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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.
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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.

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Thanks to Debbie for her One Word Sunday: Count.
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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.
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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
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2018 (September, October) one-woman photography show at Natick Town Hall
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2013 thru now 2021 Five Crows Gallery in Natick
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2009 one-woman photography show at a local Audubon Sanctuary
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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.
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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.
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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

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

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

For twelve minutes the ducks arrived non-stop…

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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 .

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

Beautiful Great Blue Heron Balancing on the Fish Ladder

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

Great Blue Heron Balanced on Fish Ladder- 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 blog and I have been very quiet for many months due to serious illness that has prevented outings in nature.

This morning, though, I ventured to the nearby dam for the first time since last September, camera in hand. Less than five seconds after arriving, a beautiful heron swooped down to fish at the base of the waterfall. It was the same heron you see at the top of this post.

I was, and still am, thrilled to see her again.

Life has given me a heron, as the poem says. .
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Thanks to the Lens Artists Patti, Tina, Amy, and Leya for their unstinting devotion to elevating and celebrating photography.
From Patti Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 53: Your Choice.
From Tina Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 53: Your Choice.
From Amy Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 53: Your Choice.
From Leya Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 53: Your Choice.

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Thanks to Debbie for her Travel with Intent Challenge – One Word Sunday: Relax. Although I was relaxed while waiting for this Heron to pounce on her lunch from the pooling water below the fish ladder, she was anything but, poised there on one foot, straining her neck and head downward for a better view of any fish that had cascaded over the waterfall.

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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.
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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.
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From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced 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. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the current gallery show at TCAN. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2019 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Great Blue Heron, TCAN, Five Crows, Natick

Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Peace on Earth 2018 (Not Art Nbr 22)

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

Great Blue Heron Peace on Earth 2018 – babsjeheron

“…I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things…”

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry, excerpt
from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

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Thanks to Tina for her Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 24: Seasonal. What is more seasonal than a holiday greeting card?.
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Thanks to Debbie for her Travel with Intent Challenge – One Word Sunday: Christmas Time. Even the Heron gets in the holiday spirit.
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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.
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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.
.

From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced 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. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the current gallery show at TCAN. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
.
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Through July 13, 2017 I was a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area. Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

.
.

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, Natick

Beautiful Great Blue Heron and Magical Light

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

Great blue heron diving beneath the surface – babsjeheron.

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon…

The Sun, Mary Oliver, excerpt
New and Selected Poems

It was the golden hour, that last hour of daylight when the sun’s rays bathed the cove in gold.

The backlit gold-orange spray of water droplets danced before my eyes as the Great Blue Heron plunged her head beneath the surface in pursuit of a prize catch.

It was so close to twilight that the Heron’s body was nearly camouflaged against the slate-grey rocks.

A few moments later, the Heron and I were both rewarded. She with this huge fish and me with these photos.

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

Solar Twinkles and Kayak – babsjeheron

This is the kayak used for my photography.
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Thanks to Amy for her Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 19: Magical Light. I find golden hour light to be sheer magic.
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Thanks to Cee for her CFFC: Things People Drive Ride Pilot or Captain. The kayak shown here has been my vehicle-of-choice for many years.
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Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent Challenge – One Word Sunday: Purple. Yes, the kayak is a shade of purple.
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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.
.

From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced 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. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the current gallery show at TCAN. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
.
.
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, Natick

Great Blue Heron in Autumn Nbr 6 Urges Get Out the Vote

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

Great blue heron in small pond in Autumn.

This is a politics-free space. You won’t hear me advancing any political agenda.

The Great Blue Herons, on the other hand, want to remind everyone – regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof – to vote when and where you can so that your voice can be heard.

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A couple of days ago, I took down my one-woman Great Blue Heron photography show that had been hanging at the Natick Town Hall for the months of September and October. A couple of the Heron photos were displayed above examples of election ballots. Upon entering the building, this sign reminded everyone that early voting was underway.

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

Early Voting in Natick Town Hall

Whatever your party affiliation or lack thereof, please exercise your right to vote this week. The future depends on you.

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Thanks to Debbie for this week’s Travel with Intent Challenge – One Word Sunday: Earth. Nearly all of the Heron photos on my blog were captured from my kayak floating on the water. The photo in today’s post, however, was taken with both feet planted firmly on earth. Out of hundreds of thousands of Heron photos, all but two locations were shot from the water. Less than 100 of the photos were captured on solid earth. This photo is one of them.
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Thanks to Dawn for her Festival of Leaves: Week 7. I was delighted to see this Great Blue Heron in the small pond on my afternoon walk. A woman with a small child also stood at pond’s edge, transfixed by the Heron. It was a thrilling moment for all three of us.
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Thanks to Su for her (The) Changing Seasons Challenge. One final submission for Su’s delightful October challenge. Where has the year gone, November already? (I wrote this post while it was still October. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
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Thanks to LEYA for this week’s Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge 17: Blending in or Standing Out. As seen form this vantage point, the Great Blue Heron in the top photo of this post stands out. But from across the pond, the Heron blends in behind the grasses, as you can see in the thumbnail at left. Same Heron, same pond, same day – it’s all a matter of perspective.
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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.
.

From May 1 through July 11, 2018, my Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced 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. If you’re in the Boston or Metro West area, please stop by to see the current gallery show at TCAN. The gallery is open whenever the box office is open, so please check hours here.
.
.
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, Natick

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