Category Archives: Kayaking

Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Peace on Earth 2018 (Not Art Nbr 22)

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

Great Blue Heron Peace on Earth 2018 – babsjeheron

“…I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things…”

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry, excerpt
from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

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Thanks to Tina for her Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 24: Seasonal. What is more seasonal than a holiday greeting card?.
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Thanks to Debbie for her Travel with Intent Challenge – One Word Sunday: Christmas Time. Even the Heron gets in the holiday spirit.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.
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During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the current gallery show at TCAN. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

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Beautiful Great Blue Heron and Magical Light

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

Great blue heron diving beneath the surface – babsjeheron.

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

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

The Sun, Mary Oliver, excerpt
New and Selected Poems

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

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

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

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

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

Solar Twinkles and Kayak – babsjeheron

This is the kayak used for my photography.
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Thanks to Amy for her Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 19: Magical Light. I find golden hour light to be sheer magic.
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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Things People Drive Ride Pilot or Captain. The kayak shown here has been my vehicle-of-choice for many years.
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Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent Challenge – One Word Sunday: Purple. Yes, the kayak is a shade of purple.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their WPC Challenge: Liquid. The Herons are drawn to water, as am I.
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During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the current gallery show at TCAN. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Great Blue Heron in Autumn

Great blue heron preening on log in Autumn.

I get Fall Fever each year the way some get Spring Fever.

The crisp air and scents of autumn are invigorating. I love how the landscape at the lake is transformed by the progression of leaves from their summery greens to shades of orange, yellow, and red.

Not to mention great sleeping weather.

After the sultry, sweltering nights of summer, great sleeping weather is its own cause for celebration.

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For the months of September and October, the Great Blue Herons are featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA. Feel free to stop in during office hours Monday thru Wednesday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm; Friday 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the Great Blue Herons. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves: The Orange on the Side of the Road. I get fall fever each year, the way people get spring fever.

Thanks to Cee for her recent CFFC: Reds. Maple Trees often have vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves, and it is not often that I can capture a Great Blue Heron in the fall with the beautiful leaves as backdrop.

Thanks again to Paula for her Thursday’s Special: Traces of the past. This photo was taken 5 years ago this week. The autumn leaves are not yet that vibrant in the cove this year.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

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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.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Great Blue Herons’ First Mink (Not Art Nbr 21)

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

Mink Nbr 2 – babjseheron

No Mink were harmed in the making of this post, so please don’t get all #PETA on the Herons.

Speaking of PETA, during her high-school years, a friend’s daughter worked in a now-defunct local shop that sold fur coats on consignment. She delighted in hiding a card from PETA deep in the pocket of as many furs as possible.

The Mink shown here is the first I’ve ever encountered – in more than a dozen years on the lake. It was late in the day. I was heading for home and apparently the Mink was, as well, when we met eyeball-to-eyeball beneath the tunnel.

Looking at the Mink’s lustrous pelt, it is not difficult to understand why their fur has been so sought-after over the ages.

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

From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the Great Blue Herons. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.

Thanks to Cee for her recent CFFC: Things People Grow Challenge. Farming “American Minks” was a thing in the UK, driven by greed no doubt. Unfortunately, many farm-bred Mink escaped and they are now considered an invasive species in the UK, where they are a threat to waterfowl and other creatures.

Thanks again to Paula for her WPC: Pick a word in September challenge: Cavernous. This Mink appears tp make it’s den in one of the cavernous holes among the rocks.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

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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.

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.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Great Blue Heron’s Guest Bird of the Day – Beauteous Buteo (Not Art Nbr 13)

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

Two Red Tailed Hawks – babsjeheron

What, you were maybe expecting Great Blue Herons today?

Just as I swung my camera into position, another flash of feathers. Two. TWO Red Tailed Hawks splashing into the lake.

Rounding the corner coming out of the channel, a flash of movement to the left caught my eye. Raising binoculars, I discovered it wasn’t the Canada Goose I had expected to see. It was a Red Tailed Hawk about to launch in to the lake for a cooling bath. Thrilling. Only once before – nine or ten years ago – had I seen a Hawk bathing, and here, at nearly the same spot along the shore, was another.

Just as I swung my camera into position, another flash of feathers. Two. There were TWO Red Tailed Hawks splashing into the lake together, bathing together while cacophonous Blue Jays and Grackles pestered from branches above.

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

Two Red Tailed Hawks Bathing – babsjeheron

File this one under once-in-a-lifetime Hawk encounter.

(We now return to the regularly scheduled Great Blue Heron program. Thanks for indulging my love for Hawks, too.)

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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Delta. Compare the mood of the two Red Tailed Hawks in the top photo with that at the bottom. Do you see the change, from excitedly animated when landing in the water to what might be called affectionate, as the hawks bathe together side-by-side, nearly touching beaks. The other, more surprising change, is the shift in this blog from the customary focus on Great Blue Herons to the interloping Red Tailed Hawks just for today.
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From now through July 13th, I am a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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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.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

Red Tailed Hawk, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Habitat (Not Art Nbr 12)

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Fledgling Basking – babsjeheron

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

It was heartbreaking to discover the habitat destruction on my first kayak outing this spring. Generations of Great Blue Herons had used that tree in all seasons – fishing in the waters below, sunning for warmth on autumn mornings, sleeping soundly on one leg. I’d been photographing them there for more than a decade. Each morning on the water, I would raise binoculars to scan that tree for a Heron, but not any longer. Training the binocs on that spot brings only sadness, not sightings of the Great Blues and Green Herons, Black Crowned Night Herons, and the Turtles often seen there.

While Massachusetts owns the lake and its waters, there are some privately-held properties along areas of the shores. The owner of the property behind the beautiful partly submerged tree shown here illegally cleared land and removed trees after bulldozing the former home on the site. After clearing the land, he brought in an excavator and swept that beautiful tree and others from the water. Someone called the police who caught him red-handed, but it was too late to save that lovely corner of the cove.

His plan? To construct three new homes for some international buyers – people with no great love for the lake, no appreciation and no respect for the wildlife that calls the cove their home. Last fall the court put him on notice that the fine for continuing to desecrate the area was $1,000 a day, but he persisted. This spring, he was assessed $103,000 for the violations, and a new fine of $25,000 a day was imposed for any continued damage.

Shifting gears a bit, one day years ago, a bookcase at home was moved from a hallway to the living room. When I came home from work that night, Phoebe the calico cat greeted me at the door and immediately led me in the direction of where the bookcase had been. She sat there in that spot, as though pointing out to me that it was gone. Another time, a friend’s cat, Minnie, greeted me at their front door and purposely led me up the stairs to show me her new kittens, nestled in the bottom drawer of a bedroom dresser.

So it was that a week ago, one of the Herons showed me that the tree was gone.

Animals and birds can recognize individual humans, and some of the Herons recognize me after all these years. (While I am a huge proponent of taking photographs from a hide or when well-hidden from view, there are places on the lake and rivers here were simply navigating makes my presence known to the wildlife.)

That morning, the adult female Great Blue watched from her perch along the south bank as my kayak curved across the channel towards the tunnel. Suddenly, she swooped across my bow and headed towards where that tree had been. She landed on the shore at that very spot, and stood there staring at me. I have no doubt that she was showing me that her tree was gone… but she was still here.

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

Great Blue Heron by Habitat Destroyed – babsjeheron

Heartwarming.
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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Delta. The top “before’ and the bottom “after” photos are stark examples of the nature of change.
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From now through July 13th, I am a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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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.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

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

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

Great Blue Heron and the Sunken Boat

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

Great Blue Heron Fledgling in Territorial Display at Sunken Boat – babsjeheron

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…

Two out of three ain’t bad?

Thanks to Krista and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Repurpose. Year-after-year, this small sunken boat is repurposed as an offshore garden. From buckets of tomato plants one year to the gladiolus shown here, each year’s garden showcases something different. I feel eager anticipation when kayaking to that area for the first time early each summer, wondering what the boat garden will have in store. One of the mantras of the Environmental Protection Agency is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” This boat may not qualify for the ‘reduce’ phrase, but definitely embodies ‘reuse and recycle.’ Perhaps Krista’s ‘repurpose’ is a good addition to that mantra.

Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Resilient. This boat could have been left to deteriorate, but thanks to creative caretaking, it has endured for more than a decade sunken just off the shore. The hull is repainted periodically, keeping rust at bay. The garden is replanted annually. Instead of becoming an eyesore, the boat is a delightful piece of gardening whimsy.

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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

Great Blue Heron Morning – Charles River Blues

© 2016 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron – Charles River Blues Nbr 2 – In the Cyanotype Style – babsjeheron

The bridge in this photo was constructed in the mid 19th century, around the same time that the cyanotype process came into popularity. There is a certain timelessness to this location, and I imagined how it would have been rendered by a 19th century photographer, perhaps capturing an ancestor of one of the Great Blue Herons that frequent the area today.

Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge Morning. Sunday morning breakfast at the Charles River with the Great Blue Heron: who has the better breakfast? The Heron with the salmon she caught moments after this photo, or me with a store-bought bagel and cream cheese with smoked salmon? (Hint: Only one of us remembered to bring the morning coffee.)
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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.

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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™

© 2016 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN

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