Blog Archives

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Fledgling Surprise!

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

Great Blue Heron fledgling cruising across the lake with ripples reflecting on underwings – babsjeheron

I awoke today and found
the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky
then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
and all the trees are shivering in a naked row

I get the urge for going…

Joni Mitchell
Urge for Going

It was November, and for the first time since early summer, I took the red kayak out for a paddle in the backyard lake.

It was exciting to catch a glimpse of a Great Blue Heron in flight from the corner of my eye. He veered towards the small island in the cove at the eastern end, landed, and then slipped quickly into the brush and marshy reeds, just out of sight.

Slowly, surreptitiously, I paddled along the opposite shoreline on an eastward course, parallel to the shore of the small island, opposite the side where he had taken cover.

The paddling was tricky, the small wind-driven waves a challenge for the flat-bottomed whitewater kayak.

Slowly, I eased into position in a natural-cover hide, stern backed against a stand of reeds for stability, and craned my neck to get into position, binocs raised.

I wanted to see which of the two Herons from last summer it was – one had long graceful breeding plumes dangling from the back of it’s cap, the other did not – but the sticks and shrubs perfectly camouflaged the Heron lurking in the brush.

At last, slowly, the Heron crept forward into a stand of reeds at the tip of the island.

I could just barely see a glint of the white and yellow patch on its face, just above the bill, but the neck and body were obscured.

I held my breath and watched and waited, binocs trained on the reeds, trying so hard to keep the kayak motionless, looking for any telltale riffling motion or parting of the reeds that would give a better view of the Heron.

And then the Heron emerged and stood motionless.

His watchfulness was palpable.

Cautiously, he stepped closer to the water’s edge, and I trained the binocs on his neck for the telltale plumes, and then it dawned on me.

This was neither of the previous summer’s Herons.

Great Blue Heron fledgling in autumn  babsjejeron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron fledgling in autumn – babsjejeron

It was a new Great Blue Heron.

An immature, clearly a fledgling born just a few months earlier.

I took it all in through the binocs, elation blooming by the second: the dark blueblack feather cap, the dark bill, the ruddy feathers…

We stayed together for about half an hour, the Heron feeding and preening and feeding again, and ruffling and shaking the water from its feathers from head to toe just like a wet dog shakes it off.

Then I turned the kayak back towards home so the Heron could feed in peace as long as it could, with the cold weather coming. What a lovely paddle it was.

No immature Herons at all were sighted at the big lake that year.

How very wonderful to know the brood succeeded here at home.

Wordless joy to behold.

Because it was already November, the Great Blue Herons soon would have an urge for going. A few days later, the eastern end of the small lake was still, and bathed in golden autumn light. The trees were already bare, and the reeds and grasses shone bronzed by the sun. It was dead calm on the water, not a whisper of a breeze and the water’s surface was mirror-smooth.

Mirror-smooth, until the fledgling took flight.

The vibration of the heron’s feet moving in the water created a pattern of ripples breaking the calm. The angle of the light played subtly upon the ripples, bouncing back upwards underneath the Heron. If you look closely at the underside of the back wing in the top photo here, you can see the light-colored, horizontal stripes softly patterning the feathers with subtle stripes.

I like when that happens, when ripples or waves reflect on Great Blue Heron feathers.

.

This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Dawn Miller, 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 public art in town features many custom mosaic installations created by the amazing mosaic artist Carol Krentzman

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

Natick Mosaic Art created by Carol Krentzman – babsjeheron

The mosaic at left is called “We the People.” The tile work shown in the mosaics here features a variety of intricate hand crafted shapes and designs. Arching over the mosaic are the words: “We the People Have a Dream of Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness with Kindness Equality Respect Tolerance Education Freedom and Justice for All”.

The mosaic at center in the above photo – “History of Natick Mural” – is 12 feet high and 64 inches wide. It is estimated to include 6,000 tiles.

The mosaic at right called “Smiling Faces” was created by Carol Krentzman with Amy R Steinmetz’ designs and stands 12’H x 54″W.

Another example of Public Art mosaic works are these charming vignettes of children by Carol Krentzman, titled “As Trees Give Life to Their Branches” Community Mosaic Project, Six Outdoor Arched Panels

Natick Mosaic Art Nbr 2 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Natick Mosaic Art Nbr 2 Created by Carol Krentzman – babsjeheron

Please CLICK HERE and visit Carol Krentzman’s website to learn more about her fascinating art. .
.
.

Thanks to Cee and Marsha for their jointly hosted PPAC from Marsha: Photographing Public Art Challenge. And here’s PPAC from Cee: Photographing Public Art Challenge.
.
.
.
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . The grasses and reeds along the shore have turned golden brown like straw.
.
.

.
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

Beautiful Heron on the Charles River

Great Blue Heron poised in the Charles River - babsjeheron  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron poised in the Charles River – babsjeheron

The Charles River is a land of contrasts.

Babsje

Alligator on the shore of the Charles River - babsjeheron  © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Alligator on the shore of the Charles River – babsjeheron

The Great Blue Heron shown at the top of this post stands in a small cove just around the corner on the Charles River from a property teeming with whimsical statuary.

There’s an Alligator crouching on the shore.

An Iguana perches on an overhanging branch.

A giant Galapagos Tortoise lumbers ploddingly ahead.

A family of three White Tail Deer munch noiselessly on tender greens.

Bear Along the Charles River in Autumn - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Bear Along the Charles River in Autumn – babsjeheron

An inquisitive Black Bear rears up on hind legs with her cub underfoot.

The whimsical menagerie greets boaters on a point jutting into the Charles River in Newton, Massachusetts.

And no, the Great Blue Heron shown in the top photo isn’t one of the fanciful life-like statues – it’s the real deal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day they added a Heron statue to the menagerie.

A large Bison stands guard next to a copper tub at the point of land.

The sign saying WATER ENJOY” is a welcome sight for thirsty kayakers and canoeists on hot summer days: the owners fill the copper tub with water bottles.

Charles River tableau as seen from a kayak - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Charles River tableau as seen from a kayak – babsjeheron

View Through a Tunnel on the Charles River in Autumn - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

View Through a Tunnel on the Charles River in Autumn – babsjeheron

.

This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, Dawn Miller, Jez Braithwaite, 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 Tina is “Interesting Architecture.” One of the libraries has very interesting architecture. In 1873, the Morse Institute Library was dedicated in a Gothic-style red brick building, made possible by the bequest of Mary Ann Morse.

Morse Institute Library Exterior - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Exterior – babsjeheron

By the 1980s the town’s needs had outgrown the existing building and groundbreaking on a new library building took place in 1995. The new library opened in 1997 and kept the 1873 red brick building as the southwest cornerstone of the new library. The above photo shows the original red brick library at left and abutting it at right you can see a short flight of steps leading to entrance doors.

From the inside, you can see the full brick shell of the 1873 building, along with the beautiful stained glass windows.

Notice the large windows at the center of the second floor in the above exterior photo. The photo below shows those same windows when viewed from inside the second floor of the library.

Morse Institute Library Interior Stained Glass Windows - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior Stained Glass Windows – babsjeheron

Similarly, here is the second floor interior view of the Henri Prunaret History Room. As you can see, the windows and brick and stone work are the same as shown on the exterior photo.

Morse Institute Library Interior Henri Prunaret History Room - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior Henri Prunaret History Room – babsjeheron

The new library meets the old library using this walkway from the Reference Desk area into the History Room:

Morse Institute Library Interior Walkway to Henri Prunaret History Room - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior Walkway to Henri Prunaret History Room – babsjeheron

Morse Institute Library Interior Corner with Mansard Roof and Struts - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior Corner – babsjeheron

The integration of the new building with the original building preserved the 1873 walls, windows, rooms and roof in an ingenious way.

This photo taken from inside the top floor of the new library shows one top corner of the original brick building and the actual mansard roof, with struts securing the old building to the new.

Morse Institute Library Interior View Looking Upwards Towards Sky - babsjeheron © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Morse Institute Library Interior View – babsjeheron

Looking up from the lower level of the new library, you can see the original 1873 wall’s brick and stone facade with joining struts at top.

You can learn more about the history of this interesting library CLICK HERE.
.
.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: The Color Blue. Great Blue Herons appear to be blue but the blue color is an illusion created by refraction.
.
.
Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday: They Are Coming to Get You. The title is the requisite six words long.
.
.
Thanks to Jez for the Water Water Everywhere Challenge. Quite a bit of water today.
.
.
Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves . Autumn leaves are present in several photos today.
.
.

.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 173: Interesting Architecture .
.
.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 173: Interesting Architecture .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 173: Interesting Architecture .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 173: Interesting Architecture.
.

.

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 Artists Sidewalk Chalk

Natick Artists Sidewalk Chalk

.
Please join Natick Artists TODAY on November 13 on Zoom from 2-5 pm ET for a Virtual Exhibition & Sale. The Natick Artists deferred their scheduled Open Studios until Spring 2022 due to COVID, but didn’t want to wait to see you again. They’re all looking forward to sharing artwork with you in this safe virtual environment. Zoom link: November 13 2-5pm ET
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85739018397?pwd=MDlGbXpPMitTZklERE1oR1ozMmRmZz09

You can learn more about the November 13, 2021, Natick Artists Virtual Exhibition CLICK HERE.

.
.

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Wishing Peace on Earth (Not Art Nbr 26)

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

Great Blue Heron 2020 Greetings – babsjeheron

There is not only peacefulness, there is joy. And the joy, less deniable in its evidence than the peacefulness, is the confirmation of it. I sat one summer evening and watched a great blue heron make his descent from the top of the hill into the valley. He came down at a measured deliberate pace, stately as always, like a dignitary going down a stair. And then, at a point I judged to be midway over the river, without at all varying his wingbeat he did a backward turn in the air, a loop-the-loop. It could only have been a gesture of pure exuberance, of joy — a speaking of his sense of the evening, the day’s fulfillment, his descent homeward.

Wendell Berry
The Art of the Commonplace: Agrarian Essays by Wendell Berry

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 2021 bring you peace, health, happiness, and joy to all.

.
.

This week, the always-inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on the holiday season.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 127: Precious Moments .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 128: Here Comes the Holiday Season .

And thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.

.
.
.

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
.

.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons – The Eyes Have It (Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 17)

Suddenly one recent Thursday morning, I lost vision in my left eye.

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

Great Blue Heron on a Pedestal – babsjeheron

Retina surgery went well. Before the operation I could not see two fingers if wiggled in front of my left eye and now after last Thursday’s surgery I can.

Remarkable job by my surgeon. Still a ways to go but I’m pleased as you can imagine.

Before the surgery I could not even see the eye chart on the wall much less read it. Now I can see the eye chart, still can’t read it but that may come with time.

Take care of your eyes, people.

And reach out if you (or a loved one) need an excellent retina surgeon in eastern Massachusetts.

.
.

.Thanks again to Paula for her recent Thursday’s Special: Rift photo prompt. There is a rift between my left eye and right eye.

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.

This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner and Paula, all of whom encourage and inspire. Welcome back, Paula.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on negative space. There was definitely negative space where the vision in my left eye should have been.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 114: Negative Space .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 114: Negative Space .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 114: Negative Space .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 114: Negative Space .

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
.
.
.

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
.

.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Alluring Lure (Not Art Nbr 25)

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

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather – babsjeheron

A recent news piece about dolphins using tools to catch fish brought to mind first-hand experience witnessing Great Blue Herons fishing with tools of their own.

At first, the Heron brandishing a feather in the top photo in this post looked playful, but then I realized the seagull feather was not a mere toy to this Great Blue Heron – it was a tool, a fishing lure she repeatedly dipped into the water to entice fishes up to the surface, making it easier for her to spear them with her stiletto beak.

Transfixed, I watched her repeat this for more than ten minutes. It looked almost ritualistic – totemic or shamanic even – to see a feathered creature brandishing a feather from a different bird in such repetitive behavior.

And then it dawned on me.

Before she first picked up the feather, she had been fishing, staring intently into the water as though tracking a fish, from the half-submerged pine trunk.

And once she picked up the feather, she continued her fishing – using the feather as bait to attract her prey, the fish.

How smart a bird and how alluring a lure she chose.

.
.

.

This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage and inspire.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on Surprise. What a surprise it was to realize the Heron was using that feather as a fishing lure.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 103: Surprise .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 103: Surprise .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 103: Surprise .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 103: Surprise .

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
.
.
.

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
.

.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons Simply Unretouched

What a moment of joy when a photograph downloads from the camera exactly as hoped.

Babsje

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

Great blue heron diving beneath the surface.

What photographer hasn’t experienced that moment of joy and surprise when a photo comes out exactly as hoped for, no digital magic needed or wanted. The photo is complete as-is, in and of itself. It was an exciting surprise to see the golden-hour sun backlighting water bubbles splashing high above the Great Blue Heron as she dove beneath the surface. Experiences like that are perfect fodder for Cee’s Hunt for Joy challenges.

Readers of this blog know I’m both fine art photographer and nature photographer, but I’m also a photojournalist, a stringer for a national newspaper syndicate. The rules are vastly different for fine art and photojournalism. In journalism, no editing is permitted, not even a single pixel can be adjusted, and often times even cropping is not allowed. For fine art, sometimes it seems the opposite is expected – what makes it ‘Art’ is the artist-photographer’s manipulation of the image.

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

Great blue heron preening Columbus Day weekend.

The three photos shown here today have not been edited, each came out of the camera as shown. Chronologically, the middle photo of the Great Blue Heron preening was captured first; followed by the top photo of the same Heron ducking beneath the surface in hopes of landing a fish, followed by the third shot of the exultant Heron making off with a huge Pike. If that sequence isn’t the embodiment of Cee’s Hunt for Joy concept, I don’t know what is.

Great blue heron lands a large fish.

.
.
Thanks to Ben H and WordPress for their new April Discover Prompts series. Like many others, I have been missing the WordPress challenges. Today, the topic is Discover Prompts: Light . The backlit bubbles were not retouched. The photo came right out of the camera like that..

.

This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage and inspire.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on Simplicity. The three Heron photos embody simplicity – no editing, straight from the camera. The simplest of work-flows. WYSIWYG

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 91: Simplicity .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 91: Simplicity .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 91: Simplicity .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 91: Simplicity .

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
.
.
.

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
.

.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron En Plein Air Painting at the Charles River

She wasn’t out for blood; she was out for solitude. Any morning when a heron wins its skirmish and achieves solitude is a good morning for a heron. And solitude is what I crave in the mornings, too.

Breakfast at the Lake,
Babsje

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

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 1 – babsjeheron

Wildlife is shy and fast and elusive and unpredictable – Great Blue Herons especially so. They usually erupt into flight at the first sensing of an approaching human.

I am shy by nature and photography is a solitary endeavor for me. I don’t join outings by birders, I don’t do camera club trips, and I don’t go on Audubon excursions, as wonderful as they all may be. I don’t even take friends canoeing or kayaking any more. (I did that twice and both times they talked too much and too loudly and scared off the Herons.) I steer clear of other boats on the water to keep a good distance away because, after all, even the fishermen need and deserve their space.

So, imagine my dismay upon arriving at the Charles River dam that 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.

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.

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 this 19th century style cyanoprint series “Charles River Blues” for one of my exhibits at TCAN because the Summer Street Gallery, itself, is from that same 19th century period.

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

Charles River Blues Great Blue Herons at TCAN May thru July 10 2018 – babsjeheron

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

En Plein Air Painting at the Dam Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

The fish ladder with artist, above. I would have loved to see what her painting looked like.

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

Great Blue Heron and Fish Ladder- babsjeheron

There are many schools of painting. Some artists paint on location, en plein air, some in a studio. Some paint stunningly realistic scenes and some fantastic figments of their own imagining. Some artists take a snapshot out in the world and then paint from the photo instead of from life.

Is it cheating to paint a landscape from a photograph of a scene?

What do you think?
.
.

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.

.
.
.

This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage and inspire.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on Distance.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 90: Distance .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 90: Distance .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 90: Distance .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 90: Distance .

Last week, the Lens Artists focused on A River Runs Through It. I hope they forgive me for a second submission.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through the City.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: River .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .

Thanks to Cee for her Hunt for joy.
.
.
.

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
.

.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron in the Charles River

The Charles River is a land of contrasts.

Babsje

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

Great blue heron poised in the Charles River.

Sometimes a person can love a book, but not the movie treatment. Sometimes it’s the opposite – you really enjoy a film and then read the book, and the book falls flat.

I enjoyed Bill Bryson’s book about the Appalachian Trail, “A Walk in the Woods’ more than the movie. I KonMari’d my bookshelves a couple of years ago and kept all of Bill Bryson’s books. (Even though I have a Kindle PaperWhite e-reader.)

This week’s Lens Artist prompt is “A River Runs Through It.” I first read the novel, actually three short stories by Norman Maclean, many years ago. When I KonMari’d my bookshelves, “A River Runs Through It” is another one I kept.
.
.

The Great Blue Heron shown at the top of this post stands in a small cove just around the corner from this next tableau staged on a point jutting into the Charles River.

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

Charles River tableau as seen from a kayak.

The property teems with whimsical statuary, including an alligator crouching on the shore, an iguana perched on an overhanging branch, a black bear rearing up on hind legs (with cub underfoot), a family of three white-tailed deer, a giant Galapagos tortoise, and more.

And no, the Great Blue Heron isn’t one of the life-like statues – but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day a Heron statue was added to the menagerie.

Alligator on the shore of the Charles River.

.
.

Coming back around to books vs films, I’ve never seen the movie of “A River Runs Through It.”with that famous actor, though. Should I?
.
.
.
.

This post is dedicated to the Lens Artist ladies (Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya) and to Cee Neuner, all of whom encourage and inspire.

This week, the Lens Artists focus on Rivers.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through the City.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: River .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 89: A River Runs Through It .

Thanks to Cee for her Pick a Topic: Landscape.

..

From December 4 through January 28, 2020, my Great Blue Heron photographs were once again on display on the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

Many of the photos in the exhibit were shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.
.

.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

.
During September and October, 2018, the Great Blue Herons were featured on the walls of the Natick Town Hall, located at 13 East Central Street in Natick, MA.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Herons – Closing Days TCAN – Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 14

Out of their loneliness for each other
two reeds, or maybe two shadows, lurch
forward and become suddenly a life
lifted from dawn or the rain…

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

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

Charles River Blues Great Blue Herons at TCAN May 1 thru July 11 2018 – babsjeheron

The bridge in this photo panel 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 I imagined how it would have been rendered by a 19th century photographer, perhaps capturing an ancestor of one of the Great Blue Herons that frequent the area today.

I chose this 19th century style cyanoprint series for the exhibit at TCAN because the Summer Street Gallery, itself, is from that same 19th century period.

Today and tomorrow are the closing days of my free one-woman Great Blue Heron photography 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.

141 years after the Firehouse was first constructed in 1875, TCAN installed an intimate new venue on the second floor of the historic firehouse for concerts, movies, and events, with new professional gallery space for the visual arts. 543 backers pledged $103,420 in a Kickstater campaign that helped bring this project to life.

If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the Great Blue Herons. Many of the photos in the exhibit are being shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

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.
.
.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

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

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.

.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2018 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

Beautiful Great Blue Herons at TCAN Thru July 10 – Quirky Artist Stories Nbr 13

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

The Next Best Thing: Poems

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

Great Blue Heron Preening – babsjeheron

From May 1 through July 10, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again grace the walls of the lobby and theater in a free one-woman show at the Summer Street Gallery, of The Center for Arts in Natick.

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.

141 years after the Firehouse was first constructed in 1875, TCAN installed an intimate new venue on the second floor of the historic firehouse for concerts, movies, and events, with new professional gallery space for the visual arts. 543 backers pledged $103,420 in a Kickstater campaign that helped bring this project to life.

If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the Great Blue Herons. Many of the photos in the exhibit are being shown for the first time, and do not appear on the blog. As always, many of the photos were taken on the waterways of the Charles River watershed.

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.
.
.
Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for the recent WPC: Place in the World. My favorite place is where the Herons are, of course it is. And the Herons? Their place is near the water, but also on the gallery walls and my blog. How else can I share them with you?

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

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

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.

.
.

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

%d bloggers like this: