We Now Interrupt your Regularly-Scheduled Great Blue Herons

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

My daughter strikes a pose with Comet Hale-Bopp.

Me and my comet,
strolling down the avenue

With apologies to Judy Garland

It doesn’t get more out of this world than Comet Hale-Bopp, poised above my daughter’s shoulder.

If you missed Hale-Bopp last time around, it will be back in our neighborhood in about 4,500+ years, assuming that our neighborhood will still be here, of course.

(We now return to the Great Blue Herons with thanks for allowing this temporary derail.)
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Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Out of this World.

And more thanks to Ben and WordPress for today’s Daily Prompt: Above.

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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

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Great Blue Heron and the Salmon of Doubt (Apologies to Douglas Adams)

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

Great Blue Heron Catching Large Fish – babsjeheron

There is no problem so complicated that you can’t find a very simple answer to it if you look at it right.
Douglas Adams
The Salmon of Doubt

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For more than an hour, she stalked the Salmon, climbing the fish ladder slowly, intently scanning the pooled water at the base of the dam, then pausing to rest, perched there on one leg. All the while, she faced away from the torrent gushing down the ladder behind her.

I could see fish in the rushing waters and wondered if the Heron would shift her focus.

True to that Douglas Adams thought, she finally looked at the fish ladder right, and left no doubt at all about that Salmon.
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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Tour Guide. Krista had asked us recently what we love about where we live. Today’s photo was taken a short walk from my home. In fact, all of the photos on my blog were taken within 5 miles from home. I love that the beautiful Great Blue Herons spend part of their lives each year within the Charles River and Sudbury River watersheds. I’m very fortunate that my studies of them don’t require expensive travel to distant locations.

And more thanks to Krista S and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Weathered. Do you notice how weathered the Heron’s toes are?

Thanks to Paula for her occasional Black and White Sunday challenge. Paula, your captive gibbon is exquisitely enigmatic, moving.

Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent: Fish.

Thanks to Cee for her recent Black and White Photo Challenge: Water. Once again, I am very tardy, Cee.

Thanks to CosmicGirlie for hosting Silent Sunday. I do really like CosmicGirlie’s ethos about the way that words can affect the meaning of photos and her goal of no words, just a single photo. Yes, there are “words” in today’s post, which is against the “rules,” but I can’t credit the authors of the fine prompts mentioned above without using words.

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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 Sticks the Landing Nbr 2

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

Great Blue Heron Sticks the Landing Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

She’s gathered up all the time in the world
— nothing else — and waits for scanty trophies,
complete in herself as a heron.

Denise Levertov
The Great Black Heron [Excerpt]
Sands of the Well

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So, about the title of today’s post? If there were Avian Olympics, surely this Great Blue Heron would take Gold for sticking that landing… Ahem.
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There are rhythms to the lake, and the creatures there are no less creatures of habit than we humans.

The life cycle of the flora in the cove is predictable and, unless the Canada Geese and their goslings have stripped the plants, pickerel weed thrives for weeks each July through August. The vivid purple-blue flower spikes attract beautiful butterflies and bees and other insects.

And the Great Blue Herons.

Plural.

You may think the Heron in today’s photo is the same Heron shown here, but you would be mistaken.

The location in the cove is the same, but the photos were taken 10 days apart, and the Herons are different, they are are a mated pair. It is fascinating to watch the pair jockey for position on that half-submerged tree: the male lays territorial claim there, and chases the female away.

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This photo is a variation of two earlier themes of mine: Great Blue Herons with Pickerel Weed and Sticking the Landing and here, too.

Thanks to Cheri and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Sweet. I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours over decades in that cove watching the Great Blues nibble on insects attracted by that sweet pickerel weed.

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

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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 Sweetly Preens

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

Great Blue Heron Preening in the Cove – babsjeheron

… Sound in his ears more sweet than yours,
And if yours are not sweeter and wilder and better…

The Herons of Elmwood [Excerpt]
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Birds of Passage

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This photo is a variation of an earlier theme of mine: Great Blue Herons with Pickerel Weed. Click here and here if you don’t remember those photos. Which of the three do you prefer?

Thanks to Cheri and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Sweet. For two days in a row, I witnessed this beautiful Great Blue Heron at the far end of the cove. He preened, and slept, and preened and slept some more, for hours both days.

Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for the recent WPC Challenge: Beloved. This is one of the most beloved Herons at the lake.

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

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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

When is a Beautiful Great Blue Heron Most Like a Golden Retriever?

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

Great Blue Heron Shaking off Water – babsjeheron

Happiness is a warm puppy Great Blue Heron.

With apologies to Charles Schultz and Peanuts

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Just like a wet dog, a Heron sheds water by doing a whole-body shake. Today’s Heron is the same one shown running on the water. When she came to a stop at the water’s edge, she launched into a full-body shake that sent her wings shimmying, feathers ruffling and water spraying in all directions.

This photo is a variation on an earlier theme of mine: When is a Great Blue Heron Most Like a Dog? In that post, you can see multiple photos showing the range of motion used to dry off.

When dogs shake off water, the movement starts at their snout, and if you grab their muzzle, supposedly they can’t complete the shake. Do you suppose grabbing a Heron’s bill would have the same effect?

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Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Beloved. The love I feel for this Great Blue Heron in particular is long-standing. She is the same Heron as featured here and even here.

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

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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

Put a Beautiful Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal? Who, me? Take 2

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

Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

… Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into flight.

With apologies to James Wright’s poem “A Blessing”
The Branch Will not Break

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In more than a dozen years kayaking that area of the lake, I saw a Great Blue Heron atop that tree pedestal only once – and that day, before I could raise the camera, a pod of kayakers approached from the north, flushing the Great Blue. It was very satisfying to finally stumble across her there a couple of months ago. I watched her through binocs and telephoto lens from a distance for nearly an hour as she slept and then preened and then slept some more, perched on one leg the whole time.

This photo is a variation of an earlier image. Click here if you didn’t see that photo. Which do you prefer?

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Thanks to Jen H and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Beloved. The love I feel for the magnificent Great Blue Herons is no small secret.

Thanks also to Ben H and WordPress for their recent WPC Challenge: Variations on a Theme.

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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’s Silhouette on Silent Sunday

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

Great blue heron underneath a bridge.

For he had come to quietness,
He had come to the place where sun and moon meet
And where the spaces of the heavens open their doors.
He was understanding and love and the silence.
He was the voice of these, as he fed the woodpecker.

The Sky-Goer [excerpt]
Zona Gale

The Le Gallienne Book of English and American Poetry, Richard Le Gallienne, ed.

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Thanks to Krista S and WordPress for the recent Daily Prompt: Silhouette.

Thanks also to Cheri and WordPress for the recent WPC: Silence.

Thanks to CosmicGirlie for hosting Silent Sunday. Yes, there are “words” in today’s post, which is against the “rules,” but I can’t credit the authors of the fine prompts mentioned above without using words. You know what they say about rules anyway… And I know the folks at WordPress put a lot of thought and effort into creating their daily and weekly prompts, so credit where credit is due.

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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 Photos of the Year

And the winner selected by popular vote?
Great Blue Heron Fishing at Waterfall

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

Great Blue Heron Fishing at Waterfall – babsjeheron

Frequent readers here know that my photos are an eclectic mix: some have more merit as Art – capital A – than others, some are quirky captures just for fun. Some are personal anecdotes of encounters, and some the field notes of a naturalist. One thing they all have in common, though, is the birds are all wild creatures observed in nature along the waterways of Eastern Massachusetts.

As 2017 was winding to a close, Ben H and WordPress asked about our favorite photos posted in 2017. As an artist, I’m always curious about what you, the readers, appreciate, and so I posted a poll on New Year’s Eve for your feedback. You can click here to see the photos included or even vote. (It’s not too late to participate)

The photo at the top of today’s post had the greatest percentage of votes, and as you can see from the results below, second place had a three-way tie, and there was a five-way tie for third.

Thankfully there were no calls for a recount of any votes and voting wasn’t plagued by any hanging chads.

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

Great Blue Heron 2017 Poll Results – babsjeheron

A big THANK YOU to all who voted.

(And if you didn’t vote yet, now’s your chance.)

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Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for the recent WPC challenge: 2017 Favorites. Ben asked us to share our favorite photos posted in 2017. Please click here to see the photos I selected from this blog.

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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 for my third 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™

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

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Running on the Water

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

Great Blue Heron Running on Water – babsjeheron

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

Thanks also to Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday challenge.

Thanks to Krista and WordPress for the 2017 WPC: Pedestrian. Some pedestrians walk, some pedestrians run.
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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’s Fun in the Sun (Not Art Nbr 16)

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

Great Blue Heron on Float – babsjeheron

Come on in, the water’s fine!

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Thanks to Krista and WordPress for today’s Daily Prompt: Winsome. Is this guy winsome or what, commandeering that float before the humans are awake?

But maybe, instead, I should thank Michelle W and WordPress for the recent WPC: Cheeky. Maybe that guy is more cheeky than winsome, basking in the sun on that float before the humans are awake? (Whichever is more apt, thinking about fun in the sun with a Great Blue Heron is a warming notion on this sub-zero day.)

And thanks also to Debbie at Travel With Intent for Six Word Saturday.
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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

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