Posts Tagged ‘water birds’

for Lens-Artists Challenge #115: inspiration

I know it’s rude to watch someone while they’re eating, and even worse, take photos, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I caught this snowy egret mid-gulp and nope, I don’t feel bad about it at all.

Snowy egret or great egret? Egret or heron? If you’re not sure which egret is which, as I wasn’t, the site linked above lets you compare types side-by-side, which is really helpful. The snowy egret has a dark beak with yellow at the top and by the eyes as well as yellow feet, which you can’t see here. The great egret has a yellow-orange bill and is much larger. But I didn’t know that egrets are also herons. Did you?

And did you know snowy egrets were once more precious than gold? The allaboutbirds site says:

During the breeding season, adult Snowy Egrets develop long, wispy feathers on their backs, necks, and heads. In 1886 these plumes were valued at $32 per ounce, which was twice the price of gold at the time. Plume-hunting for the fashion industry killed many Snowy Egrets and other birds until reforms were passed in the early twentieth century. The recovery of shorebird populations through the work of concerned citizens was an early triumph and helped give birth to the conservation movement.

Talk about killer fashion! Makes me even happier to see crowds of these fashion leaders now at the Riparian Preserve!

After several trips to the Riparian Preserve, I’d seen a variety of birds and lots of egrets, but no herons. Then one day I glanced to my right as I passed one of the lakes and there he was, Mr. GBH. Sylvia at anotherday2paradise and I joke about Mr GBH (Great Blue Heron) as she calls hers. I told her that from my reading of British mysteries/thrillers, I think of GBH as “grievous bodily harm.” I’m sure that’s the interpretation the fish put on those initials!

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

After powering through all that snow without a sight of any wildlife other than small birds, I headed back towards where my van was parked.  Crossing the dam, I looked down the river to my left and saw what appeared to be large grey spot quite a distance away in the snow by the water.  But I wondered whether it might be a heron, as I’d seen one some weeks earlier.

Taking out my camera with the telephoto, I focused.  Yes! It was a heron, hunched over, balancing on one leg while looking cold despite his nice and puffy down coat.  I guess he must have been ice fishing.  It was the view that made me morning complete.

(Anyone else having issues with WP formatting some of the words differently in the final post, even though they don’t show up that way in the original?  I didn’t change “nice and puffy down coat” above, but there it is.)

© janet m. webb

Another first Monday, so our photos today are from nature. Nature’s one of my favorite subjects, making it difficult to decide what photos to use. I went back a few summers to a day when I was meandering around the small lake near our house. It’s a wonderful place to get a bit of nature in the city but if I walk for exercise, I don’t take my iPad or camera because I stop too often. When I go for pictures, I know it will take some time to work my way around the lake.

I spotted the bird (probably a crane) and s/he was nice enough to stay put while I took some photos. The second photo is one of my favorites, my “Monet’s Lilies” picture. They’re both unedited and taken with my iPad.  I like the not-quite-sharp, slight muted quality of both the shots, although it wasn’t something I did intentionally.

A happy Monday to you!

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