Category Archives: Festival of Leaves

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Fledgling Surprise!

Great Blue Heron fledgling cruising across the lake with ripples reflecting on underwings - babsjeheron   © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron fledgling cruising across the lake with ripples reflecting on underwings – babsjeheron

I awoke today and found
the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky
then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
and all the trees are shivering in a naked row

I get the urge for going…

Joni Mitchell
Urge for Going

It was November, and for the first time since early summer, I took the red kayak out for a paddle in the backyard lake.

It was exciting to catch a glimpse of a Great Blue Heron in flight from the corner of my eye. He veered towards the small island in the cove at the eastern end, landed, and then slipped quickly into the brush and marshy reeds, just out of sight.

Slowly, surreptitiously, I paddled along the opposite shoreline on an eastward course, parallel to the shore of the small island, opposite the side where he had taken cover.

The paddling was tricky, the small wind-driven waves a challenge for the flat-bottomed whitewater kayak.

Slowly, I eased into position in a natural-cover hide, stern backed against a stand of reeds for stability, and craned my neck to get into position, binocs raised.

I wanted to see which of the two Herons from last summer it was – one had long graceful breeding plumes dangling from the back of it’s cap, the other did not – but the sticks and shrubs perfectly camouflaged the Heron lurking in the brush.

At last, slowly, the Heron crept forward into a stand of reeds at the tip of the island.

I could just barely see a glint of the white and yellow patch on its face, just above the bill, but the neck and body were obscured.

I held my breath and watched and waited, binocs trained on the reeds, trying so hard to keep the kayak motionless, looking for any telltale riffling motion or parting of the reeds that would give a better view of the Heron.

And then the Heron emerged and stood motionless.

His watchfulness was palpable.

Cautiously, he stepped closer to the water’s edge, and I trained the binocs on his neck for the telltale plumes, and then it dawned on me.

This was neither of the previous summer’s Herons.

Great Blue Heron fledgling in autumn  babsjejeron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron fledgling in autumn – babsjejeron

It was a new Great Blue Heron.

An immature, clearly a fledgling born just a few months earlier.

I took it all in through the binocs, elation blooming by the second: the dark blueblack feather cap, the dark bill, the ruddy feathers…

We stayed together for about half an hour, the Heron feeding and preening and feeding again, and ruffling and shaking the water from its feathers from head to toe just like a wet dog shakes it off.

Then I turned the kayak back towards home so the Heron could feed in peace as long as it could, with the cold weather coming. What a lovely paddle it was.

No immature Herons at all were sighted at the big lake that year.

How very wonderful to know the brood succeeded here at home.

Wordless joy to behold.

Because it was already November, the Great Blue Herons soon would have an urge for going. A few days later, the eastern end of the small lake was still, and bathed in golden autumn light. The trees were already bare, and the reeds and grasses shone bronzed by the sun. It was dead calm on the water, not a whisper of a breeze and the water’s surface was mirror-smooth.

Mirror-smooth, until the fledgling took flight.

The vibration of the heron’s feet moving in the water created a pattern of ripples breaking the calm. The angle of the light played subtly upon the ripples, bouncing back upwards underneath the Heron. If you look closely at the underside of the back wing in the top photo here, you can see the light-colored, horizontal stripes softly patterning the feathers with subtle stripes.

I like when that happens, when ripples or waves reflect on Great Blue Heron feathers.

.

This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Dawn Miller, Marsha Ingrao, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Patti is “Shapes and Designs.” The public art in town features many custom mosaic installations created by the amazing mosaic artist Carol Krentzman

Natick Mosaic Art - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Natick Mosaic Art created by Carol Krentzman – babsjeheron

The mosaic at left is called “We the People.” The tile work shown in the mosaics here features a variety of intricate hand crafted shapes and designs. Arching over the mosaic are the words: “We the People Have a Dream of Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness with Kindness Equality Respect Tolerance Education Freedom and Justice for All”.

The mosaic at center in the above photo – “History of Natick Mural” – is 12 feet high and 64 inches wide. It is estimated to include 6,000 tiles.

The mosaic at right called “Smiling Faces” was created by Carol Krentzman with Amy R Steinmetz’ designs and stands 12’H x 54″W.

Another example of Public Art mosaic works are these charming vignettes of children by Carol Krentzman, titled “As Trees Give Life to Their Branches” Community Mosaic Project, Six Outdoor Arched Panels

Natick Mosaic Art Nbr 2 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Natick Mosaic Art Nbr 2 Created by Carol Krentzman – babsjeheron

Please CLICK HERE and visit Carol Krentzman’s website to learn more about her fascinating art. .
.
.

Thanks to Cee and Marsha for their jointly hosted PPAC from Marsha: Photographing Public Art Challenge. And here’s PPAC from Cee: Photographing Public Art Challenge.
.
.
.
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . The grasses and reeds along the shore have turned golden brown like straw.
.
.

.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs .
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs.
.

.

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.
.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

Please watch this space for news of my upcoming Winter 2022 gallery show.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Beautiful Heron on the Charles River

Great Blue Heron poised in the Charles River - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron poised in the Charles River – babsjeheron

The Charles River is a land of contrasts.

Babsje

Alligator on the shore of the Charles River - babsjeheron  © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Alligator on the shore of the Charles River – babsjeheron

The Great Blue Heron shown at the top of this post stands in a small cove just around the corner on the Charles River from a property teeming with whimsical statuary.

There’s an Alligator crouching on the shore.

An Iguana perches on an overhanging branch.

A giant Galapagos Tortoise lumbers ploddingly ahead.

A family of three White Tail Deer munch noiselessly on tender greens.

Bear Along the Charles River in Autumn - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Bear Along the Charles River in Autumn – babsjeheron

An inquisitive Black Bear rears up on hind legs with her cub underfoot.

The whimsical menagerie greets boaters on a point jutting into the Charles River in Newton, Massachusetts.

And no, the Great Blue Heron shown in the top photo isn’t one of the fanciful life-like statues – it’s the real deal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day they added a Heron statue to the menagerie.

A large Bison stands guard next to a copper tub at the point of land.

The sign saying WATER ENJOY” is a welcome sight for thirsty kayakers and canoeists on hot summer days: the owners fill the copper tub with water bottles.

Charles River tableau as seen from a kayak - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Charles River tableau as seen from a kayak – babsjeheron

View Through a Tunnel on the Charles River in Autumn - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

View Through a Tunnel on the Charles River in Autumn – babsjeheron

.

This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Dawn Miller, Jez Braithwaite, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Tina is “Interesting Architecture.” One of the libraries has very interesting architecture. In 1873, the Morse Institute Library was dedicated in a Gothic-style red brick building, made possible by the bequest of Mary Ann Morse.

Morse Institute Library Exterior - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Exterior – babsjeheron

By the 1980s the town’s needs had outgrown the existing building and groundbreaking on a new library building took place in 1995. The new library opened in 1997 and kept the 1873 red brick building as the southwest cornerstone of the new library. The above photo shows the original red brick library at left and abutting it at right you can see a short flight of steps leading to entrance doors.

From the inside, you can see the full brick shell of the 1873 building, along with the beautiful stained glass windows.

Notice the large windows at the center of the second floor in the above exterior photo. The photo below shows those same windows when viewed from inside the second floor of the library.

Morse Institute Library Interior Stained Glass Windows - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior Stained Glass Windows – babsjeheron

Similarly, here is the second floor interior view of the Henri Prunaret History Room. As you can see, the windows and brick and stone work are the same as shown on the exterior photo.

Morse Institute Library Interior Henri Prunaret History Room - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior Henri Prunaret History Room – babsjeheron

The new library meets the old library using this walkway from the Reference Desk area into the History Room:

Morse Institute Library Interior Walkway to Henri Prunaret History Room - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior Walkway to Henri Prunaret History Room – babsjeheron

Morse Institute Library Interior Corner with Mansard Roof and Struts - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior Corner – babsjeheron

The integration of the new building with the original building preserved the 1873 walls, windows, rooms and roof in an ingenious way.

This photo taken from inside the top floor of the new library shows one top corner of the original brick building and the actual mansard roof, with struts securing the old building to the new.

Morse Institute Library Interior View Looking Upwards Towards Sky - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior View – babsjeheron

Looking up from the lower level of the new library, you can see the original 1873 wall’s brick and stone facade with joining struts at top.

You can learn more about the history of this interesting library CLICK HERE.
.
.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: The Color Blue. Great Blue Herons appear to be blue but the blue color is an illusion created by refraction.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: They Are Coming to Get You. The title is the requisite six words long.
.
.
Thanks to Jez for the Water Water Everywhere Challenge. Quite a bit of water today.
.
.
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . Autumn leaves are present in several photos today.
.
.

.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 173: Interesting Architecture .
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 173: Interesting Architecture .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 173: Interesting Architecture .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 173: Interesting Architecture.
.

.

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.
.

Natick Artists Sidewalk Chalk

Natick Artists Sidewalk Chalk

.
Please join Natick Artists TODAY on November 13 on Zoom from 2-5 pm ET for a Virtual Exhibition & Sale. The Natick Artists deferred their scheduled Open Studios until Spring 2022 due to COVID, but didn’t want to wait to see you again. They’re all looking forward to sharing artwork with you in this safe virtual environment. Zoom link: November 13 2-5pm ET
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85739018397?pwd=MDlGbXpPMitTZklERE1oR1ozMmRmZz09

You can learn more about the November 13, 2021, Natick Artists Virtual Exhibition CLICK HERE.

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

Please watch this space for news of my upcoming Winter 2022 gallery show.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Gets Lucky

Great Blue Fledgling Sticks His Landing - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Sticks The Landing – babsjeheron

.

Great Blue Heron With Pickerel Weed - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron With Pickerel Weed – babsjeheron

Boat traffic was ominously heavy that morning at the lake.
.
.

Old Blue the kayak and I had put in later than usual, and it was dismaying to see motor boat after motor boat cruising down the channel towards us.
.

.
.

Great Blue Heron Territorial Display - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Territorial Display – babsjeheron

Their wakes were tricky to navigate in a 15 foot kayak.
.

Everyone seemed in a hurry to reach their favorite spots.
.
.

The water churned from boat wakes crashing at me from different directions simultaneously.
.
.

I was feeling the way the Great Blue in this image looked.
.
.

.

Young osprey perched amid pinecones  - babsjeheron    © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Young Osprey perched amid pinecones – babsjeheron

.
.
One boat rushed by to my left, very nearly swamping me in Old Blue.
.
.
.

.
So much for seamanship and courtesy.
.

.
.
An Osprey watched us from high above.
.
.

Great Blue Heron Camouflaged - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Camouflaged – babsjeheron

.
.
The adults in the speeding boat were all facing forward, chatting away.
.

.
.

But the young boy sitting in the back was facing aft.
.

.

.
.
.

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

Great Blue Heron preening Columbus Day weekend – babsjeheron

Facing aft and silently pointing as he caught my eye.
.
.
And then it dawned on me.
.
.
.
The boy was directing my attention to the beautiful Great Blue Heron perched on the branch just above the water to my right. How lucky I was.
.
.
.

Great Blue Heron lands a large fish - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron lands a large fish – babsjeheron

.
Thanks to the young boy’s keen eye, I was able to take many Great Blue Heron photographs that day.
.
.
.

.
.
Until he pointed out that Great Blue, I was discouraged by how crowded things were on the water.
.
.
.

Great Blue Heron carrying large Pike - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron carrying large Pike – babsjeheron

And I had considered turning the kayak around for home.
.
.

.
.

Instead of leaving, I was able to watch this Great Blue catch the ginormous Pike.
.
.

How lucky I was.
.
.

.

.

Great Blue Heron catching prize fish - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Pteradactyl catching prize fish – babsjeheron

.
.
.
.

You can read the story of Great Blue Heron’s Jaw-Dropping Day with a Fisherman CLICK HERE.
.
.
How lucky she was.
.

.
.
.

Great Blue Heron Swallows Two-foot Long Fish  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

How about a round of applause for this plucky Heron for swallowing the huge Pike? – babsjeheron

.
.
.
.
You can read the story of the Epic Great Blue Heron Swallows Ginormous Fish CLICK HERE.
.
.
How lucky she was..

.
.

.

Van fully engulfed in flames on road next to boathouse on Columbus Day weekend - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Van fully engulfed in flames on road next to boathouse on Columbus Day weekend – babsjeheron

.
.
This was also the day the boathouse caught fire, and a few hours later, an heroic boater saved the life of the Great Blue Heron shown in today’s photos.
.

You can read the story of the Happy Ending to Beautiful Great Blue Heron Rescue CLICK HERE.
.

Thanks to him, this Heron was lucky to be alive!
.
.
.
How very lucky she was!

.
.

.

.

This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Dawn Miller and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers.

The focus for this week’s LAPC is The Ordinary. This week, the Lens Artists have invited blogger I.J. Khanewala here as guest host. Welcome I.J.!

The day shown in my post, Columbus Day – now Indigenous Peoples’ Day – started out as an ordinary holiday day at the lake. The second Monday in October is the traditional closing day for the boathouse for the year.

Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.
.
.

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy. I don’t know if this challenge is still on, but I really like the idea of searching for joy. The Herons bring joy.
.
.
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . Autumn leaves are subtly reflected in the Preening Heron photo.
.
.
.
From I.J. Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 169: The Ordinary .
.
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 169: The Ordinary .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 169: The Ordinary .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 169: The Ordinary .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 169: The Ordinary .

.

.

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.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons’ Autumn Day

Great blue heron preening on log in Autumn - babsjeheron   © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Preening on Log in Autumn – babsjeheron

The map is not the territory. ~ Korzybski

The photo is not the experience. ~ Babsje

.
.
The coldest afternoon of the season on the lake, and there I was in my protected blind in the cove with the yearling Great Blue Heron, a Green Heron, several Canada Geese and no footgear. Not expecting the chill winds, I put in barefoot, warm neoprene socks snug in the drybag stashed in the rear hatch of the kayak.

The yearling Heron had been eyeing the Geese warily after five of them flew in perfect vee formation and splash-landed about fifteen feet south of us. They had paddled lazily past us and meandered deep into the Eastern end of the cove. The Heron seemed aroused by their intrusion into his turf, but too afraid of them to do anything about it.

A detente was reached and the Heron resumed fishing for his lunch, and I resumed taking photos and shivering. Whole-body shivers that made me wonder if ANY of the photos would be free of blurring.

Klonk!

A small fish leapt forward, smack into the side of the blue kayak with a loud klonk.

The Heron didn’t bat an eye, though I suspect the fish was stunned momentarily. I peered over the side of the kayak, half-expecting to see a fish surface floating belly-up.

I had been at the lake less than two hours and was considering leaving because it was so cold, but if the young Heron could take it, then so could this human. I thought about my feet, very cold and  unprotected in the bow, and was considering make-shift socks as solutions to be able to stay out longer…

… And then it happened.

The Heron stopped fishing, he tensed visibly, and before my eyes, his plumage expanded in an unmistakable display. His back arched, tail tilted up, head tilted upwards, too.

Young male Great Blue Heron in display while approaching older female in the cove - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Young male Great Blue Heron in display while approaching older female in the cove – babsjeheron

He was looking directly at me.

But he couldn’t have seen me as an interloper suddenly. That didn’t seem possible at all, but he was looking right at me, and approaching, with an intensity in his eyes and a purposefulness in his strides.

And then, then I looked over my right shoulder…

… And saw her there…

… Not eight feet behind me – an adult female Heron, one I know from years on the lake.

She had flown down and landed eight feet from the blue kayak and Blue Heron and me. Usually, the wary Herons will over-fly if they see a kayak, but this one came right up to us. Extraordinary.

I looked directly at her, clicked off a couple of totally unfocused frames in eagerness to not miss the moment. I didn’t look in the viewfinder, just pointed the camera in the right direction and hit the shutter.

And she looked back calmy and said “Arh…” using the Heron “greeting” call.

Maybe she was greeting the other Heron, maybe she was greeting me, maybe both of us?

“Arh…” again.

Since the other Heron was in a display posture by this time, I’d like to think she was greeting me.

I backed my kayak up farther away, towards the other shore to give them more space.

The yearling Heron strutted the length of the half-submerged log and branches, plumes puffed and gorgeous.

The female watched, unmoving, unthreatened.

The yearling climbed off the branch, into the water, and waded closer to her. His plumes  returned to normal configuration, but he waded with his back arched, neck and head angled upwards in display.

And suddenly, a flurry of silken plumes as he lept into the air towards her, and she took flight towards the deep end of the cove.

He wheeled mid-air and followed suit. She rose and arced North, over the tallest pines and then curved East over the far end of the cove.

He sped after her, just above water-level, deep into the cove. When last I saw him, he was climbing swifty up into the canopy after her.

I think it was an amorous display, and not a territorial display at all – a courtship chase flight. The season was wrong for that, of course, but a couple of recent years, it had been very warm into October and some birds were showing evidence of breeding plumes growing longer. But then again, maybe it was only a territorial display.

Whichever it was, it was extraordinary to see it from so close a vantage point.

And once again, I am smitten by the Great Blue Herons.

.
.

.
This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Dawn Miller and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers.

The focus for this week’s LAPC is Seen Better Days. This week, I had eye surgery number five. I’ll spare you a photo of me once again wearing an eye patch this time, but needless to say I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing the Great Blue Herons better in 2022.

The next two photos are the ‘before’ and ‘after’ images from one of my favorite, most-photographed corners of the cove. That is, “most-photographed” until a greedy real-estate speculator illegally bulldozed beyond the water-line under klieg lights after dark.

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Fledgling Basking – babsjeheron

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

Great Blue Heron in Destroyed Habitat that had Seen Better Days – babsjeheron

.
.
A fine was levied: $103,000. $1,000 a day for 103 days in violation of a court order. The first of the two scenes above can never be photographed again.
.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Autumn or Spring. This is an Autumn post.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: A few spare minutes well spent . Any minutes with the Herons are well spent!
.
.
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . This post has dark red autumn leaves.
.
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 168: Seen Better Days .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 168: Seen Better Days.
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 168: Seen Better Days .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 168: Seen Better Days .
.

.

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.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Read the rest of this entry

Blue Heron Guest…Osprey’s Epic Fail?

Osprey in Autumn- babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Osprey in Autumn- babsjeheron

.
.
The tall dead White Pine is favored by Bald Eagles, Red Tail Hawks, and Osprey that perch on branches offering excellent views of two coves. Great Blue Herons often fish the base of that tree, and it is one of my own favorite spots to fish for wildlife photos – more than a few of my favorite images on this blog were captured there.

I always scan for birds atop that tree with my binoculars before passing through the tunnel that separates the Middle and North lakes. That day, an Osprey carrying a very large fish was just about to touch down on the tree, and so I backpaddled the kayak to stay put on my side of the tunnel, and quickly retrieved the camera from beneath the cockpit deck.

Osprey Drops Prize Fish - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Osprey Drops Prize Fish – babsjeheron

Looking at the above sequence, you can see the Osprey – with its wings fanning for balance – trying mightily to secure that large fish, which swings like a pendulum beneath the branch. The above sequence took only 53 seconds, from landing on the branch with the huge prize fish to losing his grip and watching the fish plummet.

Incredulous Osprey After Dropping Prize Fish - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Incredulous Osprey After Dropping Prize Fish – babsjeheron

Poor Osprey! The expressions on its face ranged from surprise to disbelief that the fish got away. It just seemed stunned and stood there staring downward, as though looking everywhere for that fish, angling its head this way and that for a better view.

Osprey Looks Down for Dropped Prize Fish - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Osprey Looks Down for Dropped Prize Fish – babsjeheron

The Osprey stared down at the surface of the water for a long time after losing his prize catch, before taking flight nearly twelve minutes later.

Osprey Flying Away After Dropping Prize Fish - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Osprey Flying Away After Dropping Prize Fish – babsjeheron

.

.
There’s a symbiotic relationship among the birds that perch high up in that tree and the birds that fish at the base. The Eagles and Hawks and Osprey watch for and intercept fish that elude birds fishing from the shore. And vice-versa.

And what of the fish that got away from the Osprey? You may remember that I wrote that Great Blue Herons often fish the base of that tree. I like to think that a Great Blue Heron had a tasty free lunch that day.

.

.

.
.
.

.
This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Dawn Miller, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. The focus for this week’s LAPC is Colors of Autumn. The lead photo on this post has vibrant reds.

.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Autumn or Spring. Autumn leaves fit this topic.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday . This post title has the requisite six words!
.
.
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . This post has bright muted red autumn leaves.
.
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 167: Colors of Autumn .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 167: Colors of Autumn .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 167: Colors of Autumn .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 167: Colors of Autumn .
.

.

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.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Heron in Autumn and a Large Mouth Bass

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

Great Blue Heron by Falling Waters in Autumn – babsjeheron

“Lie still in a stream and breathe water. Climb to the top
of the highest tree until you come to the branch
where the blue heron sleeps. Eat poems for breakfast…”

Advice to Beginners (excerpt)
Ellen Kort


If I Had My Life to Live Over: I Would Pick More Daisies, Sandra Martz, ed.

Great Blue Herons and Red Tail Hawks often frequented this spot, fishing for the Trout, Bass, and Pickerel in the pools at the base of the falling water. Finding a Heron there when the Autumn colors were in full display was challenging and I spent many hours over 7 or 8 years hidden in my kayak across the channel in hopes of capturing a Great Blue with the striking autumn leaves. Good things come to she who waits.
.
.
The Herons have plenty of other fishing holes nearby. And so do the humans. Bass Fishing Tournaments take place frequently – some with big bucks in prize money.
.
.
I don’t think the Great Blue Heron in the photo sequences below paid a tournament entry fee, but he didn’t use any illegal bait to land that Largemouth Bass. I know the Bass he caught didn’t get properly weighed at take out what with having been gulped down mid-tourney, but I bet the size of that fish would have made some of the fishermen weep.
.

Great Blue Heron Lands Large Mouth Bass - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Lands Largemouth Bass – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Large Mouth Bass Nbr 1- babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Walking Down the Shore Carrying the Largemouth Bass – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Large Mouth Bass Nbr 2 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

The Heron Put Down the Bass for a Moment, then Picked it Up and Turned Around – babsjeheron

The Heron Once Again put the Bass Down then Retrieved it – babsjeheron

.

.
The bulge in the Heron’s elongated neck in the last frame above? The Largemouth Bass. The total elapsed time between landing the Bass and the final frame above was only two and a half minutes. I’m not sure how to estimate the weight of that Bass, but I’m pretty sure any good fisherman reading this can weigh in.

I think this Bass is a bigger fish in terms of weight than the large Pike shown below. What do you think?

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

Great Blue Heron with large Pike – babsjeheron

.
.
When I returned belatedly to the dock after one Bass tournament, the boat departures had already begun, yet there were still more than 30 boats lined up on the shore.

Bass Tournament with 30 Boats - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Bass Tournament with 30 Boats Remaining on Shore – babsjeheron

.

.
This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Dawn Miller, Jez Braithwaite, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. The focus for this week’s LAPC is Colors of Autumn. The lead photo on this post has vibrant reds.

.

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy. I don’t know if this challenge is still on, but I really like the idea of searching for joy. The Herons bring joy.
.
.
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . This post has bright red autumn leaves.
,
,
Thanks to Jez for the Water Water Everywhere Challenge. This post has quite a bit of water.
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 167: Colors of Autumn .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 167: Colors of Autumn .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 167: Colors of Autumn .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 167: Colors of Autumn .
.

.

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.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Large Mouth Bass
Read the rest of this entry

Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem

Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem- babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem- 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

Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem Nbr 2 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Mute Swan Pair Flying in Tandem Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

On cold winter days, one of the Mute Swans resident on my small lake watched from just beyond the dock as I refilled the birdfeeders each morning. When my back was turned as I walked up to the house, the Swan would occasionally venture into the yard to scoop up seeds scattered by our winter birds – Blue Jays and Cardinals and Chickadees.

But only when my back was turned.

The winter turned harsher than any in recent memory. The birds were ravenous and emptied all the feeders before noon.

And then one morning it happened.

The Swan climbed up the short bank to where I stood at the third feeder. He dipped his head, bending that graceful neck down and then back up.

Twice.

We locked eyes.

I extended my arm tenuously towards the Swan, my gloved hand full of seeds.

As he nibbled hungrily, I stared at the top of his head. The feathers weren’t the pristine white I expected to see. And they didn’t look like any feather I’d seen before or since. They looked like rows of the tiniest, finest wale corduroy imaginable.

Peaceable co-existence abounded on those frigid mornings. And eventually the Swan became comfortable with my presence.

I love peaceable co-existence, wherever – and however – it manifests.

.

.

.
This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Dawn Miller and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. The focus for this week’s LAPC is Artificial Light. Herons usually don’t hang out in artificial light where I live, so how about two photos illuminated by artificial light.

TCAN One-Woman Show December 2019-January 2020 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN Lobby Wall Photo with TCAN Graphic Reflection

x-ray of broken heel © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

My Broken Heel – An X-Ray uses Artificial Light

.

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy. I don’t know if this challenge is still on, but I really like the idea of searching for joy. The Herons bring joy.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday . This post title has the requisite six words!
.
.
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . This post has muted autumn leaves, to go with the mute swans.
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial wLight .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 166: Artificial Light .
.

.

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.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2021 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

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.

.
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?
.

.
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.
.

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.
.
.
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..
.

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.
.

.
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

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

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

Great blue heron in small pond in Autumn.

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

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

.
,

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

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

Early Voting in Natick Town Hall

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

.
.
.

.

Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent Challenge – One Word Sunday: Earth. Nearly all of the Heron photos on my blog were captured from my kayak floating on the water. The photo in today’s post, however, was taken with both feet planted firmly on earth. Out of hundreds of thousands of Heron photos, all but two locations were shot from the water. Less than 100 of the photos were captured on solid earth. This photo is one of them.
.

Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves: Week 7. I was delighted to see this Great Blue Heron in the small pond on my afternoon walk. A woman with a small child also stood at pond’s edge, transfixed by the Heron. It was a thrilling moment for all three of us.
.

Thanks to Su for her (The) Changing Seasons Challenge. One final submission for Su’s delightful October challenge. Where has the year gone, November already? (I wrote this post while it was still October. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
.

.


Thanks to LEYA for this week’s Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 17: Blending in or Standing Out. As seen form this vantage point, the Great Blue Heron in the top photo of this post stands out. But from across the pond, the Heron blends in behind the grasses, as you can see in the thumbnail at left. Same Heron, same pond, same day – it’s all a matter of perspective.
.

.
.

.
.
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

Great Blue Heron in Autumn Nbr 5

Great blue heron foraging on the shore in Autumn.

.
,
,
.

Through Halloween, tomorrow October 31st, the Great Blue Herons are featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA. Feel free to stop in during office hours Monday thru Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm; Friday 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
.
.

.

Thanks to Patti for her recent Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 17: Just for Fun. This photo is not a ‘funny’ photo, but my idea of great fun is floating on the water, admiring the Herons through binocs.
.

Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves: Week 6. This Heron calmly foraged along the shore, and ultimately caught a large Bass of the size that would make any fisherman envious.
.

Thanks to Su for her (The) Changing Seasons Challenge. I hope a second submission to Su’s delightful Changing Seasons is allowed. There is somwething universal about the way Nature morphs from one into the next, and also in the way humans respond. People commiserate about frigid temps and too much snow, and whine about excessive heat, but almost universally we delight in the lovely bursting forth of spring and the glorious colors of autumn.
.

Thanks to Cee for her recent For the Love of Challenges: Photo Challenges. Cee is a treasure, and she serves the community well with her compendium of challenges.

.
.

.
.
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.
.

.
.
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

%d bloggers like this: