Category Archives: DPchallenge

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Expecting to Fly

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

Great blue heron practicing flying one day before fledging.

There you stood on the edge of your feather
Expecting to fly…
Neil Young
Buffalo Springfield Again

The fledgling Great Blue Heron seemed to hover atop the branch mid-flight, toes outstretched with only one goal in mind, stick the landing. There was no margin for error 80 feet above the island floor.

My heart was in my throat as I watched – riveted – from across the channel, eight stories down.

The next day, only one Heron remained at the nest.

And the next day?

Spoiler alert here.

What a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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Thanks to Cherie and WordPress for the recent WPC Challenge: Atop.

Thanks once again to Paula for her Thursday’s Special challenge.

Thanks once again to Stewart Moncton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

Thanks to the kind folks hosting SkyWatch Friday.

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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.

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™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN

Beautiful Great Blue Heron and Wishes of Spring

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

Great Blue Heron Fishing at Waterfall – babsjeheron

Like the heron, who can only croak,
who wishes he could sing,
I wish I could sing…

The Pond,
Excerpt,
From Felicity: Poems
By Mary Oliver

Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Wish. As we stare into the barrel of a blizzard this week, thoughts are drawn to reassuring scenes of spring that are sure to follow. The last I saw this Heron at the waterfall, it was July and our summer drought had worsened to the point that only a trickle dribbled over the dam. Eventually, the Heron no longer appeared on schedule at the falls. Now, in winter, the falls are a torrent, and the water too forceful for fishing. My wish is for the becalmed waters of late spring, and the return of the Herons.
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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.

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™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN

Beautiful Great Blue Heron and Joy

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

Great Blue Heron With Pickerel Weed – babsjeheron

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

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

Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: A Good Match. Scientists say that there is no such thing as a truly ‘blue’ Heron feather, and that the color is an illusion created by the refractive play of light. Looking at this Heron fishing along the pickerel weed, it seems to me that the hue of the pickerel weed blooms and that of the Heron’s feathers are a very good match for each other… even if one blue is real and the other an illusion.
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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.

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™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Love for Valentines Day

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

Great blue heron preening, shaped like a heart – babsjeheron.

And they whirl and they twirl and they tango
Singing and Jinging a Jango
Floating like the heavens above
Looks like Heron Love

With apologies to Willis Alan Ramsey and Captain & Tennille

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

Great blue heron adults pair bonding during nest building – babsjeheron.

It’s no secret that I love the Great Blue Herons you see here on this blog. There are some other photographers who also love the Herons they capture. To Judy and Phil and Jerry and Sylvia and Loukelier and Nick and Mike, “Here’s looking at you kid.” I love that you love your Heron models.

Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Graceful. The courtship dance of the Great Blue Herons is often truly graceful. As the song quoted above says “…they whirl and they twirl and they tango…” and more.

Thanks also to WordPress for the recent Daily Prompt: Lovingly. I’m tardy for this daily prompt, but I think I can be forgiven what with this being Valentine’s Day and the prompt being titled “Lovingly.”

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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.

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™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN

The Great Blue Heron and Art – Beauty and the Beast Revisited

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

Great blue heron on the rocks.

Is a Great Blue Heron a thing of beauty?
And the shadow cast on the background here?

Do you find the background in this photo ‘interesting,” or “appealing,” or “intriguing,” or even perhaps “beautiful?”

If you answered “Yes” to any, would your opinion change if I told you the background is the shadow of a half-fallen chain-link fence? The rusty fence sags and droops out over the rocks and is a eye-sore in and of itself.

But the shadow cast when the sun is over head? A thing of beauty.

It would take volumes to answer the question about art and beauty and ugliness posed in this post. Philosophers have argued over the ages about what constitutes beauty and whether the ugly can also be beautiful. I am not a philosopher, myself, but you can learn more about aesthetics in this pdf The Aesthetic of Ugliness — A Kantian Perspective by Mojca Kuplen

Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Shadow.

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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.

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™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN

If the Beautiful Great Blue Heron Sees His Shadow?

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

Shadow of A Great Blue Heron – babsjeheron

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

Yes, I know Ground Hog’s Day was a week ago. But in the true spirit of that whimsical movie, every day is Ground Hog’s Day all over again. And so, if the Great Blue Heron sees his shadow, do we get six more weeks of winter? I sure hope not.

Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Shadow.

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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.

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™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN

Un-Usual Suspects

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air –
An armful of white blossoms…

Mary Oliver
Swan -excerpt
Swan: Poems and Prose Poems
Beacon Press

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

Two mute swans nesting within yards of each other on a very small island.

For nearly ten years I have plied these waters, spring, summer, fall. Bright sunlit days so crisp they take your breath away. Misty mornings with slate-grey clouds so close you could touch them.

It is a medium-size lake, and a circumnavigation takes a couple of hours on a day when the wind is perfect. After thousands of hours there afloat, I know the shoreline like the back of my proverbial hand.

Most of the wildlife is territorial. Most of the usual suspects can be found in their usual places, year-in-year-out, yet each spring’s nesting season brings surprises.

Watching a great blue heron approaching the mute swan in her nest last weekend was an unexpected first.

Paddling round the small island from the east a week ago revealed the pair of swans’ nests shown here. Never have I seen two swans nesting so close together – never. I didn’t think it possible.

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

Two mute swans nesting within yards of each other on a very small island (close up with long lens).

There is an art to seeing the very familiar with fresh eyes, where no two days are the same.

It is a meditation to approach the lake with new eyes each outing, to not take for granted the usual suspects and their commonplace behaviors, to not fall into the trap of my own routines.

A frequent paddling route skirts the island on the western side, not the east. Had something not drawn me to the east that day, I would not have come across these two nesting swans.

Did I mention that no two days are the same?
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Thanks to Paula for her wonderful Thursday’s Special Non-Challenge.

Thanks to Erica and WordPress for their Weekly Writing Challenge: Lost Art. May seeing the world with fresh eyes never become a lost art.

Thanks to Ailsa for her Weekly Travel Theme: Close Up.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for his Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

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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)

Kayaking, Mute Swan

On the Street Where I Live: Boston Marathon 2014

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

Boston Marathon 2014

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

Boston Marathon 2014 Team MR8. Note the word “Jane” on the runner’s arm.

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

On the street where I live – Boston Marathon 2014

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

Team Hoyt. This was the Hoyt’s 32nd and final Boston Marathon.

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

Boston Strong – Boston Marathon 2014

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

Increased security prohibited outlandish costumes but didn’t bar utilikilts and star-spangled tights.

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

Juggling and all that jazz.
The drummer played non-stop for six hours, and the juggler kept the balls in the air for 26.2 miles.

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Thanks to Erica and WordPress for their Weekly Writing Challenge: Great Expectations. Erica has challenged us to explore expectations, met, or unmet. Certainly the bombings at the finish line of last year’s Boston Marathon were not expected. This year, I expected that things would be different – new security measures, new race logistics, new “motivations” for some participants, etc. Media coverage in the months leading up to today’s race had ramped up, and I was prepared for the intense “Boston Strong” focus, but I was not expecting the emotional experience of seeing the many yellow shirts with “Team MR8.” There, beneath the lettering MR8 on those shirts was the word “peace” in Martin’s childish penmanship, the same young handwriting on his now-famous poster that says “No more hurting people. Peace.” When I saw that simple word through my lens, I wept, I sat down on the wall and wept unexpectedly.

Thanks to Krista and WordPress for their Daily Prompt: Because the Night. For today’s Daily Prompt, Krista asked if we are night owls or early birds. Over time, I have morphed into being an early bird, HOWEVER the night before the running of the Boston Marathon creates an unusual challenge for early risers who happen to live right on the marathon route, as I do: the Midnight Marathon bike ride sees about 1,000 cyclists following the marathon race route, starting at midnight the night before the road race. The joyful, often boisterous sounds of crowds cheering the bikers allowed for only intermittent sleep before an early sunrise.

Thanks to Sara Rosso and WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top. The last photo in my series shows a juggler who managed to keep one of his balls on top of the other four balls for the full 26.2 miles. Using a subtly different definition of “on top,” all of the athletes shown in these photos were on top of their game, as the expression goes.

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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)

Boston Marathon

“I’m just swimming au naturelle,” he lied smoothly.

In children’s fables, the crafty trolls lived in the shadowy worlds of tunnels beneath bridges.

My troll preferred the trail above the tunnel, where he walked back and forth above the parapet.

Buck nekkid.

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

Great blue heron female taking off from nest, while her mate tends their eggs.

The great blue herons had laid their eggs about three weeks earlier, and I was eager to see if the adults were still on the nest, incubating them.

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

To reach the island and the great blue herons’ nest, I would need to paddle inside this narrow tunnel, one of my favorite spots.

The nest was a couple of miles from the boathouse, usually a pleasant twenty-minute kayak trip due south. I would paddle the length of middle lake, under the stone bridge, past the softly flowing waterfall, and emerge at the top of south pond just as I had done hundreds of times before.

As I approached the tunnel, a flash of movement from the path above caught my eye. A shirtless man was moving first towards the bushes at the right, and then he reversed direction and walked eastwards weaving amongst the bushes.

His behavior up there seemed a bit odd, but I was anxious to get to the herons, and so slipped inside the tunnel and was on my way after one last glance up at him. Exiting the tunnel, I exchanged pleasantries with two other kayakers. It felt reassuring to know I wasn’t the only one around that day.

The next hour was enthralling – the adult herons did their “changing of the guard ritual,” with the male arriving to relieve the female, who had been sitting on the nest. Sometimes the hand-off is perfunctory: the incoming bird swoops in unceremoniously and simply takes over the nest, while its mate departs quickly. Other times, they engage in pair-bonding rituals, greeting each other with elaborate courtship and greeting displays. This day, they captivated me with their feathery displays, spending some time together at the nest before the female took off.

Satisfied with my visit with the herons, I headed back in for the day after an hour. Just past the waterfall, I encountered the same two women kayakers seen earlier in the day.

One paddled right up to me and asked, “Did you see the naked guy?”

Uh oh, not only was the “shirtless man” I had seen atop the tunnel parapet “shirtless,” he was also pantsless.

The two women headed on their way and I turned towards the tunnel, heading back to the boathouse.

There on the path above the bridge once again (or perhaps not once again, but rather “still”) was the man – buck naked – walking across the top of the tunnel.

And there I was with my camera stashed below decks. What a photo op that was and I missed it.

He followed the path as it curved along above the shore, and ducked behind some shrubs, but not before he saw me seeing him.

We stared at each other, me from my kayak yards away in the cove, he on the shore, wrapping a blue towel around his waist.

For many people, it might have been a funny situation, but I was frightened. On the one hand, rationally, I knew I was safe in my kayak (unless he was the sort inclined to have a weapon), but I felt frozen by fear. In the past, I had been on the receiving end of several incidents of “violence against women” at the hands of strangers (such as stalking, rape, arson), and so this stranger’s strange behavior brought back a deeply-ingrained panicky urge to get away from him.

There we were, looking at each other. I didn’t want to upset him, wanting to appear nonchalant lest I do something that would incite him to try to follow me home later.

I mean, what do you say to a naked man parading around, and so I blurted out an inanity about the lovely weather that day.

To which he lied, “I’m just swimming au naturelle.”

Deep breath.

I paddled on through the tunnel, and once in the cove, phoned the encounter in to the boathouse.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the boathouse half an hour later and was told they caught him. The state Environmental Police and town police converged on the trail and when they caught him, he was still walking around on the path naked.

I didn’t press charges and the police made sure he understood that the lake is not a “clothing optional” sort of place.

I love happy endings.

But ever since that day, I can’t slip inside that tunnel in my kayak without first scanning the nearby shore and bushes and the trail above the parapet, looking out for the naked guy.

One day this past summer, I saw him again, in the exact same spot, walking back and forth across the trail above the tunnel. I had to do a double-take because he looked naked once again, but when I got the binoculars focused, I could see what he was wearing: light tan/flesh-colored socks, light tan/flesh-colored shorts, and a light tan/flesh-colored shirt. Just an illusion of being nekkid. Lol.

I love funny endings.

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This week, Erica challenged us with the topic of the way our perspective changes as we age. I mentioned in the post above having first-hand experience of violent acts at the hands of strangers. There are subtle scars that can result from those sorts of situations, reactions and memories that would be triggered in most any woman survivor, coping strategies we adapt for protection. Having been stalked more than once, I no longer drive a car. (In one state where I lived, anyone could go to the motor vehicle registry and pay less than $5.00 to get the home address of any license plate number.)

So, I don’t drive BUT I do kayak. I have discovered as I have grown older the liberation of being on the water with the great blue herons. It is a floating meditation. I’ll write more about that one day.

Actually, I’ve been writing that in one way or another all along.

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

Thanks to Krista and WordPress for the Daily Prompt: Brilliant Disguise. (What a brilliant disguise, for the formerly-nekkid guy to wear flesh-colored clothing to give the appearance of being naked. How funny that was.)

Thanks to Josh R and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside.

Thanks to Erica and WordPress for the Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years.

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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)

Great Blue Heron

And Then There Was One

“If I try to give the battery a jump start out here, their boat might explode.

And us along with it,” drawled the captain.

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

Great blue heron fledgling alone in the nest minutes after his nestmate fledged for good.

Once more, I sat holding my breath in the kayak, moored in a natural-cover blind across the channel from the great blue herons’ nesting island.

Only the day before, the fledglings had practiced death-defying take-offs and landings, more than seventy feet above the island floor. The nest was so very high, and they were so very young and inexperienced. My heart was in my throat as I watched. The mother heron perched on a pine bough across the way, and it seemed that she, too, could barely stand to watch them risk all. (If you missed the earlier post, please click here to catch up.)

But that was the day before, when the weather was somewhat murky and the lake quiet.

This day, the weather was sunny and hot, and the lake buzzed with the sounds of boat motors, small and large, the clanking of paddleboat chains, and the occasional thwok of paddles against canoe frames.

Concerned for the fledglings, unsure about how ready they were for their maiden flights away from the island, I trained the binoculars up on the nest, then down along the channels in both directions, scanning for approaching boats.

I heard it before I saw it, the small runabout powered by what always sounded like a lawn mower engine. A woman reclined in the bow, wind riffling her blond hair, while two boys kept to the stern. The boy manning the tiller couldn’t have been much older than twelve, barely old enough to legally pilot a boat here, and my pulse quickened. I had seen the boys several times before, zipping around the lake as fast as their small boat could go. One day, I encountered them recklessly speeding down the cove, aiming directly at a heron fishing from a log. I’m sure they thought it great fun to scare away the heron. That time, I headed them off with my kayak before they got too close, and explained that the herons are federally protected, and they slunk off out of the cove. This day, I was anxious for the fledglings, concerned that the boys would land on the island below the nest and alarm the birds, but my worries were for naught: maybe the presence of the woman in the bow made them keep their rambunctiousness in check. They motored up the channel and under the bridge without incident.

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

Two great blue heron fledglings peering down at the disabled fishing boat beached on the island shore, at left. After the first heron has left the nest, the lone fledgling reacts.

With that danger gone, I was able to fire off more photos of the fledglings until I noticed a fishing boat creeping towards the island. Ominously, it floated closer and closer to the landing, rocking side-to-side on undulating waves lapping the shore.

“This cannot be good,” I said to myself as the boat beached beneath the nesting tree.

With my heart in my throat once again, I trained my binocs up at the two fledglings and then down at the two men in the boat, repeating “please leave please leave” wordlessly to myself over and over like a mantra.

But they didn’t.

The fledglings watched the men from their nest like hawks. Their alarm palpable, one heron raised his cap feathers and arched his wings in a threatening gesture.

My own alarm escalated when one of the men jumped out of the boat onto the island floor. I didn’t know if the herons were skillful enough to survive yet, and needed to get those men away from the island. I stashed the camera, and furiously paddled the kayak out across the channel, trying to get the men’s attention without my own presence further upsetting the fledglings.

Quietly, I slipped the kayak around from behind the island, hoping the herons hadn’t seen me, and pulled alongside their boat. I explained that they needed to leave the island right away because of the fledglings.

But the men didn’t reply. It took only a moment to realize the language barrier between us. I gestured up at the nest, mentioned the word “baby” and made flapping motions with arms. They gestured at their boat’s console and indicated that it wouldn’t start, a dead battery.

“This is not good at all,” I again thought to myself, alarmed for the herons, but then one of the men held up their jumper cables. Language barrier surmounted, we hatched a plan for me to paddle my kayak in search of another boat who could lend a hand.

It didn’t take long to find another fishing boat, and full of hope, I explained the situation.

“If I try to give the battery a jump start out here, their boat might explode. And us along with it,” drawled the captain.

Dejected, I started to turn the kayak away, when he said it.

“I can’t jump ’em, but I can sure tow ’em in.”

And so he did. He motored over to the disabled boat beached on the nesting island, and hooked up a tow line. When last I saw them, the two boats were moving slowly south, tethered by a stout rope. It was a remarkable gesture of kindness between total strangers.

And what of the herons?

I paddled the kayak back to the secluded hide across the channel and raised my binoculars once more.

The nest was empty.

Both fledglings were gone.

“But wait, over there, what is that atop the leaves?”

One of the fledglings had only flown fifteen feet from the nest, and while I watched, he flew back.

He stood on a small limb just above the nest and stared out over the water.

And stared.

And stared.

For a long time, he stared out, looking in different directions.

I’m sure he was looking for his nest mate.

Earlier, I wrote about this pair of fledglings:

I’m glad there are two, keeping each other company and entertained, while serving as practice partners. I imagine it would be very lonely to be only one, sitting alone in a high-up nest waiting to grow in feathers before fledging, expecting to fly.

And now there was only one.

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

Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned. (Did the remaining heron feel abandoned? Alone? Confused? Anxious? What, and how much, emotion do birds feel, and how do we draw the line at anthropormorphizing?)

Thanks to Krista and WordPress for the Weekly Writing Challenge: Threes. (Three photos show the herons as the story unfolds.)

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

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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)

Great Blue Heron

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