Category Archives: Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Asks “Where’s the Party, Guys?” – (Not Art Nbr 20)

Guys, you said there’s a Labor Day Party!
Where is everybody?

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

Great Blue Heron on Dock Labor Day Weekend – babsjeheron

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

Guys? Where are you? I’m ready for the party!


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File this under silly fun with Herons!

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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.

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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 to Cee N and WordPress for her Odd Ball Challenge. Welcome back from your vacation, Cee!

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. 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

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Beautiful Great Blue Herons – Playtime? – (Not Art Nbr 19)

Like many photographers, I don’t always know what I’ve seen until the images have been downloaded.

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

Great Blue Heron climbing after fledgling – babsjeheron

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

Fledgling Great Blue was chased to the top of the branch only 7 seconds earlier – babsjeheron

(Frequent visitors to my blog know that some posts are Art-with-a-capital-A, some are more scientific, and some are my personal photojournalist observations from the field. This post is definitely not Art, although the Great Blue Herons, themselves, are decidedly works of art in and of themselves as far as I am concerned.)

Adult male Great Blue Herons are known for chasing off interlopers when protecting their territory. They chase off other males, they chase off their mates once breeding season is over, and they even chase off their own offspring once they’ve fledged.

And so that day I assumed it was a mature adult male Great Blue that was strutting down the shoreline. The territorial display was unmistakable, and I expected the adult to very quickly close ground and chase off the Fledgling. Previous encounters have had my heart pounding in my throat, watching to see if the Great Blue Heron Fledgling would escape a territorial adult.

In the photo sequence above, the Fledgling leapt from the branch as the adult climbed closer and closer, and landed on the eastern shore about 50 yards away.

Uncharacteristically, though, the adult stopped at the top of the branch, and stood stock-still, staring at the Fledgling for more than 5 minutes without making his move.

All the while, the Fledgling looked north then south, perhaps scoping out an escape route.

Suddenly, the adult swooped down from the branch in an aggressive flight posture and…

And…

And then flew directly in front of the Fledgling. Without stopping, without threatening, the adult made a lazy turn to the west and circled back towards the far shore.

Three minutes after that, the Fledgling took flight, following the same path, and caught up with the adult on the southern shoreline.

They peaceably co-existed there under the tree canopy for quite a while that day, and I obsrved this same pair of Great Blues together in various locations over the course of the following two weeks. It was a delight to watch them from a natural hide on the lake shore.

As mentioned previously, Great Blue Herons are not noted for being playful birds, yet fledgling Herons, like youngsters of many species, often engage use what looks like play to learn how to navigate the world. Both of the Herons in the photos above were males. (Ask me how I could tell.) The younger was definitely a recent fledgling. But I was mistaken about the older one. Yes, he was a yearling at most, and not fully mature. (Ask me how I could tell.)

So, at the end of the day, I was wrong to expect extreme territorial behavior.

I’m not at all surprised that these two magnificent birds shared the lake together.

Sometimes being wrong is good.

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Watch this space for news of my next one-woman-all-herons-photography show for the months of September and October.
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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.

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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 to Cee N and WordPress for her Odd Ball Challenge. Hope you are enjoying your vacation, Cee!

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.

Thanks to Paula for her Thursday’s Special: Iconic. I think there is often a very fine line between iconic and cliched. Some of the Heron photographs are iconic, without being cliched.
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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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons – A Retrospective, Nbr 3

People who know me know my motto:

“Walk softly and carry a long lens™”

Babsje

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

Great Blue Heron Yearling Number 2 – babsjeheron

I learned long ago to open myself, and my eyes and camera, to whatever experiences and sights the waters bring forth at any moment. My emotions have run the gamut from excitement, to apprehension, to alarm, to amazement, to curiosity, to anxiety, to happiness, and (thankfully very rarely) to sadness. Close readers of this blog are aware of the protectiveness I feel towards the Great Blue Herons. The stories in this retrospective post all have happy endings. I like happy endings.

Once again, many thanks to the creative team at WordPress who have made it possible to share the Great Blue Herons here over the past 5 years.

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

Great Blue Heron Fledgling

Close to the island, I found no crumpled birds littering the island floor, no sodden nestlings floating in the waters nearby.

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

Hot Time at the Boathouse

And what the taxi driver told me next made the hair stand up on the back of my neck… That day, he came across a great blue heron caught in fishing line on one of the pine logs. The line was caught in the heron’s wing and foot, and the heron was struggling but obviously very weakened by the time he got there.

Click here for The Taxi Driver’s Tale
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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Fishing with A Feather

Doesn’t this Great Blue Heron holding a seagull feather bring to mind a friendly dog playfully carrying his favorite toy back to you? At the time, I wanted to say to her, “Who’s a good girl? You are! You are a good girl!” because the way she pranced the length of the submerged log seemed so playful – at first. And then I realized it was another case of tool use by Herons.

Click here for Who’s a good Great Blue Heron?
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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Yearling

There was reason to be concerned for the newly-fledged herons. Would they survive the migration south, the winter, and the migration back? If so, would they remember this lake where they were born and make it their home once again?

Click here for Full Circle: Freshly Fledged
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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Meditation

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 would flee the nest and abandon the chicks.

Click here for Pequeño: Stranger in a Strange Land
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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for last week’s final WPC: All Time Favorites. Many thanks to the creative team at WordPress who have made sharing the Great Blue Herons here over the past 5 years possible.

Thanks to Cee N and WordPress for her COB Photo Challenge: June 10 2018. Look closely at the set of five photos in this post. Do you see one that is not like the others? (And apologies to Cee for once again bending the rules.)

Thanks to Paula and WordPress for her Thursday’S Special: Pick A Word In June. The Fledgling Great Blue Heron is a ‘nascent’ GBH, freshly out of the nest.

Thanks again to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place in the world is on the water with the beloved Great Blue Herons.
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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again grace 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.
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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 Herons – A Retrospective, Nbr 2

There are ways of seeing and there are ways of seeing. The way of the photographer need not be only the way of gadgetry and technology and calculations. The way of mindful seeing can open the lens as wide as one’s imagination.

Babsje

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

Great Blue Heron – babsjeheron

As a nature photographer, spending time on the water with the Great Blue Herons is a meditation in and of itself. Capturing a photo that conveys the experience in the moment is a pleasing bonus. And then being able to share my love for these magnificent birds with others via blog posts or at galleries where I show is the icing on the cake.

I think that is a universal for artists – there is the joy of creating , and then the act of releasing the art into the world, followed by watching as a fly on the wall as others respond to the art – whether music or painting or writings – whatever the medium.

Many thanks to the creative team at WordPress who have made sharing the Great Blue Herons here over the past 5 years possible.

How long she was under, I cannot say, I lost track of time, but when she resurfaced, her prize catch struggled mightily, the curve of its back straining left then right, scales and fins glistening. It was an epic fight. And when she struggled to shore under the weight of her prey, I’m not sure whose eyes held more surprise — mine, hers, or the one that didn’t get away.

Click here for The One that Didn’t Get Away
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The day of my artist reception at Mass Audubon, I spent some time sitting outside on a bench before going inside to meet & greet gallery visitors. I sat there under the trees, composing myself and enjoying the dappled sunlight when suddenly I felt it. Plop!

Click here for Pictures at an Exhibition.
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Time stood still that day in the secluded cove. The rumbling of a lumbering Diplodocus moving towards the tallest stand of trees echoed over the ridge. A school of Leedsichthys searched for plankton in the watery depths, swishing this way and that. Overhead, a flock of Archaeopteryx flapped and wheeled, warming their wings in the late day sunlight.

Click here for It’s a Pterodactyl!.
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She flew low and slow, the water’s surface mere inches below her wing tips. I watched wordlessly from the eastern shore, taking in her grace and economy of movement. An engineer friend once explained to me that birds fly so close to the water because it gives them maximum air resistance for those huge wings.

Click here for Wordlessly Watching .
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Are there any artists who don’t fall in love with their models, their muses?

Click here for Artists and Models.
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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for this week’s final WPC: All Time Favorites. Joining the chorus of folks who will miss the weekly and daily prompts, and the creative team at WordPress who have made them possible for all those years. Thanks for your enthusiasm and encouragement everyone.

Thanks to Cee N and WordPress for her COB Photo Challenge: May 27 2018. Look closely at the photo of the Great Blue Heron winging her way across the water. Do you see anything odd about her left leg? That extra ‘bend’ shows a broken leg. (And apologies to Cee for once again bending the rules.)

Thanks to Paula and WordPress for her Black & White Sunday: Traces of the Past. The B&W photo of the Great Blue Heron with “It’s a Pterodactyl” would be much less evocative of the prehistoric era if presented color. (Linking to an earlier challenge from Paula, who runs the very good “Thursday’s Special.”)

Thanks again to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place in the world is on the water with the beloved Great Blue Herons.
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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again grace 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.
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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

The Security Cam is Down – Who You Gonna Call for Backup?

Oh, the irony.

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

“Man your station, Hawkeye, incoming kayak at ten o’clock.”

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File this one under silly nonsense.

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UPDATE: Speaking of Red Tailed Hawks, two fellow bloggers have been following an ongoing story out of Ithaca, NY, this summer. One of the fledglings at Cornell University had been injured, requiring surgery. Read more at the blogs of circuitousjourney and dearkitty1.

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Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts. Looks like this building has enlisted a pair of Red Tailed Hawks to augment their roof-top security cameras. I couldn’t resist the irony and the contrasts of new-technology and Nature’s original (and best) hawk-eye tech.

Thanks to Paula for her wonderful Thursday’s Special Non-Challenge challenge.

Thanks to Cee for her Odd Ball Photo challenge.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for hosting the Wild Bird Wednesday challenge.

Thanks to Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday challenge.
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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available 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™

© 2014 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Red Tail Hawk, Humor

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