About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, September 06, 2010

H is for Heron (Great Blue)




A couple of months ago, Lorne went off on his own one day, armed with his trusty camera. He loves to go down to the local marina and watch the boats come and go in between reading his latest book. That day, he was given a wonderful sight - a Great Blue Heron was sunning itself in the marshy area nearby. I hope you enjoy the short slide show I put together of his photos.

From my book "Birds of British Columbia" - the Great Blue Heron is probably the best-known bird in British Columbia. It hunts a variety of small animals day or night along rivers, lakeshores, beaches, fields and seashores. They nest together in the tops of trees in sites often known as rookeries. The oldest known colony in British Columbia is in Vancouver's Stanely Park, where permanent scopes are set up to view the birds. In flight, Great Blue Herons fold their necks back over their shoulders in an S-shape and make slow-motion movements with their wings. Similar looking cranes stretch their necks out when flying.

Since living in this area of BC since 1978, I've had the opportunity to see many many herons standing by the side of roadways, in ditches, at the Boundary Bay Regional Park, and in country fields everywhere. In the late 80's to mid 90's, our house must have been right in their line of flight because every Spring, Summer, and Fall evening around 8:00 I'd sit out on the patio to watch them fly overhead on their way to somewhere.

In early October of 1986, my (late) husband and I went down to the local mall and went our own ways to do some chores. We met up later at the Sandcastle Art Gallery (no longer there) where I found him admiring a brand new work of art by Carl Brenders.

The artist writes: Since childhood, I have had a special place in my heart for herons. It always fascinated me to see the standing on one leg, their long necks seeming to disappear into the feathers of their bodies. I had observed them in this particular stance so often that it seemed natural I should depict them in this way in my first major heron painting. Winter often attempts a final attack at spring by covering the new life appearing everywhere with a blanket of snow. This creates a special effect in the wetlands with the yellow sunlight penetrating the cold, early morning mist surrounding the heron, who is in his breeding plumage.

I had already seen the picture a few days earlier and had fallen in love with it. However, I hadn't mentioned it because we'd just bought our new house and I felt it would have been extravagant to purchase it. As I got closer to my husband that day, he turned to me and said, "Isn't this the most wonderful picture!" I told him that I'd already seen it and did, in fact, love it! He then said, "I'm buying it for your birthday then!" Even though he's been gone now for 18 years, I still have that painting and will never part with it. (Click to see larger version of picture.)

37 comments:

nancygrayce said...

Beautiful bird, beautiful pictures and beautiful memories!

I hope Lorne is feeling better. :)

RuneE said...

Well done! I have tried to get a proper shot of our local herons, but without success.

PS Thank you for the common. The coast is not unlike the area around Vancouver and further north, only your mountains are much taller.

Sylvia K said...

Such lovely herons! And a great post for the H Day! Lovely memories indeed! I do hope Lorne is doing better. Holding good thoughts for your both!

Sylvia

EG Wow said...

Herons are such beautiful birds. I LOVE the art work

Rumya said...

Beautiful Pictures of the Heron and a lovely write as well.

Nanka said...

Such beauties these Herons. They seem to have all the time in the world to stand and stare. Love all the pictures.

Carver said...

I love the great blue herons. We have them where I live too and they are a delight to watch. Beautiful photographs and also memories.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the slide show of the herons (so many of them around Delta, I know) and the story of the painting is a real H for heartbreaker. Gorgeous painting.
Kay
Alberta, Canada

Leo said...

what lovely photos, Leslie :) the slideshow took a while to load, but twas worth the wait.. a beautiful H post :D

My H Post

photowannabe said...

Precious memories. I love that picture too. It almost breathes, especially in the Golden Hour.

mrsnesbitt said...

Lovely Leslie, heart warming infact! Dxx

Wendy said...

I love Herons, there's something so majestic about them. And what a wonderful gift to have your husband buy you such a special birthday present! Thank you for this wonderful post :)

Roger Owen Green said...

Ok, Leslie, ya gotta stop telling these stories that make me a little verklempt...

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for a beautiful slide, a very wonderful story and an exquisite painting! Brilliant!
Have a great Wednesday!

Manang Kim said...

What a beautiful shot!!

ABC Wednesday-H

Tumblewords: said...

Terrific slide show! I've always been partial to herons, too. Occasionally catch sight of one or two in a marshy area north of here. The painting is superb!

Petrus said...

Lovely looking bird - very impressive. You are so lucky to be near such wildlife.

Julie said...

What a delightful story, Lesley, and such a wonderful way to remember your husband.

I have just started a life in bird-watching and am enjoying it immensely. The people are quite wonderful, too.

Hildred and Charles said...

Beautiful post Leslie. We occasionally see Herons here at 'Ginty's Pond' and it is always a treat. They are such elegant birds. Love the Carl Bender picture, - I posted one of his prints recently - a lovely picture of swallows preparing to migrate. His pictures are beautiful.

Gramma Ann said...

What a delightful slide show and painting with the lovely account with it. Great choice for H day.

Cheryl said...

You captured my attention with this video and the post. I love GBHs! Thanks for so many great images.

Paula Scott said...

What a sweet and lovely memory! I'm so glad he bought that for you so that you would have something as wonderful as this to look back on so many years after he's gone. I can see why you fell in love with that image. It captures what captivates those of us who do love herons and have a special place in our hearts for them. They come down here and winter which I am always excited about.

Beverley Baird said...

Loved your slide show! The heron is beautiful! We have one near us but I have never been able to get this close to it.
When we were in BC 2 summers ago I was able to get quite close to one in a park and get a number of photos!
The painting is gorgeous! I have learned to act on those times when I've been touched by a work of art. I have never regretted it!

Carol said...

Such elegant, regal birds and lovely photos! Thank you for sharing.

magiceye said...

brilliant collection and touching tale

VioletSky said...

I'm always on the lookout for herons, they have such grace to them. and their chest feathers look so funny.
Great pictures and I, too, love that painting.

Anna said...

Wonderful post about the Great Blue Heron!
I'm impressed!
Best wishes,
Anna

Anna's H-word-abcWed

Vernz said...

wow, so cool, we don't have these birds around my place here in the Phils... they are a beauty..

Hope you can drop by
My ABC Wednesday post here

Willa said...

Beautiful proud bird. it's been 6 years since I saw one,and that was when we went to NC beach.

Dimple said...

Enjoyable slide show! We see blue herons occasionally, if we are near the water. They are magnificent birds!

Joy said...

Lovely photos of a beautiful bird. Always makes the heart sing when herons glide over the sky, or to catch the still grey shape by a stretch of water.

LisaF said...

What a great way to spend the afternoon...camera in hand shooting wonderful wildlife like this. Enjoyed the slideshow. Great job.

Gayle said...

What a lovely story and the slide show was wonderful!

Shrinky said...

What a lovely post, ther photo's are wonderful. We have a Heron who comes to fish from the river running through our garden, he comes at dawn, and again at dusk - and I always catch my breath when I see him. Once, when we lived in London, a Heron landed in our garden, which was so tiny, he couldn't take off again! We had to call out the RSPCA folk to net him to set him free!

Liz said...

What a very special picture.

And beautiful photos of the heron.

Liz said...

Just catching up on your posts.

Love those cushions!

And you are so clever doing those slideshows.

Casdok said...

Fantastic shots = beautiful.