thru June 2022
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Five Crows Gallery in Natick – Represented since 2013
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Audubon Sanctuary
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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 Heron Upstages… Bogart and Hepburn?

Great Blue Heron in the cove, foraging. - babsjeheron  © 2016 Babsje All. rights reserved. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron in the cove, foraging. – babsjeheron

I heard the Heron’s distress call before I saw him.

After literally thousands of hours in the field watching the Great Blue Herons, I am susceptible to “trompe l’oeil” moments. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve mistaken a twisted tree trunk glinting in the sun for a Heron, or a rock formation that fools my eye from a distance.

So, yes, my eyes have been fooled. But my ears?

In what seemed a “trompe l’oreille” fool-the-ears experience, the frantic frawhnk, frawhnk of a Heron being flushed erupted from the movie screen. In the blink of an eye, the Heron burst from the shoreline and fled the approaching boat.

That urgent croaking distress call distracted me from the actors on the screen: Bogart and Hepburn had been upstaged by a Heron!

Heron in African Queen circa 1950

You can hear Great Blue Heron calls at Audubon and also at Cornell’s All About Birds.

If you like old Bogart movies as much as I do, The Africa Queen spins a delightful story.

Filmed live on location, the film crew boat flushed the Heron, who burst away with frantic cries. The wildlife in The African Queen is as real as it gets. Not a frame of CGI, all shot on location in Africa. Hippos, fierce crocs, monkeys, lions, and that unexpected Heron.

(Who but yours truly will review a film and only focus on the Heron??)

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Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Nancy Merrill, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya all encourage the community 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 Tina is “You Choose.” Big surprise – I chose the Heron in pop culture.

Audubon Quacking Frog Trail - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Audubon Quacking Frog Trail – babsjeheron

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Thanks to Nancy Merrill for her A Photo a Week Challenge: Funny Signs . The sign post for the Quacking Frog Trail shown here tickles my funny bone. Quacking Frogs are native to Australia and so that arrow must be pointing a far ways away from here.

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Thanks to Cee for her Cee’s CMMC: Favorite Color. My favorite color for Herons is blue, although they come in many colors, including green, purple, white, and tri-color.
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Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: Guess What I’m Watching This Evening . The title is the requisite six words long.
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 178: You Choose .
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From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 178: You Choose .
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From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 178: You Choose .

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From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 178: You Choose.
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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.

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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!

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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 for the month of January at TCAN.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
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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.
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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, African Queen
Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Heron: The One that Didn’t Get Away

Great blue heron lands a large fish.

If birds can feel joy, this smiling Great Blue Heron certainly must be joyful in this moment – babsjeheron

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

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He wasn’t one of the regulars, the usual happy fishermen and boys who gather on the sloping tunnel sides. The Great Blue Heron always gave those other fishermen a wide berth, but this man was different. He was using bait – big-looking silvery bait – and his fishing gear was ample and good.

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I nosed the kayak smoothly, silently into the middle cove, when suddenly, a flash of blue-grey to my left – the female Great Blue Heron swooped onto the western shore.

I watched her foraging from a respectful distance, not wanting to get too close lest my presence scare her off, anxious about the solo fisherman casting into the cove from his perch along the tunnel overpass.

I felt unease for the heron, but she continued prodding the mud in her corner of the shore, occasionally venturing out into deeper waters, stalking what was beneath the surface there, dallying until her interest waned or until the prey moved on.

So it went for 15 minutes or so…

And then she made her move, and strode purposefully north, until she reached the tunnel.

And the lone fisherman.

I followed behind her, 10 feet back, out of her line of sight, parallel to the shore.

In the past when she reached the tunnel, she would  rise from the water on strong wings, and cross the channel, clearing it and going fully beyond in 3 loping wingstrokes.

Each time I was there, I raised my camera to catch her mid-stroke, framed by the tunnel entrance, and this day was no different.

I got into position, focused across to where I knew her flight path to be, and waited.

… In vain, once more.

This time, she landed short of her usual place on the north shore.

She landed directly in front of the fisherman, directly in the path of his perilous casts!

I hovered on the left bank, alarmed.

Would he hook her?

Would he accidentally wrap his filament around her throat?

Would she chase after his cast and take his bait fish, swallowing hook, line, and sinker?

I paddled cross the channel and struck up my usual fisherman’s conversation with him, edging closer in to be able to rescue the heron from his line.

He settled back into the rhythm of his fishing.

Heron settled in, watching the baitfish soar out on the end of its tether, occasionally swooping out to pick up the leftovers after he reeled back in.

I settled in to squeeze off photos here and there.

We established a routine, the three of us – me in the middle, 5 feet from him, heron only 4 feet beyond me.

At least, I thought, I could rescue heron if he snagged her or if she bit down onto a hook.

And then I heard it.

Tweeee-eeee-eeet, a wavering whistle.

He was whistling to Heron!

She perked up!

And he tossed a small silvery fish her way.

She lunged and swallowed in one exquisite movement!

And so it went for the next half-hour, he would cast out, and sometimes she followed his lure, sometimes not.

Every 4th or 5th cast, he’d toss a silvery prize her way. She always took his treat and was eager for more…so eager she moved in closer and closer to him, and to me.

Too close for any good camera shots.

What should have been too close for her comfort.

Great blue heron lands a large fish - detail.

Head-shot detail – babsjeheron

As you can see from the photos here, no harm came to the Great Blue Heron that day. The final prize the fisherman tossed to her that day was this huge pike.
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I love a happy ending.

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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Water Found in Nature. Today’s post has water found in nature. Plus a Heron!
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This week’s Lens Artist challenge from the amazing artists Tina and Patti, Amy, and Leya, focuses on our One Photo Two Ways. My example is the full frame photo and then a crop. Readers of this blog know I’m both fine art photographer and nature photographer, but I’m also a photojournalist, a stringer for a national newspaper syndicate. The rules are vastly different for fine art and photojournalism. In journalism, no editing is permitted, not even a single pixel can be adjusted, and often times even cropping is not allowed. For fine art, sometimes it seems the opposite is expected – what makes it ‘Art’ is the artist-photographer’s manipulation of the image. The full frame photo at top is entitrly unretouched. You see it exactly as it came straight out of the camera.

Check out the Lens Artists’ beautiful photos here:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 154: One Photo Two Ways .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 154: One Photo Two Ways .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 154: One Photo Two Ways .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 154: One Photo Two Ways .

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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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Garbo

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

Great Blue Heron Garbo Pose – bw – babsjeheron

When I Met My Muse

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off–they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. “I am your own
way of looking at things,” she said. “When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation.” And I took her hand.

When I Met My Muse
by William Stafford
Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford

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Over decades of spending time with dozens of Great Blue Herons, I have given names to only three: Romeo, his (unrequited) inamorata Juliette, and the Heron you see today, Garbo. Are there any artists who don’t fall in love with their models, their muses? I am unabashedly smitten by Garbo.
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Experimenting with the final look and feel of a photograph using different color tones is a fun method of artistic license. The photos here show the same scene rendered 5 different ways. The top version is an infrared-style B&W. Next, clockwise from top left are Sepia, B&W, Cyanotype, and then Full Color.

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

Great Blue Heron, Takes 2, 3, 4, and 5 – babsjeheron

How much artistic license is too much?

As befitting the name of this beautiful Heron – Garbo – I think an old-style platinum print would be best.

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Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: Five. Today’s post has five photos.
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This week’s Lens Artist challenge from the amazing artists Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya, focuses on our One Photo Two Ways. I took some liberty and used five ways, not two. Check out the Lens Artists’ beautiful photos here:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 154: One Photo Two Ways .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 154: One Photo Two Ways .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 154: One Photo Two Ways .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 154: One Photo Two Ways .

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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 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

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
.

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 – 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.

.
.
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.
.
.

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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