Blog Archives

Great Blue Heron Earth Day Love Redux

Great Blue Heron soaring upwards, like the mythical Phoenix - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron soaring upwards – babsjeheron

There wading through grasses,
the birds lean skyward…

Great Blue Heron Landing at Nest with Branch for Nest Building - babsjeheron  © 2016 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Landing at Nest with Branch for Nest Building – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Nest Building Sequence 1   © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

The new stick is so large the female props it on the male’s back for an assist.

The Herons engage each other during a break in nest building - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

The Herons engage each other during a break in nest building – babsjeheron

Four weeks after mating, a Great Blue Heron returns to the nest and presents a stick to the mate, hunkered down atop the eggs about to hatch - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Four weeks after mating, a Great Blue Heron returns to the nest and presents a stick to the mate, hunkered down atop the eggs about to hatch – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Guarding the Nest - babsjeheron  © 2012-2013 Babsje. (Http://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron guarding the nest while a Red Tail Hawk circles in the background – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Bill Duel   © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron fledglings at play: bill dueling – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Nestlings Learning to Fly - Sequence Nbr1  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron nestlings – first attempt at flying – babsjeheron.

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Testing Wings  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron fledgling practicing flying one day before fledging for good – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron Fledgling Alone in Nest - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron fledgling alone in the nest minutes after his nestmate fledged for good – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron and Four Chicks in Nest- babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

The following year at the same nest: Great Blue Heron and Four Chicks in Nest – babsjeheron


.
.
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.

~~~

14 April, 2003
joyce

.
.
.
.
.

Folks, I have written here before that this is a politics-free space. You won’t hear me advancing any political agenda. Posts here are not opinion pieces about current events.

HOWEVER, failing to weigh in on the heartbreaking events continuing to unfold in Europe would be exceedingly tone-deaf on my part.

I wrote back in December “Tis the season for wishes of peace on earth, goodwill to all. But wait. On second thought, why should those sentiments be extended only during the holiday season? I encourage peace on earth and goodwill to all for every season of the year. May 2022 bring you peace, health, happiness, and joy to all.”

And now in February March nearly April, it seems my sentiment from only two three four months ago has fallen on deaf ears. I continue to pray that it is still not too late to turn the tides of war.

Cee Neuner, Debbie Smythe, and the community of Lens Artists encourage the entire international network of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Anne is “Colorful Expressions.” The Boston Marathon is a sea of many colors.

.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Water. The Herons and nest photos took place 70 feet above the water!

.
.

The Great Blue Herons once again graced the gallery walls through February 26th for a one-woman all-Heron show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January thru February 2022 Front Lobby Wall With TCAN Sign Reflected; TCAN Stained glass art by Carol Krentzman, framed by Jay Ball

The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. Since 2001, TCAN has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

Some of the images from my January February 2022 TCAN show have been placed in the online Art gallery, with more to be uploaded in coming days. You can be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Click here and here to learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick – Recent one-woman photography show through February 2022
.
Natick Town Hall – Current group exhibit thru June 2022
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick – Represented since 2013
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2022 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Boston Marathon, Comet Hale-Bopp

Read the rest of this entry

Going the Distance… Marathon Monday Redux

Great Blue Heron on Bough - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Portrait of a Great Blue Heron on Bough – babsjeheron

If you smile at me I will understand,
‘Cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language.

David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Paul Kantner
Wooden Ships
Crosby, Stills & Nash

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

Oranges Figured Prominently in the Boston Marathon – babsjeheron

Let’s go on a walk – er run – down memory lane today to honor the memory of those affected by the Marathon bombings here in Boston a few years ago and to support the 30,000 runners taking part today, the 126th running of the Boston Marathon.

I am a solitary walker.

And yet, there I was with thousands. Walking the Boston Marathon. All 26.2 miles. Twice.

For five years, I lived right on the marathon route. In fact, it cuts through the lake where I spend time with the Herons and Hawks and Egrets and Swans. The photos of the beautiful Mute Swan bathing were captured less than 20 yards from the Marathon route, as were the Bald Eagle eyeing the Great Blue Heron fledglings and the Great Egret looking at that Amtrak train as a migration option.

People who know me are aware that I’m recovering from a bad fall six weeks ago, and the only marathons I am doing for now are in my sweet dreams.

The photos below were taken from my street during the 2014 running of the Marathon. It was a poignant year, one year after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. Certainly the bombings at the finish line of the 2013 race were not expected. For the 2014 running, I had expected that things would be different – new security, new logistics, new “motivations” for some, etc. Media coverage in the months leading up to the race had ramped up, and I was prepared for the intense “Boston Strong” focus, but I was not expecting the emotional experience of seeing the many yellow shirts with “Team MR8” in honor of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old who died in the blast.

There, beneath the lettering MR8 on those shirts was the word “peace” in Martin’s childish penmanship, the same young handwriting on his now-famous poster that says “No more hurting people. Peace.”

When I saw that simple word “peace” through my lens, I wept. I sat down on the wall and wept unexpectedly.

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

Boston Marathon 2014 Team MR8. Note the word “peace” partly obscured by the runner’s bib – babsjeheron

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

Increased security prohibited outlandish costumes but didn’t bar utili-kilts and star-spangled tights – babsjeheron

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

Juggling and all that jazz.
The drummer played non-stop for six hours, and the juggler kept the balls in the air for 26.2 miles – babsjeheron

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

This was the Hoyt’s 32nd and final Boston Marathon – babsjeheron.

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

Boston Strong – Boston Marathon 2014 – babsjeheron

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

Running through the crowds on the street where I lived – Boston Marathon 2014 – babsjeheron

.
.
A variation of this post was first published in 2014.

.
.
.

Folks, I have written here before that this is a politics-free space. You won’t hear me advancing any political agenda. Posts here are not opinion pieces about current events.

HOWEVER, failing to weigh in on the heartbreaking events continuing to unfold in Europe would be exceedingly tone-deaf on my part.

I wrote back in December “Tis the season for wishes of peace on earth, goodwill to all. But wait. On second thought, why should those sentiments be extended only during the holiday season? I encourage peace on earth and goodwill to all for every season of the year. May 2022 bring you peace, health, happiness, and joy to all.”

And now in February March nearly April, it seems my sentiment from only two three four months ago has fallen on deaf ears. I continue to pray that it is still not too late to turn the tides of war.

The Boston Athletic Association has not remained neutral for the 2022 Marathon: in support of Ukraine, the B.A.A. has announced that it will not recognize the country affiliation or flags of Russia and Belarus.

Cee Neuner, Debbie Smythe, and the community of Lens Artists encourage the entire international network of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Anne is “Colorful Expressions.” The Boston Marathon is a sea of many colors.

.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: One Square Short of a Quilt.

.

Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: In the Distance. It doesn’t get much more distant than Comet Hale-Bopp:

Comet Hale-Bopp at Sons of Mary - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Comet Hale-Bopp at Sons of Mary Hillside – babsjeheron

.
.

The Great Blue Herons once again graced the gallery walls through February 26th for a one-woman all-Heron show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Great Blue Herons at TCAN Lobby January & February 2022 - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Herons at TCAN Lobby One-Woman Show January & February 2022 – babsjeheron

The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. Since 2001, TCAN has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

Some of the images from my January February 2022 TCAN show have been placed in the online Art gallery, with more to be uploaded in coming days. You can be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Click here and here to learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick – Recent one-woman photography show through February 2022
.
Natick Town Hall – Current group exhibit thru June 2022
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick – Represented since 2013
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2022 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Boston Marathon, Comet Hale-Bopp

Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Herons Peaceful Muse

Great Blue Heron Launching into Flight (Square Version) - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Launching into Flight (Square Version) – babsjeheron

The man sat cross-legged on the sidewalk that skirted the perimeter along the water’s edge. In his lap, a pen and notebook. Pressed against his glasses, the eyepiece of an antique spyglass. Someone else might have used a modern telescope.

Herons are ancient, their ancestors appearing 40 million years ago, and so it seemed fitting for him to have an old spyglass trained on the nesting island, instead of a newfangled telescope.

He was alternately looking through the eyepiece and jotting down notes in his book when I walked around the bend. We were strangers, but curiosity got the better of me and I interrupted his writing to ask what he was looking at.

“Great Blue Herons. Mothers and chicks, in nests on the island. There are about 60 pairs of Herons nesting on the island.”

I shyly asked if I could take a quick peek, and in the instant my own eye peered through the spyglass, an entirely new world opened up. It was stunning. I was left wordless by the first vision of an adult with a chick – the graceful curve of the adult’s neck, their golden eyes, subtly shaded grey-blue feathers, the adorable cap feathers of the fluffy chick, all of it.

And thus it deepened, the beginnings of my love affair with Great Blue Herons. Those first images seen through an antique spyglass are etched indelibly in my mind, and in my heart. It was the day I met my Muse, the Heron.

Great Blue Herons' rookery island in falling snow just after sunrise - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Herons’ rookery island in falling snow just after sunrise – babsjeheron

Reflection of Herons' nesting island in winter - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Reflection of Herons’ nesting island in winter – babsjeheron

Can you count the Great Blue Herons' nests on the island in this satellite view? - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Can you count the Great Blue Herons’ nests on the island in this satellite view? – babsjeheron

More than 30 great blue heron nests are shown on the island - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

More than 30 great blue heron nests are shown on the island – babsjeheron

.
.
.

The Great Blue Herons once again graced the gallery walls through February 26th for a one-woman all-Heron show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Great Blue Herons at TCAN Lobby January & February 2022 - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Herons at TCAN Lobby January & February 2022 – babsjeheron

Since 2001, the Center for Arts Natick has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. TCAN serves the Boston MetroWest region by increasing opportunities to experience, participate in, and learn about the arts. To this end, TCAN strives to present arts programs of the highest standard that are available to everyone. TCAN dedicates its resources to providing community access to diverse arts programs, reducing barriers to attendance, and building appreciation through arts education.

Some of the images from my January February TCAN show have been placed in the online Art gallery, with more to be uploaded in coming days. You can be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.

Folks, I have written here before that this is a politics-free space. You won’t hear me advancing any political agenda. Posts here are not opinion pieces about current events.

HOWEVER, failing to weigh in on the heartbreaking events unfolding in Europe would be exceedingly tone-deaf on my part.

I wrote back in December “Tis the season for wishes of peace on earth, goodwill to all. But wait. On second thought, why should those sentiments be extended only during the holiday season? I encourage peace on earth and goodwill to all for every season of the year. May 2022 bring you peace, health, happiness, and joy to all.”

And now in February, it seems my sentiment from only two months ago has fallen on deaf ears. I pray that it is not too late to turn the tides of war.

Cee Neuner, Debhie Smyth, Becky B, and the community of Lens Artists encourage the entire international network of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge guest-hosted by Karina is “A Special Place.” I have included four images of our amazing Great Blue Heron rookery island as one place that is special to me, as plus another very special place – my beloved Center for Arts Natick – TCAN.

.
.

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy. I don’t know if this challenge is still on, but I really like the idea of searching for joy. This Heron has brought great joy.
.
.
Thanks to Becky for her The Square Odds challenge. What fun tennis photos from Becky.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: May your Moustache Grow Like Brushwood. Apparently that expression is Mongolian for Gesundheit. Who knew?
.
.
From Karina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 188: A Special Place .
.
.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 188: A Special Place.
.
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 188: A Special Place .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 188: A Special Place .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 187: Water .

.
.

.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Click here and here to learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick – Current one-woman photography show through February 2022
.
Natick Town Hall – Current group exhibit thru June 2022
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick – Represented since 2013
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2022 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Great Blue Herons Guest…Graceful Egret

Graceful Egret Preening - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Graceful Egret Preening – babsjeheron

And the Herons? They’re a study of Patience and Grace.

Isn’t the above Egret graceful and serene, also an image of patience and grace?

I have written so frequently that Herons are a study in Patience and Grace that it’s almost a mantra.

“But, but…” you might say – that bird pictured above isn’t a Heron at all!

And you would be mistaken, like so many of us. The kind experts at Rolling Harbour Abaco weigh in decisively with some interesting history for fellow bird geeks:

The Great Egret is actually a heron rather than an egret. It’s a Great Heron. All egrets are members of the heron family Ardeidae, but the converse is not true. As long ago as 1758, Linnaeus awarded the bird the binomial name Ardea alba i.e. ‘Heron white‘. Why it should have been so hard to stick to that authoritative nomenclature, I can’t imagine. Perhaps in time all heron and egret species became so hopelessly confusing for people that it ceased to matter much what they were called.

Great Egrets Noble Yet Misnamed Herons


by Rolling Harbour Abaco

“All egrets are members of the heron family Ardeidae, but the converse is not true.”

So, this is like squares and rectangles, isn’t it? All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

I know Becky B gets it!

.
.
.

The Great Blue Herons are gracing the gallery walls through February 24th (my birthday) for a one-woman all-Heron show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Great Blue Herons at TCAN Lobby January & February 2022 - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Herons at TCAN Lobby January & February 2022 – babsjeheron

“Why Great Blue Herons?” I have been often asked. The poet William Stafford answers it best:

When I Met My Muse

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off–they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. “I am your own
way of looking at things,” she said. “When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation.” And I took her hand.

When I Met My Muse
by William Stafford
Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford

Since 2001, the Center for Arts Natick has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. TCAN serves the Boston MetroWest region by increasing opportunities to experience, participate in, and learn about the arts. To this end, TCAN strives to present arts programs of the highest standard that are available to everyone. TCAN dedicates its resources to providing community access to diverse arts programs, reducing barriers to attendance, and building appreciation through arts education.

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.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.

.
.

Cee Neuner, Debhie Smyth, Becky B, and the community of Lens Artists encourage the entire international network of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Anne is “Water.” Probably 80% of my posts include water, why should today be any different.

.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: Rocks, Boulders, Stones.
.
.
Thanks to Becky for her The Square Odds challenge. Yes, it’s hip to be square!
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: Sometimes Her Highness’ Finger Goes Missing.
.
.
From Anne Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 187: Water .
.
.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 187: Water .
.
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 187: Water .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 187: Water .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 187: Water .

.
.

.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Click here and here to learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick – Current one-woman photography show through February 2022
.
Natick Town Hall – Current group exhibit thru June 2022
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick – Represented since 2013
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2022 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Great Blue Herons Dam Love Letter

Great Blue Heron at the Dam - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron at the Dam – babsjeheron

It is very easy to become absorbed – too absorbed – by the scene unfolding through the lens. One day, I came face to face with a different danger facing photographers who become too absorbed by the scene within their viewfinder: I was so engrossed with following the Great Blue Heron through my lens that I nearly stepped over the edge into clear air. Every couple of years, we read news stories of people falling off cliffs or going into waterfalls while taking photos. The day I took the above photo, I learned how easily that can happen. One more step, and I would have been in the water below the falls.

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.

― Lao Tzu

Great Blue Heron Balanced on Fish Ladder - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Balanced on Fish Ladder – babsjeheron

Water – fluid and soft – does indeed wear away rigid, unyielding substances. Look closely at the right-hand side of the above photo of the beautiful Great Blue Heron balancing on the fish ladder. Do you see the small torrent cascading through the sidewall of the ladder? We don’t often think of concrete as being fragile, but it is susceptible to the forces of water.

Plans are in the works to replace – or even remove – the dam over the Charles River and perhaps also the associated lovely park that is a gem of the community, frequented by families and artists and photographers for generations.

The experiences shown here today are a love letter to that special place, told in photos.

Great Blue Heron Fishing at Fish Ladder - babsjeheron © 2018 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishing at Fish Ladder – babsjeheron

For more than an hour, the Great Blue Heron stalked a 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. Finally, she looked at the fish ladder right, and left no doubt at all about the fate of that Salmon. Fortunately for the Great Blue Heron, the ‘no fishing in fish ladder’ sign and policy don’t apply to Herons.

Great Blue Heron Catching Large Fish - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Catching Large Fish – babsjeheron

The purpose of the fish ladder is to give fish the means to travel upstream to their spawning ground, since they cannot jump over the dam along side the ladder. I have never observed any fish swimming up the ladder, but I have seen fish tumbling down. Which brings me back to Great Blue Herons. They love to wait at the base of the dam for unlucky fish swept over the edge. It’s not just water that cascades over the lip of this dam on the Charles River – the tug of gravity pulls with it hapless fish destined to become dinner for an eagle-eyed Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron and Waterfall - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron and Waterfall – babsjeheron

The Charles River was in drought conditions in the above photo, with the usually-robust waterfall at the dam subdued to a trickle. Compare to the seething, frothing foam at the base of the dam shown next.

Great Blue Heron at the base of the dam  fishing - babsjeheron © 2016 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron at the base of the dam fishing – babsjeheron

Photography is a solitary endeavor for me, so imagine my dismay upon arriving at the Charles River dam one morning to see a big splash of color looming over the ancient grinding wheel across from the fish ladder. There would be no Great Blue Herons that day. Taking in the entire scene, though, dismay quickly turned to joy.

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 - babsjeheron © 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

What came into view was first one, then two, then three, then four artists set up in 19th century vignettes with easels under brightly-colored umbrellas. They were spaced a good distance from each other, all with a differing vantage point of the river and dam and old stone bridge where the Herons fish. One of the painters in particular called to mind a scene from the mid-1800s as she gazed out over the lush water lilies floating above the dam, paints at the ready, paintbrush in hand.

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 - babsjeheron © 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 – babsjeheron

Rosemary Morelli teaches painting including en plain air style at her studio in eastern Massachusetts. The artists painting at the dam that day were a few of her students.

The bridge in this photo below was constructed in the mid-19th century, around the same time that the cyanotype process came into vogue. There is a palpable timelessness to this location and the artists and easels enhanced that feeling. I can easily imagine a 19th century painter or photographer capturing an ancestor of one of the Great Blue Herons that frequent the area today.

© 2016 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron – Charles River Blues Nbr 2 – In the Cyanotype Style – babsjeheron

I chose the above 19th century style cyanoprint series “Charles River Blues” for part of my current exhibit at TCAN because the Summer Street Gallery, itself, is from that same 19th century period.

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

Fledgling Great Blue Heron on Log at Dam – babsjeheron

The log teetered at the brink of the falling water (in the photo above), and I quickly positioned the camera to capture the moment it began the inevitable cascade over the brink. A shadow suddenly passed overhead in the morning drizzle, outside the range of my lens, and I looked up too late to see what it was. Only when peering through the eyepiece once again was the mystery solved: a fledgling Great Blue Heron was now perched atop the precarious log. It was the same Great Blue fledgling seen in that area weeks earlier. My heart sang to see him so healthy and strong.

Fish Ladder Freezing in January- babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Fish Ladder at the dam freezing in January- babsjeheron

Our winters can be harsh, as this weekend’s blizzard righteously reminded us, and my thoughts are drawn to reassuring scenes of the Great Blue Herons of warmer seasons. But what becomes of the fish ladder in winter? Above and below, a view in January. It was so cold, the splashing water froze when it bounced upwards and tried to stream over the edge.

Fish Ladder Freezing in January Detail - babsjeheron © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Fish Ladder at the dam freezing in January, Detail – babsjeheron

.
.

I do not know the ultimate fate of the dam and fish ladder and beautiful park, along with the beloved Herons who call that area home, but I hope Douglas Adams was onto something when he wrote:

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

Here’s hoping the powers that be are looking at things right.

It is difficult to envision what change will bring to the lovely park and dam when all is said and done. I like to keep the poem below in mind:

Life spreads itself across
the ceiling to make you think
you are penned in, but that
is just another gift. Life takes
what you thought you couldn’t live
without and gives you a heron instead.

On the Meaning of (excerpt)
Linda Back McKay

Once again, the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the water’s surface is gracing gallery walls.

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Sign Reflected; TCAN Stained glass art by Carol Krentzman, framed by Jay Ball

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio

My Great Blue Heron photographs are 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.

Since 2001, the Center for Arts Natick has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. TCAN serves the Boston MetroWest region by increasing opportunities to experience, participate in, and learn about the arts. To this end, TCAN strives to present arts programs of the highest standard that are available to everyone. TCAN dedicates its resources to providing community access to diverse arts programs, reducing barriers to attendance, and building appreciation through arts education.

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.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.

.
.

Cee Neuner, Debhie Smyth, and the community of Lens Artists encourage the entire international network of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Amy is “Travel.” 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 after this weekend’s blizzard, traveling to see the Herons at the dam “virtually” in photos was a delight.
.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: Cold or Chilly. The water freezing as it cascaded in the fish ladder in January was definitely cold

.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday. Don’t ask me, I’ve no idea.
.
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 184: Travel .
.
.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 184: Travel .
.
.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 184: Travel .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 184: Travel .

.

.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Click here and here to learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick – Currently appearing one-woman photography show 2022
.
Natick Town Hall – Current group exhibit thru June 2022
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick – Represented since 2013
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2022 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons on Exhibit (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 20)

Great Blue Heron Camouflaged - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Camouflaged – babsjeheron

It was the golden hour, that last hour of daylight when the sun’s rays bathed the cove in gold. It was so close to twilight that the Heron’s body was nearly camouflaged against the slate-grey rocks. 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 her arrow beak pierced the surface, and her body lunged fully beneath the water, energy exploding water droplets everywhere. This was the scene only moments before the Great Blue Heron flew off with the prize catch – the enormous Pike clenched in her bill that you can see in the top right-hand photo on my blog.

The patron in the Audubon gallery had browsed through the collection of my Great Blue Heron photos on the walls, but she kept returning to the one you see above.

Finally, she came over to me and asked why I had included one without any Herons.

We walked over to the wall together and I pointed out the Heron, it’s back perfectly camouflaged against the rocks.

Had I cropped out the tell-tale burst of water drops that were flung upwards as the Heron thrust her head beneath the surface, the camouflage effect would be even more apparent. If you cover that burst of water in the photo with your hand, you can see how the Heron’s back blends in with the rocks.

Once again, the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the water’s surface is gracing gallery walls.

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Reflection © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Lobby Wall With TCAN Sign Reflected; TCAN Stained glass art by Carol Krentzman, framed by Jay Ball

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio © 2022 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

TCAN One-Woman Show January 2022 Front Lobby Trio

From January 12, 2022, ongoing, my Great Blue Heron photographs are 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.

Since 2001, the Center for Arts Natick has been housed in the circa 1875 historic Central Fire House, where the Summer Street Gallery provides an opportunity for accomplished visual artists in the region to have their work prominently displayed for TCAN’s diverse and loyal audience.

The Center for Arts Natick believes the arts are essential to a complete human experience and to the creation of a vibrant, healthy community. TCAN serves the Boston MetroWest region by increasing opportunities to experience, participate in, and learn about the arts. To this end, TCAN strives to present arts programs of the highest standard that are available to everyone. TCAN dedicates its resources to providing community access to diverse arts programs, reducing barriers to attendance, and building appreciation through arts education.

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.

And who knows, maybe I’ll see you there one day.

I’d like that.

.
.

Cee Neuner, Debhie Smyth, and the community of Lens Artists encourage the entire international network of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Patti is “Interesting Objects.” The stained glass TCAN lobby art is an interesting object and it adds visual impact when the reflection appears superimposed on the photo of the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the surface.
.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: Black and White Birds. Many of the Heron photos are monochromatic.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her One Word Sunday: Action. The image of the Great Blue Heron diving beneath the surface is a dramatic action shot.
.
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 182: Interesting Objects .
.
.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 182: Interesting Objects .
.
.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 182: Interesting Objects .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 182: Interesting Objects .

.

.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick – Current one-woman show thru January 2022
.
Natick Town Hall – Current group exhibit thru June 2022
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick – Represented since 2013
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2003-2022 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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

Beautiful Herons and Friends: There are No Wrong Answers

Two Red Tailed Hawks - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Two Red Tailed Hawks – babsjeheron

When I Met My Muse

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off–they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched. “I am your own
way of looking at things,” she said. “When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation.” And I took her hand.

When I Met My Muse
by William Stafford
Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford

Frequent visitors to this blog will have little doubt that the Great Blue Heron is my muse. But judging from viewing metrics, 2021 posts on this blog featured some very popular guest birds, too. The top dozen views from this year included a pair of Red Tail Hawks bathing together, a beautiful Mute Swan taking her Saturday night bath, and a male Osprey carrying half a fish.

Without further ado, here are the dozen most popular 2021 posts by views:

Top Views of Posts Written 2021 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Top Views of Posts Written 2021 – babsjeheron

I have my own favorite photos and posts, but enough about me: as an artist, I’m more interested in YOUR favorites. Whether or not the Great Blue Heron is your own muse, I would love to know which posts or photos are your favorites. Please take a moment to chime in by adding a comment below. There are no wrong answers and I’d love to hear from you.

Great Blue Heron fledgling cruising across the lake with ripples reflecting on underwings - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Fledgling Surprise – babsjeheron

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Fledgling Surprise Click here to view post

Two Red Tailed Hawks - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Red Tail Hawks Saturday Night Bath – babsjeheron

Red Tail Hawks Saturday Night Bath Click here to view post

Great Blue Heron soaring upwards, like the mythical Phoenix - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Beautiful Great Blue Herons Saturday Fun – babsjeheron

Beautiful Great Blue Herons Saturday Fun Click here to view post

Wherein the Great Blue Heron Sticks his Landing - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Beautiful Great Blue Herons at Waterfalls – babsjeheron

Beautiful Great Blue Herons at Waterfalls Click here to view post

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 5 – babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Beautiful Great Blue Heron and One Special Feather – babsjeheron

Beautiful Great Blue Heron and One Special Feather Click here to view post

Great Blue Heron lands a large fish - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Epic Great Blue Heron Rescue Redux – babsjeheron

Epic Great Blue Heron Rescue Redux Click here to view post

Wild Rumpus at Tower Hill - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Weird Wonderful Wordless Wednesday Whatzit – babsjeheron

Weird Wonderful Wordless Wednesday Whatzit Click here to view post

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 8 – babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Uses Tools Picks up Litter What a Day – babsjeheron

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Uses Tools, Picks up Litter, What a Day Click here to view post

Great Blue Heron With Wounded Wing Soaring - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Breaks into Flight – babsjeheron

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Breaks into Flight Click here to view post

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Gone Fishing – babsjeheron

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Gone Fishing Click here to view post

Silhouette of Osprey Carrying Half a Fish Nbr 1 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Beautiful Great Blue Herons Guest Osprey Fish Tail Lore – babsjeheron

Beautiful Great Blue Herons Guest Osprey Fish Tail Lore Click here to view post

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

Great Blue Heron and Friends Saturday Night Baths – babsjeheron

Great Blue Heron and Friends Saturday Night Baths Click here to view post

.
.

Cee Neuner and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya all encourage the community of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Patti is “Serene.” I wish peace, joy, health, happiness and serenity to all in the coming new year.

.

.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: Black and White Animals. A few of the photos here are monochromatic.
.
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 179: Serene .
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 179: Serene .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 179: Serene .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 179: Serene .
.

.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

Please watch this space for news of my upcoming Winter 2022 gallery show for the month of January at TCAN.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Magic Trick?

Great blue heron feathers - B+W - babsjeheron © 2013 Babsje. (Http://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron feathers – B+W – babsjeheron

Look, you might as well know, this thing
is going to take endless repair: rubber bands,
crazy glue, tapioca, the square of the hypotenuse.
Nineteenth century novels. Heartstrings, sunrise:
all of these are useful. Also, feathers.

Barbara Kingsolver
“Hope, An Owner’s Manual”
(excerpt)

There’s an exquisite intricacy to feathers, the sublime structures of individual feathers, as well as the interconnectedness of groups of feathers working together in harmony to make flight possible.

Individually, so soft.

Collectively, so strong.

What is soft is strong, as Lao-Tzu says in the Tao Te Ching.

While the magnificent wingspan of the Great Blue Heron is spectacular, the beauty of Heron feathers isn’t limited to the powerful wings. In an earlier post, I shared photos of other less prominent but still stunning feathers, some arranged in intricate patterns. (Please click here to catch up if you missed those earlier photos.)

The feather shown at the top is the same feather as that shown at bottom. Both photos were taken on the same day, with the same camera and lens, within minutes of each other. Only the background colors have been changed. Years ago, before I knew it was not allowed, I gathered those Great Blue Heron aigrette feathers, which I treasure. You can see one of them in my blog’s masthead art.

Is an optical illusion magic? Yes, in fact, many magic tricks employ optical illusions. Some fascinating examples of ‘color illusions’ such as this can be found at Brain Den. Enjoy!

I think we need all the magic we can get. How about you?

.
.

Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya all encourage the community of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Ann-Christine is “One Image One Story.”

.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: Matching Things.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: Leaving snowy Luton for warmer climes. The title is the requisite six words long.
.
.
.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 176: One Image, One Story .
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 176: One Image, One Story .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 176: One Image, One Story .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 176: One Image, One Story.
.

.

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.
.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

Please watch this space for news of my upcoming Winter 2022 gallery show.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Tunnels of Great Blue Heron Love

Great Blue Heron at Keyhole Tunnel - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron at Keyhole Tunnel – babsjeheron

Charles River Blues Nbr 2 B&W - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Morning – Charles River Blues Nbr 2 B&W – babsjeheron

Great Blue Herons know the best fishing holes in town: the entrances of tunnels often funnel small schools of fish into waiting Heron bills – tasty Brown Trout, Atlantic Salmon, Walleye, Largemouth Bass and more. Smart fishermen the Herons!

.

This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Marsha Ingrao, and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.

The focus for this week’s Lens Artist challenge hosted by Patti is “Shapes and Designs.” The lead photos today feature very old bridges and their tunnels with interesting arch shapes.

For Marsha’s and Cee’s co-hosted Photographing Public Art: Many towns have Little Free Libraries, but this town has a Free Little Art Gallery: Make Art – Leave Art – Take Art, which encourages making and sharing Art publicly.

Make Art Take Art Natick - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Make Art Take Art Natick – babsjeheron

And below you see making Art in a public place in town.

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 - babsjeheron   © 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

One morning I arrived at the Charles River dam and saw a big splash of color looming over the ancient grinding wheel across from the fish ladder. What came into view was first one, then two, then three, then four artists set up in 19th century vignettes with easels under brightly-colored umbrellas. They were spaced a good distance from each other, all with a differing vantage point of the river and dam and old stone bridge where the Herons fish.

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 -  babsjeheron  © 2020 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 – babsjeheron

One of the painters in particular called to mind a scene from the mid-1800s as she gazed out over the lush water lilies floating above the dam, paints at the ready, paintbrush in hand.

The bridge in the second photo at the top of this post was constructed in the mid-19th century. There is a palpable timelessness to this location and the artists and easels enhanced that feeling. I can easily imagine a 19th century painter or photographer capturing an ancestor of one of the Great Blue Herons that frequent the area today.

Rosemary Morelli teaches painting including en plain air style at her studio in eastern Massachusetts. The artists painting at the dam that day were a few of her students.

.
.

Thanks to Cee and Marsha for their jointly hosted PPAC from Marsha: Photographing Public Art Challenge #23. And here’s PPAC from Cee: Photographing Public Art Challenge.
.
.
Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: In or On Water.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: I Didn’t Recognize the Christmas Tree. The title is the requisite six words long.
.

.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs .
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 174: Shapes and Designs.
.

.

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.
.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

Please watch this space for news of my upcoming Winter 2022 gallery show.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
.
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Great Blue Heron’s Guest…Flightless Goose?

One-legged Canada Goose - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Canada Goose – babsjeheron

.

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

470 Fidelity Agape (excerpt)

William Mealer
Alethea At Aphelion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was a mystery, his flightlessness.

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

Canada Goose -babsjeheron

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

.

This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Jez Braithwaite and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers.

This week’s Lens Artist challenge comes from Ann-Christine. The topic is Weird and Wonderful. Do you think it weird to see a one-legged Goose? Was it wonderful that the Goose survived as long as it did?
.
.

Please click the links below to see the beautiful offerings from these wonderful photographers.
.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CBWC: Vanishing Point. I am stretching things a bit with this topic. The point of the Goose’s leg vanishes into space where his foot should appear.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday At the End of the Pier. The title is the requisite six words long.
.
.

Thanks to Jez for the Water Water Everywhere Challenge. Water is in all the photos here today.
.
.
.
.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 171: Weird and Wonderful .

.
.
.

Folks, now that some areas are opening back up, please consider supporting your local Arts communities – whether music, theater, crafts, visual arts venues, and others. All have been impacted over the past year and a half and they need your love more than ever.
.

Natick Center Cultural District logo

Natick Center Cultural District

.

The Natick Center Cultural District is situated in a friendly, classic New England town hosting a vibrant, contemporary fusion of art, culture and business. Learn more!

.
.

My brick & mortar presence in Massachusetts dates back to 2009 in several local venues/galleries.

Please watch this space for news of my upcoming Winter 2022 gallery show.

TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
Natick Town Hall
.
Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
Audubon Sanctuary
.

Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Great Blue Herons gracing the gallery walls.
.

.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

May the Muse be with you.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

%d bloggers like this: