Blog Archives

Beautiful Great Blue Heron and One Special Feather

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

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather – babsjeheron

.

Great blue heron fishing with a feather as bait.

Great Blue Heron shaking a seagull feather – babsjeheron

Doesn’t this Great Blue Heron holding a seagull feather bring to mind a friendly dog playfully carrying his favorite toy back to you, wagging his tail?
.
.

At the time, I wanted to say to her, “Who’s a good girl? You are! You are a good girl!” because the way she pranced the length of the submerged log seemed so playful – at first.
.

At first, it 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.
.
.

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 2 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 2 – babsjeheron

For some birds, it is dinnertime more often than not.
.
.
/
Searching for their next meal, or that of their offspring, is a full-time job.
.
.

.
.
A few Great Blue Herons at the lake have adapted tools to make fishing much easier, and dinner more of a sure thing.

.
.

.

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 4 – babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 4 – babsjeheron

.
.
She would pluck the feather from the water’s surface, and shake loose the droplets…
.
.
.

.
…And then carefully drop the feather back down into the water…
.

.
.

.
.

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

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 5 – babsjeheron

.
.
After a few moments, she retrieved it with that stiletto beak again, shook it dry, and then dropped it into the water once more.
.

.
.

Transfixed, I watched her repeat this for more than ten minutes.
.

.

.
.
It looked almost ritualistic – totemic or shamanic even.
.

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 6 – babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 6 – babsjeheron

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.
.
.
.
.

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

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 8 – babsjeheron

.
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.
.

.

Crows are the master tool users of the bird world, but as this experience shows, herons are smart birds, too.
.
.

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 10 – babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 10 – babsjeheron

.
I’ve observed herons using tools for fishing on other occasions, but there’s something magical and special about her choice of a feather.
.
.

.
.

After all, don’t human fishermen – especially fly casters – often fashion their lures with feathers?
.
.

.

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 11 – babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 11 – babsjeheron

.
.
.
Why should a Great Blue Heron choose any differently?
.
.

.
Ingenious heron!
.
.

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 13 – babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 13 – babsjeheron

.
.
That day, I took more than 925 photographs at the lake.
.

.
.

The Great Blue Heron you see here is one of only three I’ve named: Juliette.
.

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 14 – babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather Nbr 14 – babsjeheron

.
.

.
While Juliette and I were in the middle cove, her suitor Romeo was just over the ridge in the long slender cove, oblivious to the mysterious joys of fly casting with a feather.
.
.
.
Romeo missed all the fun that day.
,
,
,
.
.
.

Last Wednesday I had a successful eye surgery, but apparently it hasn’t cured my dyslexia, and I posted my photo backwards accidentally. I think this is right now?

Babsje With Clear Eye Patch - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Babsje With Clear Eye Patch – babsjeheron

The eye patch is only temporary, but I sure could use a more fetching one!

.
.

.
This post is prompted by Cee Neuner and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. The focus for this week’s LAPC is Going Wide. Isn’t Go Wide something the Coach calls as a football play? Or wasn’t there a saying Go Big or Go Home? I don’t have a wide-angle camera lens any more, so I can’t Go Wide. Maybe I should just Go Home. Unless the big, wide sky encompassing Comet Hale-Bopp and the Pleiades counts:

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

Comet Hale-Bopp at top right, the Pleiades mid-frame above the trees – babsjeheron.

.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Dark Greens. Green foliage abounds at the lake.
.
.

.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 165: Going Wide .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 165: Going Wide .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 165: Going Wide .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 164: Looking Up, Looking Down .
.

.

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 they need your love.

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

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

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
.

.

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

Here’s Looking at You Blue Heron

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

If birds can feel joy, this Great Blue Heron certainly must be joyful in this moment – babsjeheron.

The shadow passed by just as I reached for the styrofoam peanut bobbing to the right of the kayak’s bow. As I secured the bit of styrofoam under the bungee, I glanced up, and there she stood, not three feet away.  I froze in place and held my breath, certain that she would flush immediately.

Here's looking at you, kid. Great blue heron head-shot.

Here’s looking at you, kid – babsjeheron

Only the day before, I had posted a rant about photographers and birders endangering Herons by getting too close – and here I was, myself, far too close, three feet from this wild creature.

How could this have happened?

When exiting the first of the two northbound tunnels, a decision needs to be made: which way to go? East or North? At that juncture, I always use binoculars to check conditions in both directions and I also look also up for Herons in trees and down, for ones on the shore. I look for Herons – of course I look for Herons – but I’m also on the lookout for other boats. Fishermen in bass boats, canoes, kayaks, and even stand-upon paddle boards frequent both waterways.

Satisfied that there were no boats in either direction, and no Herons that my passing through might flush, I set a course for the morning.

Vista seen immediately when exiting tunnel. Which way should we go - into the deep, darkness to the East, or into the bright sunshine to the North?

Vista seen immediately when exiting tunnel. Which way should we go – should we turn right into the deep, dark stillness to the East, or paddle left into the bright open sunshine to the North?

Part of my daily routine is retrieving floating litter that might harm the birds and other creatures. Plastics, and styrofoam in particular, can have an insidious effect and ultimately prove fatal when eaten or when an animal becomes ensnared. NOAA’s Marine Debris Program (click here) is a good starter resource.

So, that morning I eased into the channel with an eye on the water surface, looking for styrofoam bits to remove. I wasn’t watching the sky or the trees, and so didn’t see the Great Blue on approach, nor her landing three feet away while I was bending out over the water. I saw a shadow and felt a presence, but she was soundless.

Why would this wild bird land so close to a human? Some wild birds and animals become desensitized to humans through frequent exposure. Some wild creatures are opportunistic, and have learned that humans are an easy source of food.

This particular Great Blue Heron had landed very near me three times before. The first time, she swooped in and landed under the tree canopy where my hide was in the cove. She couldn’t see me there, and that encounter was an accident. At that time, she was followed onto the shore by another Heron, and threatened with an imminent attack, which I wrote about in The Lesser of Evils. Back then, I rescued her from the attacking Heron, and maybe she recognized me in the same way that the Heron recognized the fisherman taxi driver who had rescued it. So, in addition to being habituated to human presence and opportunistic foragers, some birds that have been helped by humans become less fearful of us or see us as friends.

Meanwhile, back at the lake, the shadow passed by just as I reached for the styrofoam peanut bobbing to the right of the kayak’s bow. As I secured the bit of styrofoam under the bungee, I glanced up, and there the Heron stood, not three feet away.  I froze in place and held my breath, certain that she would flush immediately.

I sat there stock still for many minutes, watching as she began fishing along the shoreline in front of me, craning her neck out farther and farther over the water, stalking a fish. Eventually, I relaxed and pulled out the camera, but she was too close! My lens was too long to get her entire body properly in the frame.

She fished for a while, and seemed unworried by my presence so close. After a bit, she turned slightly, looking left and then right as a human would when about to cross the street, and I guessed that she was preparing to take off across the lake.

Great blue heron looking with right eye.

Great Blue Heron looking with right eye – babsjeheron.

I guessed wrong.

She turned herself around in a full circle, looking around all 360 degrees, and I was sure she would step towards the channel and lift off, but I was wrong.

She took a step…

…Right towards me.

I held my breath once again.

She leveled her gaze at me. We locked eyes and time stood still.

Eventually, I dared to raise the camera and took the photo at the top of this post.

She took another step in my direction, and angled her head slightly, so she could take me in with her right eye.

Great blue heron looking with left eye.

Great Blue Heron looking with left eye – babsjeheron

Did she lift off then? No. She swiveled her head and stared at me for a few more moments with her left eye.

Again, I lowered the camera to better savor the experience, and simply sat there in stillness with her, not wanting to break whatever spell held me entranced in the moment.

Once again, I expected her to gather into a crouch and spring up and across the channel, further into the lake.

I was only partly wrong this time. She lowered down fully, her belly almost touching the water, and then sprung up, energy uncoiled propelling her, but not across the channel.

She arced low, and curved around, directly over the stern of my kayak, landing only four feet beyond on the same shore.

In my very first post, I recalled an encounter with a Great Blue Heron from almost twenty years ago. At that time, I described the feeling as though I was looking at a being of kindness and intelligence, and an equal. Back then, I wrote that post about mindfulness and stillness and the ways a camera would have gotten in the way of truly being in the moment.

This time, I did have a camera with me. And by lowering the camera I was fully present with the Great Blue Heron in a way not possible with the lens in between us. Other photographers I know have also lowered their cameras to simply sit with the wildlife.

I’m grateful for having had the camera with me, and for the small number of photos from that day, but more grateful for the silent moments spent with that beautiful creature, our eyes locked from three feet away, searching for what lies within each of our beings.
.
.

Babsje With Clear Eye Patch © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Babsje With Clear Eye Patch – babsjeheron

.
.
.
Did you notice that this Great Blue Heron looked at me first with one eye, and then the other eye? I’m sure you know by now whether you are left-handed, right-handed, or ambidextrous, but do you know that you also have a dominant eye? I wonder if birds have dominant eyes like humans do? You may be left-eyed, or right-eyed, or it may vary depending on what activity you’re doing. Your dominant eye may or may not be on the same side lf your body as your dominant hand.

If you’re a photographer, you probably instinctively know which eye is dominant – the one you use through the view finder. Some people keep the non-dominant eye closed while shooting, but others keep both eyes open – the better to see what else is taking place at the periphery.

An internet search will return a lot of fascinating information and tests to determine which eye is dominant for you – some sophisticated and some quite simple. The simplest one is the thumb test. Locate an object you can see clearly. Then with both eyes wide open, extend your arm in front of you towards that object. Aim your thumb on the extended arm so it is positioned directly over the chosen object. Close each eye one at a time. You should notice that one eye keeps your thumb centered over your target when you have closed the other eye. The eye that stays centered on your target object is your dominant eye.

.
I’m right-handed for most things, but left-handed for softball and baseball. My dominant eye is my left eye. But that is subject to change. In the above photo, you may notice that my left eye is covered by a protective patch.

Long time readers may remember that I lost all sight in my left eye in the summer of 2020, and I had successful retina surgery exactly one year ago this week. It was nearly miraculous – within one day of the retina repair last year, my eyesight was restored.

A known and expected complication of eye surgery is the formation of a cataract. I unfortunately developed a severe one that profoundly limited my left eye and I have been blind again in that eye for months. Before the surgery I could not even see the eye chart on the wall much less read it.

Three days ago I had a second surgery, and the results so far have been a marvel! Please reach out if you (or a loved one) need an excellent eye surgeon in eastern Massachusetts.

Or if you know where I can find a more fetching eye patch!

.
.

.
This post is prompted by Cee Neuner and Debbie Smyth and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. This week, the Lens Artists have invited Sofia Alves of Photographias as guest host. The focus this week is Looking Up, Looking Down. Please check out their gorgeous photos at the links listed below. My offering includes mentions of looking up and down while on the lake, not to mention that post-surgery the outlook for my eyesight is looking way up!

.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Dark Greens. Green foliage abounds at the lake.
.

Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday . This post title has the requisite six words!

.

From Sofia Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 164: Looking Up, Looking Down .

.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 164: Looking Up, Looking Down .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 164: Looking Up, Looking Down .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 164: Look Up, Look Down .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 164: Looking Up, Looking Down .
.

.

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 they need your love.

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

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

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
.

.

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 Walking Along the Shore

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

Great Blue Heron walking along the shore – babsjeheron

How I Go to the Woods

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.

Mary Oliver,
Swan: Poems and Prose Poems by Mary Oliver

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

Oranges Figured Prominently in the Boston Marathon – babsjeheron

This week, Amy of the Lens Artists asked the community for our stories and photos of walks.

My way of walking is the way described in Mary Oliver’s poem above. Just change the last sentence to read “If you have ever gone on a walk with me, I must love you very much.”

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 broken heel, and the only marathons I am doing for now are in my sweet dreams. As Amy of Lens Artist fame urges I gotta keep walking.

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 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

.
.

.
This post is prompted by Cee and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. This week, the Lens Artists focus on gorgeous photos with the theme of Keep Walking.

.

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. The Herons bring joy.

.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 163: Keep Walking .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 163: Keep Walking .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 163: Keep Walking .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 163: Keep Walking .
.

.

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 they need your love.

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

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

Be a fly on the wall! You can CLICK HERE to see the gallery walls with Herons .
.

.

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, Boston Marathon
Read the rest of this entry

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Sweet, Tender Moment and Fly-on-the-Wall

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

Great Blue Heron Profile – babsjeheeon

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

Denise Levertov,
Sands of the Well

Mid-week afternoons in August are good at the lake. Many people are at work and many others go away on vacation the last 10 days of August, so I had the waters almost to myself.

I rounded a bend and unexpectedly came upon a man in a green canoe with the name Puffin stenciled on the side in white. He was sitting in the stern with his young son tucked against him, holding the boy with one arm, paddling with the other.

The boy was about 2 or 3, and beaming with happiness in his nice, bright yellow pfd.

Their canoe was perpendicular to the shore, and the little boy’s hand was pointing to the bank, his eyes so wide.

My eyes followed his finger … to a Great Blue Heron.

The Heron flew off, the canoe glided off, and I paddled on my way.

About half an hour later the green canoe returned, gliding up behind my yellow kayak, and then alongside me, so soundlessly I was unaware of their approach until they had overtaken me.

But the Heron on the shore had seen them — his posture straightened, head perked up, a subtle shift in his stance as though about to brace for flight.

The green canoe just glided by, very very slowly, and when closest to the bird, the toddler jutted out out his hand and waved at the Heron. “Bye Heron,” said the boy.

And so the father waved, too.

“Bye Heron,” said the man.

Then they were gone.

It was a tender, sweet encounter with the toddler in the green canoe. At any moment, he could have jumped up and squealed and clapped his hands in delight – all perfectly normal for a two-year-old. The spell thus broken, though, the Heron would have flushed in alarm.

But the toddler didn’t.

And the Heron stayed with me in the cove that day.
.
.
The cove is a mere finger of water, pointing to the east, bounded by tall pines and oaks and an occasional maple. As the season shifts into Autumn, the sun spreads her gold very narrowly, illuminating the full swath of water only at certain times of day. By October, the Great Blue Herons all work a similar circuit as they follow the sun in the cove.

In the top photo of this post, the Heron stands on a dock shrouded in shadow. The sun blazes on the far shore, but only teases the Heron across the way, illuminating just her head.

As they follow the sun, I follow the Herons.
.
.

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

Great Blue Heron Back-lit by Golden Hour Light – babsjeheron

.
This post is prompted by Cee and Debhie and Paula and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. This week, the Lens Artists focus on gorgeous photos with the theme of It’s All About the Light.

The two photos above in this post reveal lighting with different qualities – elusive autumn light and Golden Hour back-lighting. This next photo shows artificial lighting bathing gallery walls at Mass Audubon for my one-woman show. Be a fly on the wall! Please CLICK HERE to see the Herons and Egrets .

MASS Audubon One-Woman Show July 2009 - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

MASS Audubon One-Woman Show July 2009


.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Two M’s The word ‘Moment’ in the post title has two m’s.
.

Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday . This post title has the requisite six words!
.

Thanks to Paula for her Thursdays Special: Pick a Word in August: Solitary. The Great Blue Herons show above are solitary beings when not at a rookery or in breeding season.
.
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .
.

.

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 they need your love.

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

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 Herons and Egrets .
.

.

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 Egret Keeping it Light

Egret lunging from the shore to catch a fish  - babsjeheron. © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Egret lunging from the shore to catch a fish – babsjeheron

Egret in profile.

Egret in profile – babsjeheron

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

~ Lewis Carroll
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Egret looks into entrance of pipe.

Egret looks inside – babsjeheron

“Hmmm,” said Egret to nobody in particular. “The book says that the rabbit-hole goes straight like a tunnel… This looks like a tunnel to me. Could this be that famous rabbit-hole, I wonder?”
.

Egret investigates another pipe entrance.

Egret investigates another tunnel – babsjeheron

“Or, maybe this tunnel here is the real rabbit-hole?” muttered Egret. “Looks like it goes straight, too, but it’s too dark in there to see if it dips suddenly down. What I wouldn’t give for a lantern right about now.”
.

Curious egret peers into pipe entrance.

Curious egret peers into entrance – babsjeheron

Egret was thinking to himself, “These tunnels are all starting to look the same to me,” until he came across this one. “Yikes, there are bars on this one. I wonder if the bars are intended to keep what’s inside in, or what’s outside out?”
.

“Maybe I should go ask Alice before I try to go through any of them” Egret sighed at last before launching into flight.
.
.

The End.
.
.
Please CLICK HERE for more Great Egret Photos . (Note: I will update the Gallery with more photos soon.)
/.
.
Obligatory Great Blue Heron:

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

Great Blue Heron Fishes with Feather – babsjeheron

.
.
.
This post is prompted by Cee Neuner and the creative and inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community of photographers and writers. This week, the Lens Artists focus on gorgeous photos with the theme of It’s All About the Light.

There are many kinds of light – natural and artificial, incandescent, LED, Ultra-Violet, sunrise, sunset, and do you remember what Noel Coward wrote about the noon sun – “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”

But there’s another kind of light: light-hearted. And that is what today’s Great Egret post is all about – just a silly bit of light-hearted fun.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Close Up The Great Egret is giving those three tunnels a close up inspection.
.
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 162: About the Light .
.

.

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 they need your love.

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

2015 (May), 2016 (March and July), 2018 (May, June, July), 2019 (December), 2020 (January) several one-woman photography shows at TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
.
2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary
.

.

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Gone Fishing

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

Great Blue Heron Catching Large Fish – babsjeheron

Fresh beauty opens one’s eyes wherever it is really seen.

John Muir
The Mountains of California

Are there any artists who don’t fall in love with their models, their muses? I am enamored of them all, the Great Blue Herons I’ve been observing for the past two decade in the watershed here. 

Our winters can be harsh, so generally I’m not able to be out on the water from December until April. Once back on the lakes each spring, I survey the area, looking for each of the individuals in their usual territory of years past. There is one active nest visible by kayak, and another two that I’ve pegged based on observation of flight paths and satellite photos, and the two main rookeries are three to four miles distant.

Inventorying the Herons once the brooding of eggs has started is a challenge. During nesting when at least one parent adult is with the chicks at the nest round the clock 24/7, the number of birds to be found foraging along the shoreline is cut in half. 

By early August, though, when the year’s crop of nestlings has fledged and the adults are no longer needed at the nest, its easier to find the whole population.

Each year brings great relief when I find the individuals I’ve been following over the years, and also some anxiety around the missing Herons. And of course, it’s an interesting exercise to identify immatures who have gone through their molt, taking on adult plumage that alters their appearance markedly since I last had seen them the previous autumn.

Great blue heron with flowering grasses in small pond. © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron with flowering grasses in small pond – babsjeheron

The Heron shown in the long shot above is one I was anxious about that previous summer. It first started letting me photograph back in 2006, but was absent all during 2012, not a single sighting. Herons can live upwards of 15 years, with some reportedly as old as 23. It was fully adult back in 2006, when I would have pegged the age around 7, give-or-take, which might have put it around 13 that previous summer. I wondered about survival.

In my secret fantasy, the Herons who have gone missing have merely moved on to one of the other lakes or ponds in the watershed, although I know that the reality is that some simply are no more.

Imagine my elation one afternoon, then, realizing that my fantasy came true for this Great Blue Heron: for the first time in two summers, I found the Heron – plying the grassy shores of a small pond about a mile and a half from the large lake where it used to feed. I was thrilled.

However, sightings of this Great Blue Heron after the one day at that small pond continued to be elusive.

Fast forward four years and 6.6 miles. In the intervening four years, I had moved houses and with that move came walking distance access to the Charles River dam and the scenic fish ladder you can see in the photo at the top of this post.

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.

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

Great Blue Heron at the Dam – babsjeheron

And what about the Great Blue and the Salmon shown in the top photo?

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

The Great Blue Heron tenuously worked her way up the fish ladder, scanning the rushing waters for lunch. The river was in drought conditions that subdued the usually-robust waterfall to a trickle, and her customary fishing hole at the base of the falls proved fruitless.

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

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

True to that Douglas Adams quote, she finally turned around and looked right at the fish ladder, and left no doubt at all about that Salmon.

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

Great Blue Heron Has Gone Fishing – babsjeheron

Fortunately for the Great Blue Heron, the ‘no fishing in fish ladder’ sign and policy don’t apply to Herons.

And fortunately, too, for this photographer who watched the exciting scene unfold.

And this is where my inner-Heron-geek gets unleashed. I have written recently about the many ways wildlife lovers can identify specific individual birds or animals: unique behaviors, specific territories, distinguishing features, scars, and more.

Remember the Great Blue Heron pictured above in that small pond with the tall golden grasses? The one I was elated to see after a two-year absence from the big lake? Four years later and 6.6 miles south, on an entirely different body of water I found that Heron again – catching a Salmon in the fish ladder.

So, sometimes birds that we think are no longer alive are still with us – they have simply moved on to on new territories.

I love happy endings.
.
.
This post is prompted by Cee Neuner, Debbie Smyth, and the inimitable Lens Artists Tina, Amy, Patti, and Leya, all of whom encourage the community. This week, the Lens Artists focus on gorgeous photos with the theme of Feet and Shoes. What a fun topic!

In the case of this Great Blue Heron, the scarred legs and damaged toes gave it away for me:

Great Blue Heron Has Gone Fishing - babsjeheron © 2021 Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron Has Gone Fishing – Note inset of toes – babsjeheron

.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC: Black and White challenge
.

Thanks to Debbie for her Six Word Saturday . This post title has the requisite six words!
.

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 161: Feet and Shoes .
.

From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 161: Feet and Shoes .
.

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 161: Feet and Shoes .

.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 161: Feet and Shoes .
.

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 they need your love.

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

2015 (May), 2016 (March and July), 2018 (May, June, July), 2019 (December), 2020 (January) several one-woman photography shows at TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
.
2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary
.

.

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, B&W
Read the rest of this entry

Great Blue Herons Guest…Philosopher? (Thoreau on Walden Pond)

Walden Pond reflection - New Year's Eve.

Walden Pond reflection – babsjeheron

…nature is one and continuous everywhere.

Henry David Thoreau
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers / Walden; Or, Life in the Woods / The Maine Woods / Cape Cod 

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

Thoreau contemplating snow in front of his cabin at Walden Pond – babsjeheron

Walden Pond is a grounded space, a grounding place that I like to revisit around the start of each new year, and my intention one New Year’s Eve was a solitary sojourn. It was sublime that day, wandering the pond’s shoreline in solitude.

I was alone there save for Henry David Thoreau standing next to his small cabin. Someone earlier had placed a carved piece of snow in his hand, and it was amusing to see Thoreau staring at it intently, as if contemplating snow. It was a perfect, light-hearted grace note.

And did Henry David Thoreau ever conjure up a snowman to keep him company at Walden Pond when in a whimsical mood one day?

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

Snowpilgrim at Walden Pond in the waning light – babsjeheron

Perhaps, perhaps not, but someone else did.

This snowpilgrim sat perfectly still like that for hours while I wandered around. I believe she was meditating.

She had melted a little from the traditional configuration. Or maybe I’m mistaken and it never was stacked with three large balls of snow like a classical snowman at all. After all, Thoreau wasn’t much of a traditionalist. So perhaps it always was in this pose, gazing out over the waters, thinking mysterious things?

The setting sun cast wintry golden light through the trees on the far shore, reflecting the sky and horizon on the softly frozen water. I had Walden Pond all to myself then – except for that sculpted snowperson watching over the shore and Henry David Thoreau contemplating snow.
.
.
What about the Great Blue Herons you usually see in my blog? Where would Thoreau stand on Herons? I’ll let Ralph Waldo Emerson respond:

“…Our naturalist had perfect magnanimity; he had no secrets; he would carry you to the heron’s haunt, or even to his most prized botanical swamp, — possibly knowing that you could never find it again, yet willing to take his risks. ”

Excerpted from
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Eulogy of Henry David Thoreau, May 9, 1862, Atlantic Monthly, 1862

.
Obligatory Great Blue Heron photograph:

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

Young Great Blue Heron in Molt – babsjeheron

.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC Challenge: July. I chose tan as the topic from her photo. Thoreau’s cabin had tan siding.
.
Thanks to Nancy Merrill for her A Photo a Week Challenge: Reflection. Two images in my post show reflections on Walden Pond.
.

The always-inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Patti, Amy, and Leya are still taking a much-deserved and much-needed break for the month of July. This week’s challenge focuses on the topic Along Back Country Roads. Beth Smith from her blog Wandering Dawgs is the host this week. There are a couple of different ways to get to Walden Pond. my favorite is the back road way.

Thanks to Beth for her Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 158: Along Back Country Roads . There are a couple of different ways to get to Walden Pond. my favorite is the back road way. To learn more about the Walden Pond Visitor Center CLICK HERE.
.

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 they need your love.

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

2015 (May), 2016 (March and July), 2018 (May, June, July), 2019 (December), 2020 (January) several one-woman photography shows at TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
.
2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary
.

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.
.

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, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick, Walden, Thoreau
Read the rest of this entry

Great Blue Herons Abundant Nests (Not Art Nbr 29)

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

Great Blue Heron flying from the nesting island across the channel to gather twigs – babsjeheron

With upwards of fifty Great Blue Heron nests, this island is absolutely ripe with new beginnings, with the seeds of new life.

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

Six Great Blue Heron nests on the island. The flying Heron in the top photo here is the same Heron flying up to it’s mate in this photo – babsjeheron Click here to see a panorama showing thirty-two occupied nests.

[Note: Ordinarily, I feel that if I need to use yellow circles to point out features in a photo, I’m on a slippery slope and probably shouldn’t publish them, but it was an extraordinary experience to see such abundant Great Blue Heron nesting (and mating) taking place on the island, so I’ve made an exception.]

I stood along the shoreline, binoculars trained on the island, trying to count nests and Great Blue Herons. The island is a good distance from shore and even at a healthy magnification through the binocs, that is a challenge. It occurred to me it would be easier to take a series of photos and stitch them together and count the nests and birds that way.

Sweeping the camera from West to East the length of the island for the panorama, I had zoomed in on a nest with a Heron that was closest to me, and suddenly out of the corner of my eye realized that a second Heron was making a beeline across the channel, flying fairly low across the waters towards me.

I started firing off frames – with little time for re-focusing – and at the last moment, only a couple of yards from shore and me, the Heron shown in the top photo in this post arced sharply upwards into the stand of tall pines along the shore to my right.

The pine bough shook and bounced and then quivered under the bird’s weight, and then the Heron poked up its head and looked straight at me.

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

Great Blue Heron bouncing after landing in the pines, then turning to look at me – babsjeheron

The Great Blue Heron climbed higher into the pine, in and out of view, and then – just as suddenly as it had arrived – it took off back to the island.

I watched it course across the lake and then up, up to the top of the trees there, landing at the nest.

I watched some more through the binocs, and the Heron once again made a beeline for me, only to soar into the nearby pines once again at the last minute. I watched the boughs bounce and the Heron clamber about in the tree for five to ten minutes before it returned to the nest across the waters.

This odd behavior repeated itself several more times before I was able to get a proper focus on the Heron as it was about to leave the pine on my shore and return to the nest. This time I saw it: the Heron had a long twig dangling from its bill as it swooped down from the pine.

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

Great Blue Heron leaves the pine tree carrying a twig for the nest across the channel – babsjeheron

It was building a nest, gathering its lumber from off-island. Until that day, I had never before seen nest building in person, how exciting that was.

I then focused the binocs back on the nest to better watch the Heron weaving the twigs into the nest and it was then that I noticed: not one, but two Great Blue Herons in the nest. Two adults. Two adults building their nest together. Thrilling to watch.

After a while, they celebrated the day’s nest building efforts with full-on mating – more thrilling, an incredible sight even from the distant shore.

I took more than 500 photos that day. The island is far from shore and totally inaccessible to man: boating is prohibited and there are no access roads. There isn’t much detail in many of the photos here, and they are not art, but I wanted to share that experience with you. Readers of this blog know I’m both fine art photographer and nature photographer, and the only “fine art” in today’s post is that of the Great Blue Herons, themselves, building their nests. There is no doubt that buildibg large sturdy nests is an art, nests that are capable of keeping eggs and chicks safe in our often wild New England weather.

I am enamored of that Great Blue Heron, his industriousness in foraging for twigs and taking them back to his mate in the nest. That Heron had come to know me from my frequent walks along the shoreline there. I’m humbled that he accepted my presence that day of nest building and mating.

Click here to see a panorama showing thirty-two occupied nests.
.
.

Thanks to Cee for her CMMC Challenge: July. I chose trees and green as the topic from her photo. Green pine trees are abundant and blanket the nesting island and shoreline across the channel.

.
Thanks to Debbie for her One Word Sunday: Count.
.

The always-inspiring Lens Artists Tina, Patti, Amy, and Leya are still taking a much-deserved and much-needed break for the month of July. This week’s challenge focuses on the topic Along Back Country Roads. Beth Smith from her blog Wandering Dawgs is the host this week. This memorable encounter with the Great Blue Heron gathering twigs for the nest took place during a walk along a road near my home.

Thanks to Beth for her Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 158: Along Back Country Roads . This Great Blue Heron encounter took place during a walk along a road near my home.
.

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 they need your love.

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

2015 (May), 2016 (March and July), 2018 (May, June, July), 2019 (December), 2020 (January) several one-woman photography shows at TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
.
2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary
.

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.
.

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, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick
Read the rest of this entry

Birds Just Wanna Get Cool (Not Art Nbr 27)

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

Great Blue Heron on Float – babsjeheron

Come on in, the water’s fine!
(File this post under pure silliness…)

.

Even the Great Blue Heron and Great Egret are looking for relief on this very hot summer day.

  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com) Egret pondering paddle boat. How many egrets will this boat hold?

Egret pondering paddle boat – babsjeheron

How many birds will this boat hold, anyway? I promised the whole gang a paddle boat excursion today.

Let’s see, there’s one of me, plus eight herons… Maybe we need two paddleboats!

Well, if that won’t work, we can always soak up some rays on the beach, and hey, look, the lifeguards are still on duty!

  © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)  Egret just wants to have fun.

Egret just wants to have fun – babsjeheron

Guys, believe me, this is going to be a great afternoon.

Why look, there are picnic tables over there! Wanna see if they have any goodies for us?

What do you mean birds shouldn’t mooch people food?

The pigeons and seagulls do it all the time. Why not egrets and herons?

Guys? Guys?

Well, that’s the last time I agree to coordinate a meetup for you guys.
.

.
.
Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Nature Animals.

Thanks to Cee also for her CMMC: Eyes. The Great Egret is eyeing that paddleboat and beach picnic with great interest.
.
.
This week’s Lens Artist challenge from the always inspiring and creative artists Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya, focuses on our Wonderful World. Check out the Lens Artists’ Shade and Shadows photos here:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 153: Wonderful World .
.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 153: Wonderful World .

From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 153: Wonderful World .

From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 153: Wonderful World .

.

,
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 they need your love.

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

2015 (May), 2016 (March and July), 2018 (May, June, July), 2019 (December), 2020 (January) several one-woman photography shows at TCAN – The Center for Arts Natick
.
2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
.
2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
,
2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary
.

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.
.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

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

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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Gets the Point (Memory Lane Nbr 1)

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

Solar Twinkle Spots and My Kayak – babsjeheron

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

.
My goal that December was to spend New Year’s Eve out on the lake in my kayak. Mother Nature had other ideas, and the lake was frozen over on December 31st. This was the last kayak photo that year. The sparkling spots were from sunlight glinting on the slushy ice.
.
Changing the subject for a moment, I am recovering from some foot and eye injuries that mean I won’t be in my kayak any time soon. I long to be out with my Heron friends and that poem is a source of optimism. Please humor me as I’ve combined three photo challenges here. Reading and writing are a challenge these days.
.
.
Changing the subject once again, fall migration can be very exciting in the cove, and no two years are alike. The scene below shows my favorite spot on the water, as my favorite Great Blue Heron was literally overrun by ducks who had been practicing their take offs and landings ahead of migrating. By the following evening, they were all gone, off to their winter grounds.
.

The first wave of incoming ducks approaches the great blue heron.

For twelve minutes the ducks arrived non-stop…

.

Even more incoming ducks approaching the great blue heron as twilight deepens.

…in wave after wave overtaking the Heron as purple twilight deepened – babsjeheron.

.

And just for the lighter side, I saved the best for last:

Great blue heron in molt preening.

Great blue heron in molt preening – babsjeheron.
(Here’s the carrot…but where’s the stick?)

i took many photos of the above Great Blue Heron preening, and his bill poked through on only one single frame. It was a blink and you would have missed it moment. In fact, I did miss it entirely there in the cove real-time. Only did I see it when flipping through the downloaded photos. I like those sorts of surprises!

.
Thanks to Cee for her CMMC Color Purple. The twilight sky bathed the ducks and heron in an ever-deepening purplish hue, and the color of the kayak takes on a purple tone in some conditions.

.
Debbie’s One Word Sunday’s prompt asks for posts with a Point . Do you like the humorous carrot-like point of the heron’s bill as it penetrates his wing feathers while preening? The kayak bow is also a pointy thing.

.

The inspiring Lens Artists – Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya – focus on Spots and Dots this week, with some very unique photos on their sites. Check them out:

From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 148: Spots and Dots .

.
.
,

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™

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

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

%d bloggers like this: