Category Archives: postaday

Beautiful Great Blue Heron and an Unusual Boat Garden

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

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

Sometimes no matter how well a photographer plans, the wildlife model has others ideas, and this was one of those times.

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Totally unaware of the fledgling great blue heron beside the boat garden stalking him with increasing speed and determination, the yearling heron plied the shoreline. Perhaps it was his curiosity about the fire pit on the lake-front beach that led him to put his guard down?

One of my favorite locations for photographing herons is this partly-sunken boat “garden.” Every year, the property owners plant a different crop and it is a delight in late spring or early summer to see what is growing. One year the boat contained tubs of cherry tomatoes that looked delectable when fully ripe, the bright red of the fruit promising sweetness. In other years, the focus is flowers, like the gladiolus here.

Whenever I paddle to that area of the lake to see how that garden is doing, I try for heron photos with the boat garden. Photographing them there is tricky because the angle of the sun is good for only a short while each day: it’s in the shadows in the morning and for much of the afternoon the light is too harsh. Even when the light is good, of course there’s no guarantee that there will be any herons around.

That day, I was in luck – a yearling great blue heron foraged along the shore to the north of the boat garden. Most great blues follow a consistent direction when fishing along the shore. Just like “mall walkers” who get their exercise by walking a circuit around a mall before the shops open, herons generally pick a direction and follow that direction. That day, it was looking good because the yearling was heading down the shore in the direction of the boat garden – a photo op in the making!

But sometimes no matter how well a photographer plans, the wildlife model has others ideas, and this was one of those times. The yearling heron lazily worked his way up to the boat and just when I was ready for shots of the heron moving along in front of the boat, it ducked behind the stern, instead, and proceeded south, obscured by the towering gladiolus in the boat!

Anticipating that the yearling would eventually emerge from behind the boat garden, I shifted my focus towards the south and waited for the heron to catch up.

Suddenly, I heard a slight rustle overhead. I looked up and saw a fledgling great blue heron perching on a limb directly over the beach where the other heron was curiously investigating the fire pit.

The fledgling swooped out of the canopy and landed just to the north of the boat garden and suddenly took on a territorial posture. This was the first time I had seen a fledgling put a genuine territorial display to use against an older, larger heron.

With his back feathers erect, the fledgling strutted down the shore towards the yearling, who was engrossed with the fire pit. A few moments after the photo shown above, though, the older heron caught sight of the aggressive fledgling bearing down on him and burst from the sand out over the water, heading southwest.

The fledgling, having proved his mettle and securing both the beach and his status as an alpha bird, relaxed his pose and spent several minutes exploring the boat garden before eventually flying off to the north.

What a thrilling experience to see a very young great blue heron assert dominance over an older and larger heron.

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The fabulous Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on Gardens this week. Sincerely, I don’t know how they consistently produce such in-depth posts week-in-and-week-out and the same goes for Cee’s many challenges: I especially appreciate Cee’s “Hunt for Joy” theme.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 147: Gardens .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 147: Gardens .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 147: Gardens .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 147: Gardens .
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And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
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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.
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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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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Great Blue Heron and Photographer Don’t Let Their Broken Legs Get Them Down (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 18)

Great blue heron wings her way across the lake. © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron wings her way across the lake – babsjeheron

As they say in show business, break a leg…

Look closely at the Great Blue Heron’s left leg. Do you see the extra bend between knee and ankle that’s not supposed to be there?

The origin of the expression “break a leg” is in dispute. It may harken back to the ancient Greeks or to 19th or 20th century performances. Whichever it may be, both this Great Blue Heron and I took the expression far too literally.

For the Heron, it was the tibia that broke. In my case, the fibula and calcaneus, aka heel bone. Heading into month seven on crutches wearing an orthopedic walking boot, I am grateful for expert medical care, yet long to be back on two feet and able to fit my foot into a kayak and get back out with the Herons.

That Heron graced the lake for years afterward without benefit of any medical care.

A fledgling great blue in South Carolina, however, underwent successful surgery for a leg fracture. Dr. Biascoechea at the vet clinic inserted pins in the Heron’s leg. The photos there are heartwarming. I love happy Heron stories.
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The always-inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on the “details” this week. Only by focusing on the Heron’s left leg after downloading this photo did I notice the broken leg. I didn’t see it at all when photographing out in the field.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 146: Focusing on the Details .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 146: Focus on the Details .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 146: Focusing on the Details .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 146: Focusing on the Details .
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Last week, the Lens Artists’ theme was “Getting to Know You.” My blog series titled “Quirky Artist Stories” offer some glimpses behind the viewfinder. (But as I always say, its always about the Great Blue Herons, not about me.)

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 145: Getting to Know You .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 145: Getting to Know You .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 145: Getting to Know You .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 145: Getting to Know You .

And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
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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.
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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.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Love on Earth Day

© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Soaring Upwards – babsjeheron

There wading through grasses,
the birds lean skyward…

When the Green Shoots Come

We went out to watch
the comet that night

across the road,
where the break in the trees
opened to heaven.

The nights were warmer by then,
that April night,

and climbing the short fence
between roadway and nature,

you stumbled into grasses
left flattened by snow.

I broke your fall.

And do you remember
how i spun you to the East?

At my feet, the heron’s neck
bent at the wrong angle,

and the nylon filament
wrapped feathers and bone, flightless.

I never told you.

For five seasons now,
I’ve watched the marshes…
the geese, the swans, the coots…

One blue heron…

Wondering if they mate for life
like coyote? quail…loons…

For five seasons since…

Today i am enthralled
when the green shoots come

to the surface of the field
like an ocean of spring.

There wading through grasses,
the birds lean skyward

and, gathering momentum, rise up
to soar.

Both of them.

The herons.

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14 April, 2003
joyce

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Like music to a Heron lover’s ears, the always-inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on Taking Flight this week.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 144: Taking Flight .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 144: Taking Flight.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 144: Taking Flight .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 144: Taking Flight .

And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
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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.
.

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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.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons’ Whimsical Holiday Retrospective

© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

2017 Holiday Heron – babsjeheron

A warm comment from a reader once exhorted “Keep having loads of fun!”

In that spirit, putting the year 2020 to bed by sharing a few readers’ endearing replies to the five-year-long series of Great Blue Heron holiday cards shown here.

Wishing you peace, health, happiness, joy, and fun in 2021.

Happy New Year!
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© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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This light-hearted comment from a reader brought big smiles:

Now I want a Christmas hat for my GBH. I’m sure that mine wouldn’t let me get close enough to put it on though. You must be a heron whisperer.

Click here for 2019
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© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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This whimsical comment from a reader brought on giggles:

Wow, I’ve never seen a heron in a santa cap….You are so lucky that he posed for you. ; )

Click here for 2016
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© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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This creative comment from a reader made my day:

And I used to think that the breeding plumage was the best. Never knew about the wonderful holiday plumage


Click here for 2020
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© 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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More than a few readers posted fun comments for the 2018 version:

“Your Christmas Heron is a hoot…oh wait…that an owl…its a Kraak not a hoot??? LOL!”
“How did you get that hat on your bird?”
“I’m sure your heron enjoyed having his (her?) ears warmed.”
“He looks wonderful with his hat”
“Your heron looks fetching in his Santa hat!”
“Keep having loads of fun!”

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Click here for 2018
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For their final challenge of 2020, the always-inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on the holiday season.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .

And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
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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.
.

.
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.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2020 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

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
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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 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: Beautiful Swan Taking a Bath

And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

The Swan, Excerpt.
Mary Oliver,
Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

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

Mute Swan Bathing Beauty – babsjeheron

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The secret is to stay present always, to not take nature for granted no matter how often we think we are seeing the same ol’ same ol’.

That Saturday, I was tired, and the journey back to the home dock would take another hour and a half. I had already bagged a fair number of Great Blue Heron captures and was eager to take out.

From a distance, I gave a passing glance at the southern shoreline and saw the usual pair of Mute Swans floating in their usual spot, and so I paddled on.

Rounding the curve below the Labs, coming closer to the Swans, I noticed an odd-looking thrashing and splashing unlike any Sawn behavior I’d seen before.

Binoculars up, I sat transfixed, watching from across the channel as one of the Swans took a Saturday bath. Amazing.

Many of us have seen Robins, or Warblers, or other small songbirds splashing about in a backyard garden birdbath. Now, imagine a bird with a 7-to-8 foot wingspan behaving just the same – dunking their head and neck fully below the surface, coming back up to shake off the water, rearing up on legs, wings akimbo flapping and expelling droplets galore, and preening, preening, preening to sort out feathers. The Swan’s bath lasted more than 15 minutes. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

And so, as I said before, the secret is to stay present always, to not take nature for granted no matter how often we think we are seeing the same ol’ same ol’.

View other large birds bathing: Red Tailed Hawks aka Beauteous Buteo and a Great Blue Heron aka Rubber Ducky You’re the One.
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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 Cee for her recent WPC: Black & White Challenge. The Mute Swan bathing beauty turned in gentle circles for more than 15 minutes taking that Saturday bath. It was mesmerizing. (And apologies to Cee for once again bending the rules.)

Thanks again to Paula for her earlier WPC: Black & White Sunday: Traces of the Past. This bridge and tunnel are from days gone by, using ingenious technology of the earlier era.
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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, B&W

Beautiful Great Blue Heron at the Keyhole Tunnel

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

Great Blue Heron at Keyhole Tunnel – babsjeheron

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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 WPC: Black & White Challenge. The water had been smooth as glass until a passing pair of kayakers played through! (And apologies to Cee for once again bending the rules.)

Thanks again to Paula for her earlier WPC: Black & White Sunday: Traces of the Past. This bridge and tunnel are from days gone by, using ingenious technology of the earlier era.
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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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons at Natick Town Hall Say “Vote Early”

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.

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

“Great Blue Heron at Head of the Cove” by babsje is on display on the Second Floor of the Natick Town Hall through October 31, 2018

Our Primary is today. The ambience in our Town Hall seems to have inspired the Great Blue Herons to speak up about the importance of voting.

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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.

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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. 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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Asks “Where’s the Party, Guys?” – (Not Art Nbr 20)

Guys, you said there’s a Labor Day Party!
Where is everybody?

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

Great Blue Heron on Dock Labor Day Weekend – babsjeheron

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

Guys? Where are you? I’m ready for the party!


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File this under silly fun with Herons!

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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.

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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 to Cee N and WordPress for her Odd Ball Challenge. Welcome back from your vacation, Cee!

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. 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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons – Playtime? – (Not Art Nbr 19)

Like many photographers, I don’t always know what I’ve seen until the images have been downloaded.

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

Great Blue Heron climbing after fledgling – babsjeheron

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

Fledgling Great Blue was chased to the top of the branch only 7 seconds earlier – babsjeheron

(Frequent visitors to my blog know that some posts are Art-with-a-capital-A, some are more scientific, and some are my personal photojournalist observations from the field. This post is definitely not Art, although the Great Blue Herons, themselves, are decidedly works of art in and of themselves as far as I am concerned.)

Adult male Great Blue Herons are known for chasing off interlopers when protecting their territory. They chase off other males, they chase off their mates once breeding season is over, and they even chase off their own offspring once they’ve fledged.

And so that day I assumed it was a mature adult male Great Blue that was strutting down the shoreline. The territorial display was unmistakable, and I expected the adult to very quickly close ground and chase off the Fledgling. Previous encounters have had my heart pounding in my throat, watching to see if the Great Blue Heron Fledgling would escape a territorial adult.

In the photo sequence above, the Fledgling leapt from the branch as the adult climbed closer and closer, and landed on the eastern shore about 50 yards away.

Uncharacteristically, though, the adult stopped at the top of the branch, and stood stock-still, staring at the Fledgling for more than 5 minutes without making his move.

All the while, the Fledgling looked north then south, perhaps scoping out an escape route.

Suddenly, the adult swooped down from the branch in an aggressive flight posture and…

And…

And then flew directly in front of the Fledgling. Without stopping, without threatening, the adult made a lazy turn to the west and circled back towards the far shore.

Three minutes after that, the Fledgling took flight, following the same path, and caught up with the adult on the southern shoreline.

They peaceably co-existed there under the tree canopy for quite a while that day, and I obsrved this same pair of Great Blues together in various locations over the course of the following two weeks. It was a delight to watch them from a natural hide on the lake shore.

As mentioned previously, Great Blue Herons are not noted for being playful birds, yet fledgling Herons, like youngsters of many species, often engage use what looks like play to learn how to navigate the world. Both of the Herons in the photos above were males. (Ask me how I could tell.) The younger was definitely a recent fledgling. But I was mistaken about the older one. Yes, he was a yearling at most, and not fully mature. (Ask me how I could tell.)

So, at the end of the day, I was wrong to expect extreme territorial behavior.

I’m not at all surprised that these two magnificent birds shared the lake together.

Sometimes being wrong is good.

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Watch this space for news of my next one-woman-all-herons-photography show for the months of September and October.
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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.

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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 to Cee N and WordPress for her Odd Ball Challenge. Hope you are enjoying your vacation, Cee!

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

Thanks to Paula for her Thursday’s Special: Iconic. I think there is often a very fine line between iconic and cliched. Some of the Heron photographs are iconic, without being cliched.
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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

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