Category Archives: Inspiration

Weird Wonderful Wordless Wednesday Whatzit

Wild Rumpus at Tower Hill - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Wild Rumpus Stickwork at Tower Hill – babsjeheron

.
.
.

This post is prompted by the ever-inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers.

This week’s Lens Artist challenge comes from Ann-Christine. The topic is Weird and Wonderful. What do you think? Is Patrick Dougherty’s installation not weird and wonderful?
.
.

Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from the Lens Artists.
.
.

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .

.
.
.

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, TCAN, Five Crows, Stickwork, Patrick Dougherty
Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Walking Along the Shore

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

Great Blue Heron walking along the shore – babsjeheron

How I Go to the Woods

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.

Mary Oliver,
Swan: Poems and Prose Poems by Mary Oliver

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

Oranges Figured Prominently in the Boston Marathon – babsjeheron

This week, Amy of the Lens Artists asked the community for our stories and photos of walks.

My way of walking is the way described in Mary Oliver’s poem above. Just change the last sentence to read “If you have ever gone on a walk with me, I must love you very much.”

And yet, there I was with thousands. Walking the Boston Marathon. All 26.2 miles. Twice.

For five years, I lived right on the marathon route. In fact, it cuts through the lake where I spend time with the Herons and Hawks and Egrets and Swans. The photos of the beautiful Mute Swan bathing were captured less than 20 yards from the Marathon route, as were the Bald Eagle eyeing the Great Blue Heron fledglings and the Great Egret looking at that Amtrak train as a migration option.

People who know me are aware that I’m recovering from a broken heel, and the only marathons I am doing for now are in my sweet dreams. As Amy of Lens Artist fame urges I gotta keep walking.

The photos below were taken from my street during the 2014 running of the Marathon. It was a poignant year, one year after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. Certainly the bombings at the finish line of the 2013 race were not expected. For the 2014 running, I expected that things would be different – new security, new logistics, new “motivations” for some, etc. Media coverage in the months leading up to the 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” in honor of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old who died in the blast.

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 “peace” through my lens, I wept. I sat down on the wall and wept unexpectedly.

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

Boston Marathon 2014 Team MR8. Note the word “peace” partly obscured by the runner’s bib – babsjeheron

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

Increased security prohibited outlandish costumes but didn’t bar utili-kilts and star-spangled tights – babsjeheron

© 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 – babsjeheron

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

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

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

Boston Strong – Boston Marathon 2014 – babsjeheron

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

Running through the crowds on the street where I lived – Boston Marathon 2014 – babsjeheron

.
.

.
This post is prompted by Cee and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. This week, the Lens Artists focus on gorgeous photos with the theme of Keep Walking.

.

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.

.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 163: Keep Walking .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 163: Keep Walking .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 163: Keep Walking .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 163: Keep Walking .
.

.

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, Boston Marathon
Read the rest of this entry

Mindfulness and the Great Blue Herons

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

Great Blue Heron rises sharply upwards as it passes by me – babsjeheron.

And the Herons? They’re a study of Patience and Grace

I went for a long walk late Sunday afternoon along the sidewalk that follows the contour of the reservoir that holds the nesting island. In places, the path is right next to the rocky shoreline, and in others the terrain between the path and the water’s edge is thinly forested with old growth white pines and cherry, apple, and dogwood, and oak and maples, all blanketed by tall ferns and ground foliage. At this time of year, the ground plants are just beginning to sprout and the leaves on the bushes and shorter trees have not yet started, so there is a clear view through the woods to the water.

Many creatures live there, and every walk I take seems to reveal more of them. Last night, it was a large cottontail rabbit. Saturday night, a lone young Canada Goose that had gotten stranded on the wrong side of the path and needed some encouragement to dip beneath the guardrail to safety. It was fascinating to see the parent Goose demonstrate to junior how to navigate under that guardrail. We don’t often see wildlife actively teaching their young.

Sunday, as I was walking, something made me stop suddenly and drew my attention to the right, into the woods and trees. From where I was at that moment about fifteen feet of thin, tall trees and underbrush sloped gently downward to the shoreline, and there, not ten feet away, stood a Great Blue Heron.

They are usually very shy and erupt into flight at the first sensing of an approaching human, but for some reason this Heron remained stock still. We stood there, staring eye-to-eye for a long, long time, though it could not have been more than twenty seconds. His eyes, doe eyes almost, soft eyes, like those of a deer. His long bill, the orange-yellow of Aztec gold. His cap feathers, pure white. It felt as though I was looking at a being of kindness and intelligence, and an equal.

The silence between us was absolute.

We stood there, eyes-locked, watching each other, absorbing in full stillness, and then he leaned forward and lifted skyward in absolute silence, not an audible rustle of feather in the unfurling of exquisite wings – just soundless, effortless flight.

Suddenly, I wished I had brought a camera, and then just as quickly, I dismissed that wish – had the camera been there, I would have missed that experience. Instead of sharing stillness with the Great Blue Heron, I would have been absorbed in things like aiming and focusing and f-stops and bracketing and all of the composition things we photographers do; by then the Heron would have flown away, alarmed by my fidgeting with the gadgetry, and I would have missed the moment.

So, what does this story have to do with my photography? I used to do a lot of photographing in the mountains near Santa Cruz, with the vistas of mist-shrouded hilltop after hilltop marching to the Pacific Ocean, and along the Pacific Coast at sunset – hundreds of hours seeking to capture the perfect sunset moment, until one day I realized I was missing the moment IN the moment by working so hard to preserve it for future viewing.

Technology had gotten in the way of experiencing the moment right then and there, in the now.

What does this story have to do with my photos? It’s a lesson in our choice to be present in the moment, as I was with the Heron that afternoon, instead of focusing on the technology of recreating that moment for the future. It’s a lesson in mindfulness.

And the Herons? They’re a study of Patience and Grace.

.
.
.

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!
.

The always-inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Patti, Amy, and Leya are still taking a much-deserved and much-needed break for the month of July. This week’s challenge focuses on the topic Along Back Country Roads. Beth Smith from her blog Wandering Dawgs is the host this week. This memorable encounter with a Great Blue Heron took place during a walk along a road near my home.

Thanks to Beth for her Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 158: Along Back Country Roads . This Great Blue Heron encounter took place during a walk along a road near my home.

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

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

2015 (May), 2016 (March and July), 2018 (May, June, July), 2019 (December), 2020 (January) several one-woman photography shows at TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
.
2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary
.

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
.

.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

The Value of Kindness

The gear had been pounded with tons of water for almost an hour.” 

Earlier this month, photographer Michael Flaherty nearly went over a waterfall to rescue his camera gear.

What happened next was a remarkable act of generosity:  “This was her only DSLR, she didn’t know me very well, and she made the sacrifice.  That’s real kindness.”

Michael is a photographer of sensitive talent, and I especially appreciate his evocative shots from the Columbia River Gorge. I’m not a prolific re-blogger – you can count on one hand the posts I’ve reblogged – but wanted to share this heartwarming story. 

MJF Images

The first image made after the act of kindness, sunset along the Columbia near home. The first image made after the act of kindness, sunset along the Columbia near home.

Believe it or not this is a photography-related post.  I was recently surprised with a loaner camera!  A person I met through my photography club, someone who went to the same college as I but who I don’t know well at all, saw my situation and took pity on me.  She loaned me her Canon 60D because (she said) it wasn’t really being used.

Now I know plenty of other photographers who have cameras much better than that as backups (they shoot with top of the line cameras).  And I have spent time shooting with these people.  None of them were coming forward after learning of my recent misfortune, losing my camera gear over the waterfall.  This is despite the fact that it would not have disrupted their photography.  This was her only DSLR, she didn’t…

View original post 782 more words

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.

.
.

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.

.
.

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

Versatile Blogger Award

.

.

I have been presented the Versatile Blogger Award by dear Donna of the wonderful blog Heron There & Everywhere. With a title like that, how can I, blogger of herons, not have been drawn to her blog?

I’m honored by Donna’s thoughtfulness in acknowledging my great blue heron blog in such an unexpected and kind way. Thanks so much, Donna!

I feel like it is I who should be rewarding Donna for being versatile, rather than the other way around. She is working full time, in the final days of completing her college degree this month, as an adult learner, she’a mother to two young-adult sons, and blogging. On more than two blogs. She has a delightful squirrel named Sera, who now has her own fanciful blog.

I admire Donna for undertaking a college degree as an adult. Her program sounds intense. As she recently blogged

I have three weeks to go before I am done with school. I am still working hard on trying to put together the final project I need for graduation.

When I began this class, there was a fellow student who introduced herself by saying that this was her second time through the class.  She failed the first time because it was such a challenge.

You’re in the homestretch now Donna, less than a couple of weeks to go! Quite an accomplishment.

It’s humbling that Donna took time out from that heavy workload to honor my heron blog, a generius gesture. I’m touched and just want to say that I value your blogging friendship very much. Thank you again, Donna!

Now, on to the process… For my position on the sometimes hot potato topic of awards, please click here and read Just Sayin… A Word About Awards.

THE GUIDELINES

  • This award actually has its own site with the official rules listed. Click here to learn more about the The Versatile Blogger Award.
  • Versatile Blog buttons for your site are available, click here.
  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their site.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • List 7 things about yourself. 

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT MYSELF:

1. I’m not a big fan of “rules” so I changed that word to “guidelines,” above.

2. My favorite models are Great Blue Herons.

3. Like most artists, I fall in love with my models: Great Blue Herons, Egrets, comets & meteors. It’s an unrequited love.

4. I practice both Fine Art Photography and Photojournalism – not at the same time, of course, as the rules are very different.

5. A friend asked if I could live anywhere, where would that be? My answer, “Here.”

6. I am shy and don’t enjoy about talking about myself. It’s not about me, it’s about the great blue herons. In Journalism School, they taught us, “Report the story, don’t BE the story.” words to live by.

7. If I were to die and come back as other than myself, I’d come back as a Great Blue Heron.

SOME VERSATILE BLOGGERS

In no meaningful order at all, here are some blogs I am nominating for this award. It’s impossible to list every worthy blog – there are so very many, too many to count – so if I have inadvertently omitted your blog, no slight is intended. Some people may not wish to participate, and that’s fine, no pressure; I absolutely respect that some don’t have the time or interest.

Also, there are some blogs I ache to nominate, but I know upfront the bloggers don’t do awards. So, to you, and you, and you, and even you, please know that you’re appreciated in whatever other way that’s acceptable to you.

And some of the recipients below may scratch their head and say “Who is that Babsje and why is she saying those nice things about my blog?” I’m not a prolific commenter, but I do lurk and read and appreciate your works silently just the same.

I am a person of many dimensions and tastes, and find many different things interesting on many different levels. Be forewarned that this is a very eclectic list of blogs – some rich and deep, some humorous, some earnest, some sassy, some literary, others simply photos, but each of these bloggers is talented and versatile in their own way.

Moments to Treasure

Zebra Designs & Destinationa – An Artist’s Eyes Never Rest

Bente Haarstad Photography

Memory to Remember

Where’s My Backpack

Redstuffdan

Victor Rakmill Photography

A Word in Your Ear

northumbrianlight

Serendipity

rabirius

BLUEBRIGHTLY

Dot Knows

From the Bartolini Kitchens

restlessjo

What’s (In) the Picture?

Licht Years

Flights of Wonder

Thanks again, Donna!

.
.

Related Posts

The Day of the Helicopter

Versatile Blogger Award

.
.

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™

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Awards

Very Inspiring Blogger Award, Thanks Palm Rae Urban Potager!

.

.

I have been presented the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by dear Robbie of the wonderful blog Palm Rae Urban Pottager. I’m touched and honored by Robbie’s generosity in recognizing this great blue heron blog in such a kind way. Thank you, Robbie!

What is an Urban Pottager, you may ask. As Robbie explains, her Urban Pottger is much more than a kitchen garden. It’s a place to grow food, flowers, and community together while nurturing creative souls, a space to help heal nature in our cities.

Her blog is one of the most green blogs I’ve read, but I don’t think she’s used that label. Instead, she writes that she is

… constantly learning about growing in small areas, vertically, containers, recycled raised beds, apartments, suburban lots or any place that a person does not have enough space to grow food… We have to raise organic food right where we are with what we have…we have to practice succession plantings, raise our own seedlings, micro farm during the cold months and research, experiment, and find what works with our unique growing problems. ….applying what we know today and yesterday into a Modern Day Sustainable Oasis…

Robbie’s big heart for nature and community has deep roots, and she practices the sustainability that she preaches, cultivating the garden and generously sharing what she has learned with her readers. A recent post she wrote about trying to save a very special tree was suspenseful, my anxiety built as she wove her story, and spoke of there being only a single Arborist in her four-city area. (In our town, we had an official “Tree Warden,” not an Arborist.)

When you have the chance, take a moment and visit Palm Rae Urbn Pottger to tune in on how sustainability can be actively practiced on a local level, you might learn a lot. I know I did.

I’m happy that Robbie has granted the great blue herons and me this award, and value her blogging friendship very much. Thank you again, Robbie!

Now, on to the process… For my position on the sometimes hot potato topic of awards, please click here and read Just Sayin… A Word About Awards.

RULES FOR THE VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD (As borrowed shamelessly from the inspiring blogger, Belmont Rooster)

1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.

2. Display the award on your post. (Download buttons from the link two lines above this one.)

3. List the award rules so your nominees will know what to do.

4. State 7 things about yourself.

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.

6. Contact your nominees to let them know you have nominated them. Provide a link to your post.

7. Proudly display the award logo (or buttons) to your blog, wither on your side bar, ABOUT page, or a special page for awards. (Ok, I am behind on doing this, myself, time to update the blog menu.) Let other bloggers see right up front that you are an award winner and HAVE participated in the award process (there should be an award for that all by itself!).

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT MYSELF:

1. I am shy and don’t enjoy about talking about myself. It’s not about me, it’s about the great blue herons. In Journalism School, they taught us, “Report the story, don’t BE the story.” words to live by.

2. If I were to die and come back as other than myself, I’d come back as a Great Blue Heron.

3. I love to park the kayak in the shade of the trees and read. I have read entire books out on the water.

4. My first camera was bequeathed to me by my grandfather when I was seven. It was an old brownie that I treasured.

5. My first paying photography job was hanging a Diane Arbus exhibit for minimum wage. I would have paid her to be allowed to do that.

6. My first painting was a paint-by-numbers pastoral scene of a horse under an overhanging tree branch. While it was partly done and drying, it got knocked down between the oven and cabinets in our childhood kitchen. I cried at the time. I cried again when it was recovered 20 some years later.

7. I love to read – books – and always have a two or three underway at the same time, for variety. I hate coming to the end of a really good book.

SOME INSPIRING BLOGGERS

In no meaningful order at all, here are some blogs I am nominating for this award. It’s impossible to list every worthy blog – there are so very many, too many to count – so if I have inadvertently omitted your blog, no slight is intended. Some people may not wish to participate, and that’s fine, no pressure; I absolutely respect that some don’t have the time or interest.

Also, there are some blogs I ache to nominate, but I know upfront the bloggers don’t do awards. So, to you, and you, and you, and even you, please know that you’re appreciated in whatever other way that’s acceptable to you.

And some of the recipients below may scratch their head and say “Who is that Babsje and why is she saying those nice things about my blog?” I’m not a prolific commenter, but I do lurk and read and appreciate your works silently just the same.

I am a person of many facets, and find many different things inspiring on many different levels. Be forewarned that this is a very eclectic list of blogs – some rich and deep, some humorous, some earnest, some sassy, some literary, others simply photos, but all have nuggets that can inspire in their own way.

ospreypaddler

through the viewfinder

The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

Composer in the Garden

Janthina Images Photo Journal

Phil Lanoue Photography

Nick’s Nature Pics

Wind Against Current

Still Life With Tortillas

Honk if You’re Vegan

Dear Kitty

Cee’s Photography

The Visual Chronicle

Heron There & Everywhere

Little Dogs Laughed

Vector Charley

Old Woman on a Bicycle

MJF Images

Art Towards A Happy Day

The Wine Wankers

Rainbow Bakery

Jane Lurie Photography

Thanks again, Robbie!

.
.

Related Posts

The Day of the Helicopter

Belmont Rooster is a Gem of a Blogger

.
.

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™

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Awards, Kayaking

The Day of the Helicopter: 15 Minutes of Google Satellite Fame

The helicopter flew low and slow above the channel. I glanced up at it quickly to see what insignia it carried, but didn’t bother with the binoculars and so didn’t get a good look. Helicopters aren’t rare over the lake, in fact the building next door had one parked on the roof, and besides, I was in a hurry to find great blue herons to photograph.

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

Guess who in the blue kayak?

I nosed the kayak through the first tunnel, then curved sharp right into the slender finger-like cove where herons sometimes perched. Just as the kayak slid out from under the tree canopy, I heard it again. The helicopter was flying directly over the cove. Since the cove paralleled the turnpike for a small distance, I thought maybe it was a traffic copter, put it out of mind and paddled deeper seeking out herons.

No luck finding herons there, I paddled back out towards the big lake. Just as I exited the cove, the helicopter reappeared, right overhead again. Seeing the same helicopter in a short timespan over a small area seemed odd. Maybe it wasn’t traffic-related, I thought, maybe it was a video crew getting some B-roll footage for TV or a movie being filmed near Boston. Whatever it was, I hoped they wouldn’t capture me. I’m notoriously camera-shy.

By the fourth time I encountered the helicopter that morning, I decided to make contact, and gave them a big wave goodbye with my paddle and took the kayak elsewhere on the lake.

Fast forward to the next winter.

It was a stormy night, one of those howling New England winter storms that made me long for warm days on the water. That night, I was frittering away some time online before sleep, and in an idle moment wondered what the lake looked like in a satellite view.

I found the lake, at left in this next photo, and then zoomed in until I found some of my favorite nooks and crannies, and then zoomed in again. In the second frame are two light dots. I zoomed in again, and in the third frame, the dots are larger still.

And with one final click to zoom in as close in as the satelite/mapping software allows, the two dots become two vessels. One, a fishing boat. The other? A blue kayak. With me aboard.

And then it all came back to me in retrospect, the day of the helicopter. It wasn’t the traffic or news or B-roll, it was part of the Google mapping project. And my concern about being captured was NOT unfounded.

At least a viewer can’t zoom in any closer than in the top photo of this post. I can live with that degree of anonymity. I think.

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

Zooming in on the lake.

This week, Cheri and WordPress have challenged us to show something grand, “…we want you to consider not just the size of something, but also that special element: the “wow factor” of a scene or subject…” “…shots that will make our jaws drop.”

I don’t know how you would feel about finding yourself while zooming in from a satellite view first of the continent, then the Eastern Seaboard, then Eastern Massachusetts, then all the way down to your boat on the water, but my jaw literally dropped, and I did say “Wow.”

That helicopter day happened a few years ago, and the same image is still out there in the satellite views, but something more recently has brought on more “wows”: I have been honored with four blogging awards, shown here.

A BIG THANK YOU TO

Donna for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award – Nov 25th

Robbie for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award – Dec 3rd

Donna for the Versatile Blogger Award – Dec 5th

Cee for the Most Influential Blogger Award – Dec 6th

.

.

This is truly humbling, and I am virtually speechless by the generously, thoughtfulness, and kindness of Donna, Robbie, and Cee. I owe each and every one of you my sincere gratitude for the recognition you’ve shown my blog and a proper reply per the rules of each award. I am tardy in my formal replies and will be working on them this week. I have been recovering since Thanksgiving week from a severe allergic reaction to an insect bite on my foot (that spread) and the grogginess from round the clock Benadryl has had me running on half cylinders. I’m on the mend now, tomorrow will be my first day off Benadryl, so watch for more thank-yous in a few days!

In the meantime, your kind gestures mean a lot, many many thanks!

.
.

Thanks also to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand prompt.

.
.

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™

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Awards, Kayaking

Walden Revisited: Thoreau and Contemplating Snow

The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, to be surprised out of our propriety, to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why; in short, to draw a new circle. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. The way of life is wonderful: it is by abandonment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essays: The First and Second Series

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

Henry David Thoreau contemplating snow in front of his cabin at Walden Pond.
Ralph Waldo Emerson owned the property on which Thoreau loved at Walden Pond.
.

In an earlier blog entry, I mentioned a memorable New Year’s Eve spent in solitude at Walden Pond. (If you missed that post, please click here to view the photo.)

I wrote about that very special New Year’s Eve:

It was sublimely peaceful that New Year’s Eve at Walden Pond. I was alone save for a sculpted snowman watching over the shore.

The snowman and, of course, the statue of Henry David Thoreau next to his small cabin.

Someone earlier had placed a carved piece of snow in his hand, and it was amusing to see Thoreau staring at it intently, as if contemplating snow.

The setting sun cast wintry golden light through the trees on the far shore, reflecting the sky and horizon on the softly frozen water.

For Paula’s “Thursday’s Special,” I wanted to share my photo of Henry David Thoreau “contemplating snow.” It was New Year’s Eve and closing out the year at Walden was a deeply moving experience. Historical and symbolic meanings aside… Well, let me stop and take that back because those concepts can’t really be cast aside at Walden…

On top of the historical and symbolic aspects, and the peace, tranquility, and solitude at Walden that day, the statue of Thoreau contemplating snow made for a perfect light-hearted grace note.

This week, WordPress has tasked us with speaking about habits, hence the Emerson quote.

Whomever placed the block of snow in Thoreau’s hand “drew a new circle,” with enthusiasm.

One of my habits shows through the great blue heron photos: they are a passion, one I pursue with adandon and intensity. That’s a trait, a habit of mine, especially it comes to my enthusiasm with various subjects for photos. I have taken more than 100,000 heron photos. When Comet Hale-Bopp was visible here, I photographed it almost nightly for months until it vanished from our skies.

An old lover, when asked once by a mutual friend what I was up to, replied, “I don’t know, but whatever it is, she’s doing it intensely, passionately.”

Emerson got it right: “The way of life is wonderful: it is by abandonment.”

.
.

Thanks to Paula and WordPress for the Thursday’s Special Non-Challenge Challenge.

Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit.

Thanks to the kind folks at NaBloPoMo for the National Blog Posting Month challenge this November.

.
.

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.™

(This took place December 31, 2004)

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson

On Walden Pond

I have my horizon bounded by woods all to myself; a distant view of the railroad where it touches the pond on the one hand, and of the fence which skirts the woodland road on the other. But for the most part it is as solitary where I live as on the prairies. It is as much Asia or Africa as New England. I have, as it were, my own sun and moon and stars, and a little world all to myself.

Henry David Thoreau
Walden

Walden Pond reflection - New Year's Eve.

Walden Pond reflection.

It was sublimely peaceful that New Year’s Eve at Walden Pond. I was alone save for a sculpted snowman watching over the shore.

The snowman and, of course, the statue of Henry David Thoreau next to his small cabin.

Someone earlier had placed a carved piece of snow in his hand, and it was amusing to see Thoreau staring at it intently, as if contemplating snow.

The setting sun cast wintry golden light through the trees on the far shore, reflecting the sky and horizon on the softly frozen water.

.
.

This week, Sara Rosso has asked for our perspectives on horizons. This photo of the Walden Pond horizon reflected on ice at sunset is my favorite horizon photo (even though there are no great blue herons about).

.
.

Thanks to Sara Rosso and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon prompt.

Thanks also to Sue for the Word a Week Challenge: Favorite.

Thanks to the kind folks at Skywatch Friday.

.
.

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.

(This photo was taken December 31, 2004)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

%d bloggers like this: