Category Archives: Thursday’s Special

Heron: What’s Wrong with this Picture? (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 15)

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

Broken Lens – babsjeheron

Raise your hand if you remember film cameras.

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I don’t remember when or how this lens developed that extra bend.

It was a good lens and served me well back in the days before digital. Back then, my film budget was two 35 exposure rolls of 35mm per outing. I went home happy if I got one good capture per roll. And now? Easily 800+ exposures on an average day. Who could afford that if shooting actual film? Not me

I enjoyed experimenting with and comparing different brands of film. During Comet Hale-Bopp’s reign in 1997 for a few months, I did side-by-side comparisons of the comet taken from the same vantage point. As I recall, my preference back then turned out to be the old Fujifilm 35mm. Getting the exposure duration was tricky, and my then elementary-school-age daughter came up with a system of counting out loud one hippopotamus, two hippopotamus, three… etc.

For sentimental Great Blue Heron reasons, this Fledgling is one of my favorites taken with that now-broken lens and film camera. It is NOT art by any stretch.

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

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Captured with Film Camera – babsjeheron

What I like most about this photo are the colors of the Heron’s feathers. They seem to have a much broader, richer and nuanced range, and reveal a deeper depth of textures than any of my digital photos.

Have you ever compared digital and film side-by-side? Do you have a preference, and why?
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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Tools. This camera and lens were stalwart companions for years. I had two of the same body, but two different lenses before going all digital in 2007.
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Thanks to Paula for her Thursdays Special: Pick a Word in October: Aperture . Due to an accodent, the ‘extra’ aperture of this lens let in much more light than normal.
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Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent Challenge – Six Word Saturday. I don’t think I’m capable of keeping the entire posy at six words, but at least the title is only six..
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Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves: Week 7. This photo was taken when the upper end of the cove was still quite green, but the eastern end had glorious red maples blazing. Surprising how the microclimates in a small area can produce colorful leaves on differing schedules.
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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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Great Blue Heron in Autumn Nbr 3

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

Great Blue Heron by Falling Waters for Six Word Saturday

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This waterfall is no more, sadly.
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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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Thanks to Debhie for her a Six Word Saturday. The falling waters shown here are a thing of the past, now. The base of the falling water was a popular spot for Herons and Red Tailed Hawks to fish for their supper.
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Thanks to Dawn for her recent Festival of Leaves: Week 5. I spent many hours over 7 or 8 years hidden in my kayak across the channel from this spot in hopes of capturing a Great Blue Heron with the striking autumn leaves. Good things come to she who waits.
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Thanks to Cee for her recent CFFC: Vibrant Colors. I have no idea what those vivid red leaves are.
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Thanks to Paula for her Thursdays Special: Pick a Word in October: Gushing . Depending on the day, the falling waters gushed down the hillside.

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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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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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons – A Retrospective, Nbr 3

People who know me know my motto:

“Walk softly and carry a long lens™”

Babsje

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

Great Blue Heron Yearling Number 2 – babsjeheron

I learned long ago to open myself, and my eyes and camera, to whatever experiences and sights the waters bring forth at any moment. My emotions have run the gamut from excitement, to apprehension, to alarm, to amazement, to curiosity, to anxiety, to happiness, and (thankfully very rarely) to sadness. Close readers of this blog are aware of the protectiveness I feel towards the Great Blue Herons. The stories in this retrospective post all have happy endings. I like happy endings.

Once again, many thanks to the creative team at WordPress who have made it possible to share the Great Blue Herons here over the past 5 years.

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

Great Blue Heron Fledgling

Close to the island, I found no crumpled birds littering the island floor, no sodden nestlings floating in the waters nearby.

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

Hot Time at the Boathouse

And what the taxi driver told me next made the hair stand up on the back of my neck… That day, he came across a great blue heron caught in fishing line on one of the pine logs. The line was caught in the heron’s wing and foot, and the heron was struggling but obviously very weakened by the time he got there.

Click here for The Taxi Driver’s Tale
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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Fishing with A Feather

Doesn’t this Great Blue Heron holding a seagull feather bring to mind a friendly dog playfully carrying his favorite toy back to you? At the time, I wanted to say to her, “Who’s a good girl? You are! You are a good girl!” because the way she pranced the length of the submerged log seemed so playful – at first. And then I realized it was another case of tool use by Herons.

Click here for Who’s a good Great Blue Heron?
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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Yearling

There was reason to be concerned for the newly-fledged herons. Would they survive the migration south, the winter, and the migration back? If so, would they remember this lake where they were born and make it their home once again?

Click here for Full Circle: Freshly Fledged
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© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Meditation

I heard them – boisterous and happy – before I felt their wake, and I felt their wake before I saw them, and when I saw them the first thing I saw was the captain’s over-size gang hat. And the second thing I saw was their telegraphed trajectory – heading straight for the small nesting island. There was no doubt about that, and no doubt that they would make landfall, and no doubt that the adult male would flee the nest and abandon the chicks.

Click here for Pequeño: Stranger in a Strange Land
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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for last week’s final WPC: All Time Favorites. Many thanks to the creative team at WordPress who have made sharing the Great Blue Herons here over the past 5 years possible.

Thanks to Cee N and WordPress for her COB Photo Challenge: June 10 2018. Look closely at the set of five photos in this post. Do you see one that is not like the others? (And apologies to Cee for once again bending the rules.)

Thanks to Paula and WordPress for her Thursday’S Special: Pick A Word In June. The Fledgling Great Blue Heron is a ‘nascent’ GBH, freshly out of the nest.

Thanks again to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place in the world is on the water with the beloved Great Blue Herons.
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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again grace 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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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 in the Morning

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

Great Blue Heron on Bough – babsjeheron

I would rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.

e.e. cummingsE.E. Cummings:
Complete Poems 1904-1962

On the first outing each spring, I am reminded that there is an art to seeing the very familiar with fresh eyes, where no two days are the same. I am reminded to not take for granted the usual wildlife and their commonplace behaviors, to not fall into the trap of my own routines.

The inaugural circumnavigation of the lake is fast approaching – though not quite fast enough for me this spring.

Will I see this Great Blue Heron once again this year?

Have I ever mentioned that no two years are the same?

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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: I’d Rather Be. I’d rather be out, camera in hand, today, but it is still too cold for kayaking. Soon. Soon I keep telling myself. Soon.

Thanks to Cheri and WordPress for the recent WPC: Favorite Place. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is.

Thanks to Paula for her Thursday’s Special: Verdant. The green of the bough in the faint mist that morning was verdant.

Thanks to Cee for her recent Photo Challenge: Birds. Once again, I am very tardy, Cee, but I couldn’t resist. Your challenges are inspiring.
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Watch this space for news of my next one-woman photography show for the months of May and June, 2018.
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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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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 Expecting to Fly

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

Great blue heron practicing flying one day before fledging.

There you stood on the edge of your feather
Expecting to fly…
Neil Young
Buffalo Springfield Again

The fledgling Great Blue Heron seemed to hover atop the branch mid-flight, toes outstretched with only one goal in mind, stick the landing. There was no margin for error 80 feet above the island floor.

My heart was in my throat as I watched – riveted – from across the channel, eight stories down.

The next day, only one Heron remained at the nest.

And the next day?

Spoiler alert here.

What a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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Thanks to Cherie and WordPress for the recent WPC Challenge: Atop.

Thanks once again to Paula for her Thursday’s Special challenge.

Thanks once again to Stewart Moncton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

Thanks to the kind folks hosting SkyWatch Friday.

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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

Eat poems for breakfast

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

Advice to Beginners (excerpt)
Ellen Kort

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

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

Great Blue Heron fishing as the waters descend.

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This week’s photo challenge is descent. This Great Blue Heron frequents these falling waters, fishing for the trout, bass, and pickerel in the pools at the base of the falls. Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for this topic.

Thanks again to Paula for hosting her wonderful Thursday’s Special non-challenge.

Thanks also to Ailsa for hosting her wonderful Weekly Travel Theme: Autumn challenge.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for hosting the Wild Bird Wednesday challenge.

Thanks to the kind folks at Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday 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

Silken Feather Against Feather as She Rises

It is a test for us, that thin
but real, undulating figure that promises,
‘if you keep the faith I will exist
at the edge, where your vision joins
the sunlight and the rain:  heads in the light,
feet that go down in the mud where the truth is.

William Stafford, Oregon Poet Laureate
For Great Blue Heron Week, 1987
Spirit of Place (excerpt)
The Way it Is: New and Selected Poems

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

Great Blue Heron’s exultant wings.


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This week’s photo challenge is dialogue. Thanks to Frederic B and WordPress for this topic.

Thanks again to Paula for hosting her wonderful Thursday’s Special non-challenge.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for hosting the Wild Bird Wednesday challenge.

Thanks to the kind folks at Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday 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

Why Have Wings at All?

If not to touch the sky.

Great blue heron silhouetted two hundred feet up. © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great blue heron silhouetted against threatening skies.


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This week’s photo challenge is silhouettes. Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for this topic.

Thanks again to Paula for hosting her wonderful Thursday’s Special non-challenge.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for hosting the Wild Bird Wednesday challenge.

Thanks to the kind folks at Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday 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

Sometimes You Gets the Bear, Sometimes the Bear Gets You

Erm, make that ‘great blue heron,’ not ‘bear.’

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

Great blue heron takes aim at a passing dragonfly.

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Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts. When last we saw this female heron, her prey was a hapless chipmunk. Earlier, she took aim at this dragonfly. Given the contrast in size of the heron and dragonfly, I wonder how many insects it would take to make a nourishing snack? Herons must consider dragonflies tasty morsels: the base of that waterfall is usually teeming with fish.

Thanks again to Paula for her wonderful Thursday’s Special Non-Challenge challenge.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for hosting the Wild Bird Wednesday challenge.

Thanks to Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday 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, Dragonfly

The Security Cam is Down – Who You Gonna Call for Backup?

Oh, the irony.

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

“Man your station, Hawkeye, incoming kayak at ten o’clock.”

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File this one under silly nonsense.

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UPDATE: Speaking of Red Tailed Hawks, two fellow bloggers have been following an ongoing story out of Ithaca, NY, this summer. One of the fledglings at Cornell University had been injured, requiring surgery. Read more at the blogs of circuitousjourney and dearkitty1.

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Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts. Looks like this building has enlisted a pair of Red Tailed Hawks to augment their roof-top security cameras. I couldn’t resist the irony and the contrasts of new-technology and Nature’s original (and best) hawk-eye tech.

Thanks to Paula for her wonderful Thursday’s Special Non-Challenge challenge.

Thanks to Cee for her Odd Ball Photo challenge.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for hosting the Wild Bird Wednesday challenge.

Thanks to Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday 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)

Red Tail Hawk, Humor

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