Category Archives: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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

Birds Just Wanna Get Cool (Not Art Nbr 27)

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

Great Blue Heron on Float – babsjeheron

Come on in, the water’s fine!
(File this post under pure silliness…)

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Even the Great Blue Heron and Great Egret are looking for relief on this very hot summer day.

  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com) Egret pondering paddle boat. How many egrets will this boat hold?

Egret pondering paddle boat – babsjeheron

How many birds will this boat hold, anyway? I promised the whole gang a paddle boat excursion today.

Let’s see, there’s one of me, plus eight herons… Maybe we need two paddleboats!

Well, if that won’t work, we can always soak up some rays on the beach, and hey, look, the lifeguards are still on duty!

  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)  Egret just wants to have fun.

Egret just wants to have fun – babsjeheron

Guys, believe me, this is going to be a great afternoon.

Why look, there are picnic tables over there! Wanna see if they have any goodies for us?

What do you mean birds shouldn’t mooch people food?

The pigeons and seagulls do it all the time. Why not egrets and herons?

Guys? Guys?

Well, that’s the last time I agree to coordinate a meetup for you guys.
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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Nature Animals.

Thanks to Cee also for her CMMC: Eyes. The Great Egret is eyeing that paddleboat and beach picnic with great interest.
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This week’s Lens Artist challenge from the always inspiring and creative artists Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya, focuses on our Wonderful World. Check out the Lens Artists’ Shade and Shadows photos here:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 153: Wonderful World .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 153: Wonderful World .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 153: Wonderful World .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 153: Wonderful World .

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron and Shadows

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

Great blue heron on the rocks – babsjeheron

“I was crying because I can’t get my shadow to stick on.”
“It has come off?”
“Yes.”
Then Wendy saw the shadow on the floor, looking so draggled, and she was frightfully sorry for Peter. “How awful!” she said, but she could not help smiling when she saw that he had been trying to stick it on with soap.

Peter Pan and Wendy
Chapter 3
J.M. Barrie
Peter Pan

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Drifting slowly towards the mouth of the creek, I saw a heron feather, a grey-blue blur bobbing against the green waters along the north shore.

Wedging the nose of the kayak into the mud under the old oaks, I scooped up the feather with my paddle blade. I had just bent forward to secure it under the deck bungee when a large shadow passed overhead.

A burst of feathers exploded onto the shore a couple of yards to my east. A great blue heron, so close. He obviously hadn’t seen the kayak under the tree canopy on his landing approach.

As I fumbled to get the camera out of the dry sack, another larger shadow cruised over my head, and a second heron swooped in about eight feet from the first.

Two herons, so close. So close!

Over the years, shadows have played a pivotal role in many of my experiences on the water. Such as the time a Bald Eagle shadow startled me as it unexpectedly passed over the kayak from stern to bow or the time a Great Blue Heron shadow was the only forewarning of the bird about to land just four feet off my starboard side and crash the conference call in progress. (Yes, a conference call from a kayak in the cove.) Please click here to see the time a Great Blue Heron decided I was “the lesser of evils.”

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If the Great Blue Heron sees his shadow
Does it mean six more weeks of winter??

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

Shadow of A Great Blue Heron – babsjeheron

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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Nature Animals.
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Thanks to Paula for her Thursdays Special: Pick a Word in May.
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This week’s Lens Artist challenge from the always inspiring and creative artists Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya, focuses on Shade and Shadows. Check out the Lens Artists’ Shade and Shadows photos here:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 152: Shade and Shadows .
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From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 152: Shade and Shadows .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 152: Shade and Shadows .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 152: Shade and Shadows .

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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

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.
.

.
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 Herons – The Eyes Have It (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 17)

Suddenly one recent Thursday morning, I lost vision in my left eye.

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

Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal – babsjeheron

Retina surgery went well. Before the operation I could not see two fingers if wiggled in front of my left eye and now after last Thursday’s surgery I can.

Remarkable job by my surgeon. Still a ways to go but I’m pleased as you can imagine.

Before the surgery I could not even see the eye chart on the wall much less read it. Now I can see the eye chart, still can’t read it but that may come with time.

Take care of your eyes, people.

And reach out if you (or a loved one) need an excellent retina surgeon in eastern Massachusetts.

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.Thanks again to Paula for her recent Thursday’s Special: Rift photo prompt. There is a rift between my left eye and right eye.

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.

This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner and Paula, all of whom encourage and inspire. Welcome back, Paula.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on negative space. There was definitely negative space where the vision in my left eye should have been.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 114: Negative Space .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 114: Negative Space .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 114: Negative Space .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 114: Negative Space .

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™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron in the Charles River

The Charles River is a land of contrasts.

Babsje

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

Great blue heron poised in the Charles River.

Sometimes a person can love a book, but not the movie treatment. Sometimes it’s the opposite – you really enjoy a film and then read the book, and the book falls flat.

I enjoyed Bill Bryson’s book about the Appalachian Trail, “A Walk in the Woods’ more than the movie. I KonMari’d my bookshelves a couple of years ago and kept all of Bill Bryson’s books. (Even though I have a Kindle PaperWhite e-reader.)

This week’s Lens Artist prompt is “A River Runs Through It.” I first read the novel, actually three short stories by Norman Maclean, many years ago. When I KonMari’d my bookshelves, “A River Runs Through It” is another one I kept.
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The Great Blue Heron shown at the top of this post stands in a small cove just around the corner from this next tableau staged on a point jutting into the Charles River.

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

Charles River tableau as seen from a kayak.

The property teems with whimsical statuary, including an alligator crouching on the shore, an iguana perched on an overhanging branch, a black bear rearing up on hind legs (with cub underfoot), a family of three white-tailed deer, a giant Galapagos tortoise, and more.

And no, the Great Blue Heron isn’t one of the life-like statues – but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day a Heron statue was added to the menagerie.

Alligator on the shore of the Charles River.

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Coming back around to books vs films, I’ve never seen the movie of “A River Runs Through It.”with that famous actor, though. Should I?
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This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage and inspire.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on Rivers.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through the City.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: River .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .

Thanks to Cee for her Pick a Topic: Landscape.

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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™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons – And There I Was Without a Camera (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 15)

Every photographer has at least one story of the one that got away.

Babsje

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

Great blue heron yearling fishing in the reeds.

Like every fisherman worth his salt, every photographer has a tale of the photo that got away. Maybe the perfect subject got photobombed by an interloper. Maybe the wildlife dashed out of frame, leaving only the proverbial butt-shot. Maybe the batteries ran out of juice. Maybe the camera ran out of film (anyone remember film?). And maybe the camera had been left behind at home.

The last time I saw a Great Blue Heron was from the window of a moving taxicab. It was a stereotypical late October New England day, warm sunshine glinting on gorgeous autumn foliage. The Heron stood stock-still in the marshy reeds on the riverbank, staring intently into the slow-moving water mere yards from the busy road. Golden-hour sun bathed the shore lined with reeds and cast warming tones on his grey-blue feathers. The Heron would have made a lovely portrait, but there I was without a camera in a moving car.

The scene lasted for only a few moments as the cab whizzed by at 45mph, but it remains indelibly etched in my mind. And now, every time I pass that river, I make a point of scanning for the Heron.

Sometimes when the camera has been left behind entirely, what remains is a glorious photo-memory in our mind’s eye. There are worse things.

I’d love to read your own stories of the one that got away.
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This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage and inspire.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on gorgeous photos with reflections. I took the word reflections in a different direction, reflecting on the one that got away.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 87: Reflections.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 87: Reflections .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 87: Reflections .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 87: Reflections.

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for Joy Challenge.

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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™

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

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Wayland
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Beautiful Great Blue Heron and Magical Light

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

Great blue heron diving beneath the surface – babsjeheron.

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon…

The Sun, Mary Oliver, excerpt
New and Selected Poems

It was the golden hour, that last hour of daylight when the sun’s rays bathed the cove in gold.

The backlit gold-orange spray of water droplets danced before my eyes as the Great Blue Heron plunged her head beneath the surface in pursuit of a prize catch.

It was so close to twilight that the Heron’s body was nearly camouflaged against the slate-grey rocks.

A few moments later, the Heron and I were both rewarded. She with this huge fish and me with these photos.

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

Solar Twinkles and Kayak – babsjeheron

This is the kayak used for my photography.
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Thanks to Amy for her Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 19: Magical Light. I find golden hour light to be sheer magic.
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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Things People Drive Ride Pilot or Captain. The kayak shown here has been my vehicle-of-choice for many years.
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Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent Challenge – One Word Sunday: Purple. Yes, the kayak is a shade of purple.
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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

Heron: What’s Wrong with this Picture? (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 15)

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

Broken Lens – babsjeheron

Raise your hand if you remember film cameras.

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I don’t remember when or how this lens developed that extra bend.

It was a good lens and served me well back in the days before digital. Back then, my film budget was two 35 exposure rolls of 35mm per outing. I went home happy if I got one good capture per roll. And now? Easily 800+ exposures on an average day. Who could afford that if shooting actual film? Not me

I enjoyed experimenting with and comparing different brands of film. During Comet Hale-Bopp’s reign in 1997 for a few months, I did side-by-side comparisons of the comet taken from the same vantage point. As I recall, my preference back then turned out to be the old Fujifilm 35mm. Getting the exposure duration was tricky, and my then elementary-school-age daughter came up with a system of counting out loud one hippopotamus, two hippopotamus, three… etc.

For sentimental Great Blue Heron reasons, this Fledgling is one of my favorites taken with that now-broken lens and film camera. It is NOT art by any stretch.

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

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Captured with Film Camera – babsjeheron

What I like most about this photo are the colors of the Heron’s feathers. They seem to have a much broader, richer and nuanced range, and reveal a deeper depth of textures than any of my digital photos.

Have you ever compared digital and film side-by-side? Do you have a preference, and why?
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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Tools. This camera and lens were stalwart companions for years. I had two of the same body, but two different lenses before going all digital in 2007.
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Thanks to Paula for her Thursdays Special: Pick a Word in October: Aperture . Due to an accodent, the ‘extra’ aperture of this lens let in much more light than normal.
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Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent Challenge – Six Word Saturday. I don’t think I’m capable of keeping the entire posy at six words, but at least the title is only six..
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Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves: Week 7. This photo was taken when the upper end of the cove was still quite green, but the eastern end had glorious red maples blazing. Surprising how the microclimates in a small area can produce colorful leaves on differing schedules.
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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.
.

.
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.
.

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.
.
.
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.

.
.

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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