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I Have Always Trusted Pink


“I have always trusted pink,” Audrey Hepburn


Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Hue prompt.

Thanks to Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday challenge.


(This took place April, 2004)

© 2013 Babsje. (

Guess Who’s NOT Coming to Dinner – Daily Prompt: Morality Play, continued

Heron is off the menu!

“What was legal in the 19th century is not legal in the 21st, so please do NOT try this recipe with heron!”

Great blue heron landing on the shoreline, wings akimbo.

Great blue heron landing on the shoreline, wings akimbo.

Continuing on from Monday’s post, Consciousness Raising: Not just a buzzword from the 60’s, I’m pleased to report that the organization which had published those instructions for cooking herons has responded favorably.

After i contacted them with some consciousness raising information, they graciously placed this disclaimer right in their heron recipe:
Ed.Note: Please be sure to read the comment posted by Babsje below. What was legal in the 19th century is not legal in the 21st, so please do NOT try this recipe with heron!

And they also posted a comment clarifying their intentions around the recipe:

“Babsje, thank you very much for posting the above information. We very much share your sensitivity towards laws protecting endangered species of any kind. We will leave the recipe up, with your good comments highlighted in the post itself. This was part of life in the 19th century, and we’re trying to use that *history* to spark discussion about subsequent events. (We also do not condone the eating of sparrows, even though they’re not federally protected”

I love happy endings.

And if you missed that earlier post, please take a moment and visit the links in my Protecting Birds widget to learn more about ethical bird watching and ethical nature photography. For the full list of federally protected birds, click here. The birds will thank you.


Thanks for the Daily Prompt nudge, Michelle W and WordPress.

© 2013 Babsje. (

Camouflaged Heron – Weekly Photo Challenges: The Golden Hour & The World Through Your Eyes

The only movement was a slight tilt to her head, first to the left, and then an almost imperceptible extending of her neck, up up higher higher until she was staring straight down into the lake. Whoosh, as arrow beak pierced the surface, and her body lunged fully beneath the water, energy exploding water droplets everywhere. 

Great blue heron diving beneath the surface.

Great blue heron diving beneath the surface.

When last I wrote of The One that Didn’t Get Away, you saw the great blue heron flying off with her prize catch – an enormous pike in her beak. This was the scene only moments before, when her arrow beak pierced the surface, energy exploding droplets everywhere.

Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands at WordPress for the inspiration of this Golden Hour Weekly Photo Challenge and also this Weekly Photo Challenge, where we were challenged to “share a photograph that shows a command of your frame. Lead our eyes somewhere. Make us focus on something.”

(This took place October 7, 2007)

© 2013 Babsje. (

Consciousness Raising: Not just a buzzword from the 60’s – Daily Prompt: Morality Play

Migratory bird protection statutes are very fresh in mind this morning, as I stumbled across instructions for cooking a heron online today. I was gobsmacked.

People who have visited my blog may have noticed a sidebar module titled “Protecting Birds.” Among the listings are a few that speak to the “ethics” of bird photography and that pertain to the US Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This ethos around birding started in my childhood – where my mother had inexpensive Audubon prints in our dining room and red cardinal ornaments on the Christmas tree – and has evolved in adulthood, as I sought out resources for birders and nature photographers. It is a work in progress.

Great Blue Heron by Babsje

Adult great blue heron taking flight from pickerel weed.

The MBTA heron protections are very fresh in mind this morning, as I stumbled across instructions for cooking a heron online today. To say the least, I was gobsmacked. 

The MBTA protects many herons, including these and more:
HERON, Gray, Ardea cinerea 
Great Blue, Ardea herodias
Green, Butorides virescens
[Green-backed (see Green)]
Little Blue, Egretta caerulea
[Pacific Reef (see REEF-EGRET, Pacific)]
Tricolored, Egretta tricolor

For the full list, click here.

It occurred to me that the author was simply unaware, but how does that old maxim go, ignorance of the law is no excuse? So, I sent along some pertinent links to try to raise the author’s consciousness around protected birds, and my hope is that nobody cooks or eats a heron. Fingers crossed.

There are ways we can raise consciousness that are graceful, or that are strident. Unfortunately, I can sometimes tend towards the latter, but here is a very gracefully done post about posessing feathers in The View From Kestrel Hill. Check it out.

There are photographers who place food bait or play birdcalls to lure birds into specific settings in order to photograph them. I am not one of them. If you’re a bird photographer, please take a moment and visit the links in my Protecting Birds widget. 

The birds will thank you.


Thanks for the Daily Prompt nudge, Michelle W and WordPress.  

© 2013 Babsje. (

You Can’t Catch Me – Daily Prompt: Ha Ha Ha

When last our dragonfly appeared in this blog, she was perched enticingly on the tip of heron’s beak.

Did you wonder if dragonfly became lunch that day?

(Spoiler alert.)

See for yourself. 

 © Babsje (   Dragonfly teasing great blue heron. © Babsje (

Dragonfly teasing great blue heron.

Is it just me, or did you also hear a dragonfly’s voice sing-songing that childhood playground taunt, “Nah nah nah boo-boo, you can’t catch me?”
Thanks for the Daily Prompt nudge, Michelle W and WordPress.  
© 2013 Babsje. (

Great Blue Heron, Dragonfly, Humor

Thank you for the Super Sweet Blogger Award nomination

Petrel41 of dearkitty1 graciously and surprisingly nominated my blog for the Super Sweet Blogger award. Thanks for this warm honor, petrel41. Although we don’t know each other, I have been reading your blog for some time now. This post of yours from earlier this spring about the Cornell Great Blue Heron cam in particular, caught my attention.  To the readers here, visit petrel41’s site for an eclectic mix of offerings, especially the nature photographs. And also check out the Cornell heron cam when you have a few minutes, although I’ve found it difficult to stay for only “a few minutes,” myself.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

When nominated for the Super Sweet Blogger Award the nominees have to 1. thank the super sweet blogger that nominated them. 2. nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers (see below; with links to their blogs), and 3. answer 5 super sweet questions. [and probably: 4. add the Super Sweet Blogging Award image to your blog post and 5. notify your nominees at their blogs].

1.Cookies or Cake?


2. Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate (In case of emergency, administer chocolate)

3. What is your favorite sweet treat?

Chocolate mousse cake

4. When do you crave sweet things the most?

After long walks in the snow

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?

Sweet Pea (this actually was a nickname years ago)

My baker’s dozen nominees for the Super Sweet Blogging Award are, in no particular order of preference:

Women in Planetary Science   (because women + science)

The Dragonfly Woman  (because dragonflies)

Jerry Katz on Nonduality (because Jerry is the rock star of Nonduality)

Wind Against Current  (because kayaking)

Sheila Hurst (because wonderful dog romping in vacation post)

Living in Gratitude  (because hummingbirds)

A Wild One Within  (because authenticity)

Twng32  (because earnest practice of photography)

HERON (because saving herons)

Diamond Mike Watson (because fellow adoptee)

This Time This Space (because community focus)

This Would Make A Great Story… (because argyle sox!!)

Thanks again for recognizing my blog with this warm award nomination, petrel41!

The Lesser of Evils

Drifting slowly towards the mouth of the creek, I saw a heron feather, a grey-blue blur bobbing against the green waters along the north shore.

Wedging the nose of the kayak into the mud under the old oaks, I scooped up the feather with my paddle blade. I had just bent forward to secure it under the deck bungee when a large shadow passed overhead.

A burst of feathers exploded onto the shore a couple of yards to my east. A great blue heron, so close. He obviously hadn’t seen the kayak under the tree canopy on his landing approach.

As I fumbled to get the camera out of the dry sack, another larger shadow cruised over my head, and a second heron swooped in about eight feet from the first.

Two herons, so close. So close!

The larger, alpha heron immediately puffed himself up to full size, feathers fiercely framing his neck and head. He bolted up the shoreline, running aggressively after the first, while I watched, momentarily unseen.

And then they both saw me.  When they skidded to a stop, the smaller heron was a mere three feet away from me, the alpha heron about six feet farther beyond.

The smaller heron looked to his left at the alpha, then swivelled that graceful neck back towards me, glancing about furtively. His cap feathers were erect, extending straight up – a blue and white shock of feathers pointing skyward.

He clambered down from the fallen birch and eased closer to me.

The alpha glared at us both, and lept up on the fallen birch trunk, fast on the heels of the small heron.

The small heron glanced again at the alpha, then eyed me, cautiously, apprehensively. 

Great blue heron weighing avenues of escape from alpha heron.

Great blue heron weighing avenues of escape from alpha heron.

The alpha glared at us from his perch on the fallen birch.

The small heron turned back and forth, from alpha heron to human, weighing, weighing the greater of the dangers, the lesser of the evils: alpha heron vs woman.

And then he made his move.

With one last glance over his shoulder at the alpha, and one last look straight into my eyes, imploring me to be the safe choice, the small heron made his move. He lowered his head, fully parallel to the ground and slowly eased to the front of my kayak, mere inches from my bow.

Slowly, slowly forward, inch by inch.

And then in a sudden blur, he bolted across the shoreline in front of me to safety.

Once two yards beyond the kayak, the small heron stopped and looked back at me. Safe.

The alpha heron glowered on from his perch on the fallen birch.

And me? That day, I was the lesser of evils.


September 2, 2007

© 2013 Babsje. (

Close Encounter of the Heron Kind

Without warning, the juvenile great blue heron – peaceably fishing the north shore of the cove only moments before – straightened up to his full height. Then it dawned on me that his body posture had become suddenly “watchful.”

I followed his gaze down the cove, and there was the older adult male aggressively cruising full-speed straight at us.

The juvenile was riveted, almost cowering at the sight of the large adult. I took one last photo before he hopped-flew across the inlet to the south shore.

The adult swooped very low, gradually circled, and landed thirty yards away. He immediately fluffed up his back plumes, puffed up his breast, and strutted off in the direction of the younger bird. After a few yards of strutting, he broke into a full run and ran down the shore after the juvenile.

Adult male great blue heron in territorial display running along the shore.

Adult male great blue heron in territorial display running along the shore.

When the adult had closed the distance between them to less than 10 feet, the juvenile launched himself upwards and disappeared down the inlet.

The adult relaxed his ruffled feathers and lingered along the shore, fishing, his territory in the cove protected once again.

This was back in 2007, but the memory is as vivid as if it was just last week: it was the first time I’d seen a heron’s territorial display up close and personal. On that day, I managed a couple of photos of the adult’s feathers in display, but then the CF card filled up, and all I could do then was watch in silent wonder.

So, there are no shots of the close encounter between the juvenile and the adult for that patricular day. It was such a spectacle that I didn’t care about the camera.

And as I’ve said before, it is a choice to be present IN the moment, instead of focusing on the technology of recreating that moment for the future. In this instance, a full camera card brought me back to that lesson in mindfulness.

August 18, 2007

© 2007-2013 Babsje. (Http://

If a picture is worth a thousand words…

Please click here for the latest additions to the Great Blue Heron Photo Gallery

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