Category Archives: Photos

Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 6: Be Still My Heart

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

Great Blue Heron South Lake B+W

Coming soon to a lake nearby?

A girl can dream.

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

Tsunami Kayak at the Lake in Winter of 2015

When last I visited the lake, Ol Blue was snug in her winter cave, nearly buried beneath some of the 109 inches of snow that fell this season. Despite the stumbling trek over nearly four feet of snow blanketing the shore, it was heartening to see her label “Tsunami” peeking through that slash of an opening, as she hibernated within.

It was March 1st, and by any rights the two of us would be back on the water in a mere 30 days.

Or so I thought.

The snows of February extended well into March, with the lakes still frozen into the start of April. Even now, some mounds of snow border the sidewalks, yet the waves of migrating birds seem undeterred, as Nature awakens all around.

Including the Great Blue Heron I saw foraging in the small retaining pond last week.

Especially including that Great Blue Heron.

Be still my heart.

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This week’s photo challenge is Afloat. Thanks to Krista and WordPress for this topic. Soon, Ol Blue and I will be afloat on the lake. With the herons. Be still my heart.

Thanks also to Leanne Cole and Laura Mackey for hosting the Monochrome Madness challenge. It’s worth visiting Leanne and Laura’s challenge page to see other outstanding interpretations of monochromatic photography.
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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™

© 2015 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking

Memories – reblogged from ospreypaddler

As 2014 glides into 2015, memories of years past float to the surface for many of us. In this post, fellow kayaker kestrelgwh elegantly explores the role of memories, saying “…sometimes the memories take the form of a story. Like a tool in a cabinet, we keep pulling it out of the drawer where it is stored, handle it, turn it, reflect on its significance and use to us.”  He shares a memory of an exhilarating kayak outing written with such a sense of immediacy that my pulse quickened as though I were there in the kayak, myself, as the bow rose the crest of powerful waves, only to plummet quickly into the following trough – over and over for his two-hour solo journey under perilous conditions.

I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did. And may your memories this New Years Eve nourish that which sustains you.

ospreypaddler

We lose everything, but make harvest

of the consequences it was to us. Memory

builds this kingdom from the fragments

and approximation. We are gleaners who fill

the barn for the winter that comes on.

 –Jack Gilbert, “Moreover”

This is the time of year when ranchers in Montana pull stored sunlight out of their barns and spread it on frozen fields for hungry animals. This is the time of year when Blackfeet, Salish and Crow pull stories out of ancient storehouses and remind each other who they are and where they came from. Memories are the feast of the season.

At this time of the year a paddler builds a kingdom out of remembered fragments and approximations of the season past. In many cases the memories are composed only of images—a wave that caught my brother on the upwind side of a dock, lifted him on its crest and almost…

View original post 797 more words

Not Art Nbr 2: His Phantom Foot

When the birds
come to breakfast
some have lost
legs or feet
to the world,
and I give those more,
their lives
being difficult enough,
but I never
see the ones who have
lost wings.

470 Fidelity Agape (excerpt)

William Mealer
Alethea At Aphelion

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

One-legged Canada Goose

Five kayak outings in a row, the young Canada Goose has followed along as I ply the shores of the lake. He hadn’t joined the other gaggles of geese as they readied for migration south, and remained behind after their departure. Instead, he could be found in the company of the ducks in various coves or near the gulls congregating along the boat launch.

As the weeks drew on, several waves of geese migrating from farther north would briefly stop over at the lake – a way station on their route south – and the young goose would join along the fringe of the newcomers, but I noticed he always remained behind when they, too, headed south.

It was then, as autumn gave way to winter, and most of the ducks had migrated, that one day I noticed the young goose seemed to be following me about the lake.

The next day, I came across the goose near one of tunnels where the Great Blue Herons perch, pulling up greens from along the shore. By then, much of the vegetation had dried to straw, but that patch was still a vibrant green, and most days I would sight the goose there on my way to the north. And most days from then on, he would follow along behind the blue kayak, from middle lake into north lake, and back, then east into the shallow cove favored by the herons.

The weather here on Christmas was unexectedly warm for Massachusetts in December, near 60 degrees, and my gift to myself was an hour in the kayak, tucked deep in the slender cove, drinking hot coffee and eating a friend’s home-made cookies. Any my companion there? The young goose – delightful company.

Yesterday was again warm, and so once again I headed out on the water. Once again, the young goose was near that patch of greens. Once again, he followed me, at times paddling behind Blue Boat, at others circling around alongsides to port or starboard, at others pulling out ahead of my bow.

He seemed healthy enough, despite being an unusually solitary goose. His chest was plump, feathers abundant and glossy, eyes clear, tongue pink. The only thing amiss seemed to be a shallow, silver-dollar-sized wound at the back of his head where it joins the neck, but the short feathers there looked like they were growing back in just fine.

So why hadn’t he migrated with the others? I assumed he couldn’t fly, although I had seen him stretch out his wings once when he accidentally came to close to the kayak. It was only for a moment, and so my glimpse of the wings was brief, but I couldn’t see anything obvioulsy wrong with either wing.

It was a mystery, his flightlessness.

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

Canada Goose

At the end of the day yesterday, the young goose followed me back to the boathouse, and watched from the shallows as I beached the kayak. I wondered if he would flee in fear were I to stand up full height on shore, and so I slouched down to look smaller as I clambered out of the boat. Apparently that worked, and he simply paddled about in small circles, watching me all the while.

Then he started to preen, just like any other goose, tucking his head under first one wing, the the others, craning his neck over his should to reach his back feathers, nibbling at his tail.

And when he stood up, it hit me – the reason for his flightlessness. He stood there gracefully on his left leg, the stump of his right wavering slightly as he regained his balance, and settled in preening on one leg.

The photos in this post are clearly not “art” (they were taken with my phone). And even though they are not art, there is something curious about them. Look closely at the top photo here, do you see what I see floating on the surface of the water below the stump of his right leg? Doesn’t that reflected shape look like the reflection of an intact goose’s foot? His phantom foot?

It is remarkable how nimble he has been in paddling after me for miles all over the lake, how agile he looks standing on one leg preening, how healthy he seems to be apart from his missing foot. How endearing he is.

And even though these photos aren’t art, the young Canada Goose is.

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This week’s photo challenge is Warmth. Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for this topic.

Thanks to Paula for hosting her Black & White Sunday challenge.

Thanks to Cee for hosting her Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Circles and Curves.

Thanks also to Leanne Cole and Laura Mackey for hosting the Monochrome Madness challenge.
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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

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

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking

Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 4: Personal Best

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

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It was a grey, misty ephemeral-looking sort of day, and the Heron on the small lake where I lived was suitably elusive, standing statue-like atop a seventy-foot tall pine on the southern shoreline. It was the day before Thanksgiving, 2009, the latest day in the year I had ever been out in a kayak with the Great Blue Herons.

That is, until yesterday.

The bold sunlight cast twinkles before my kayak, an echo of the sparkling joy I experienced there all alone on the water.

Kayaking in New England in mid-December, a personal best in terms of the calendar alone.

A peak experience in terms of the sheer, sparkling joy of it all

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This week’s photo challenge is Twinkle. Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for this topic.

Thanks also to Leanne Cole and Laura Mackey for hosting the Monochrome Madness challenge. It’s worth visiting Leanne and Laura’s challenge page to see other outstanding interpretations of monochromatic photography.
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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

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

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking

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