Regular readers know that the image of the Great Blue Heron is a favorite of this blog. The morning this was recorded, a light fog had settled over the pond.

I awoke shortly after dawn, still groggy with sleep, when I first glimpsed this iconic image. It appeared to me dream-like, ethereal, an apparition. The line between sleeping and waking blurred for a moment. I had time for one, quick shot before the big bird flew off.

Why did it leave? Was it spooked by my presence at the window (I tried to stay back), or had it simply reached the limit of its patience? Perhaps a little of both.

A second, slightly smaller Great Blue was perched on a rock a few feet further north. After this one left, I took some shots of the other, but without a similar success.

This image is ever-so-slightly soft, as if overlaid by a fine, gray film. That’s due not only to the low light and fragile fog muting the scene, but also because I had to shoot through double, insulating glass. The date was May 23, 2012, at the always magical hour of 5:36 am.

Update: This post was first published under the title, “Motif #1.” Sorry for any confusion.

See related posts: Great Blue in Fall*, Great Blue at Dawn*. Click image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close. Comments are welcome, indeed eagerly sought.


5 Responses to Great Blue Icon*

  1. Rachel Afi says:

    This is one of my favorites. I really like the natural framing that matches the color of the bird. It also makes the viewer feel like they are creeping up and peering through the forest, before the bird takes off. Thanks for these beautiful images!

  2. Terry Sullivan says:

    This is a great story. A memorable moment arose, you grabbed your nearby camera equipment, snapped a quick photo and you took a great photo. Nice!

  3. Dick Quinn says:

    Ron, the “gray film,” shimmering reflection, divided lighting, and dark sides add mystery to your thrilling photo. Five stars!

  4. Dede Reade says:


    This is a beautiful picture. I love how it is framed. The Heron is one of my favorite of all our wonderful wildlife on the pond. I never tire of watching it in flight and what it teaches me about patience…

  5. Robin Mirollo says:

    The Great Blue Heron is one of my favorites. The first one I ever saw was while riding the MBTA Commuter Rail through the Blue Hills wetlands. I grew up in Rhode Island, the “Ocean State,” so I think it’s ironic that I never encountered a heron until I moved to Massachusetts. Of course, the Great Blue is right at home in the small ponds throughout our region. Despite it’s having been shot through double-paned glass, I can detect the orange detail at the top of its wing. The foggy morning scene made a perfect canvas for this gray-blue winged creature. As if it knows. Great shot Ron!

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