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To see this bird in real life is to realize how truly big it is, a mature Great Blue Heron, possibly male because of its size, and probably older because of the uneven coloring of its plummage. It certainly lives up to its name.

“Variform” is how I characterized the Great Blue in my last post. These four images do little more than hint at the bird’s vast contortionist repertoire.

This series was taken on August 26, 2011. The Great Blue was standing on one of the small rocks that appear during low water between Heron Rock and Smith Point, just off our little cove. Usually I see it much earlier, at dawn, perching on the massive Heron Rock itself.

A neighbor across the pond reports that she often sees a large Blue standing vigil in the early morning hours, partly hidden behind a moored rowboat. Is it the same bird, or are there other big ones around? My guess is there’s only one king of the pond.

Technical Note: The heron was too far to be captured in decent size by my telephoto lens, so I enlarged the photos digitally, on my computer. That magic does not come without a cost. If you look closely, you may notice that the images are a bit “coarse”, that is, their tonal range is compressed, but they’re certainly good enough to tell their story.

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