Saturday, October 29, 2011

Harry the Heron -- One More Look

Pretty soon, Harry the Heron will headed south -- or wherever herons go when the water in Michigan becomes covered with ice.

Indulge me with an all-heron post. One more look at Harry!

I will miss his style of natural camouflage. There are times when I really have to look for him.

I'll miss trying hard to hold my small little camera steady, the lens at full zoom, as I wait for him to give me his profile.

I'll miss his positions -- that beautiful neck extended and handsome...

...gracefully bent into an S-shape...

... or crouched as he searches for the next hapless fish to swim by.

Or this one -- gracefully twisted.

I love watching him fish. His eyes are sharp.

He'll watch the water, statue-still...

... then pounce!

I'll miss watching him preen and using that sharp beak, pick off whatever is bothering him.

I'll miss the camaraderie as people walk around the Ditch and say, "Is the bird here yet?" I've met lovely people, just talking about Harry, as we watch, spellbound, his reflection a mirror image in silhouette.

I'll miss the colors of Harry -- his gray and white against the greens and golds of autumn.

I'll miss looking for him in new places -- this wee island brought him closer than ever.

And I'll miss his dramatic contrast which would often elude me.

Sometimes photographing Harry at such a distance in light that doesn't always cooperate is tough. But even the results bring their own energy and memories.

Some moments are simply, as Relyn says, unphotographable. I call them photographs of the heart. This is almost the closest I could get to Harry in flight. And that's OK.

It's twilight at the Ditch. Soon, the last of the color will be whisked away by windy nights and rainy days.

Harry will head to warmer waters. And I will await his return...

... remembering a beautiful autumn and my beautiful big bird.

NOTE #1: For those of you in the Lansing area who would like to catch a look at Harry, he's located in the largest pond of the drainage ditch between Wood and Fairview, just north of Grand River.

NOTE #2: Visit "Chopsticks and String" for a look at the book "The Paris Wife."


  1. I feel like I've gotten to know Harry through your postings.

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  3. Hi Harry,
    you would like all these great pictures of you if you were able to see them all..:-))
    Hopefully there are not thousands of people coming to visit you in your large pond....May be you are a star now!!
    I wish you a safe flight to warmer water and please return in time!

  4. This is a gorgeous series, Jeanie ... each one of them, a picture from the heart. Hope you have plans to frame these -- a reminder of good friends who will return in the spring.

  5. I love your posts of Harry! You get such great pictures of him. It will be sad to see him go... He has quite a few fans out here in blogland! :)

  6. What an amazing photo story and fantastic photo's! I felt like I was transported to Harry's pond for that short moment - so meditative. Thanks heaps for taking me there.

  7. Jeanie!!! First - thank you so much for the "well wishes"...I feel so much better! I literally was just thinking of you yesterday as we were driving up to Grand Rapids for a soccer game- and thinking how much color there was still in MI when your comment came into my inbox. I tried to comment back but Verizon was being particuluar and would not let me. As we turned into Aquinas- there sitting in the little pond was a heron. How ironic!!! Anyway- LOVE your pics- I have been known to stalk the herons around here when I ride my bike on the bike path. I think they are beautiful and are such fun to photograph- and you got some great ones!!! Happy Sundaying and Halloween!!!

  8. What a wonderful series - I'm just wild about Harry! And I'll put out the welcome mat here on Galveston Bay. He might not come this far, but if he's smart, he will. We may have a drought, but we will have lots and lots of fish - just what a hungry heron needs!

  9. what a wonderful tribute
    to the beauty that Harry
    has broght to your life
    (and all of ours!)
    ....isn't it wonderful to have
    something that makes saying goodbye
    so hard (A.A. Milne)
    Happy winter travels to Harry
    and beautiful Autumn beginnings
    to you,

  10. What a beautiful bird this Harry is. You showed him in so many beautiful lightning that it would be hard to chose a favorite. You took some outstanding nature photography there I think with Harry.

  11. I wonder if Harry winters at my father's house. Dad has several "Harrys" in the wetlands that surround his house. I hope your Harry makes a safe trip back to you in the spring.

  12. Oh! There's my old friend Harry. I am glad to see him again. I hope he has a healthy winter.

  13. Harry is your photographic muse. He brings out the genius in your talent for photography and writing a narrative about your experience with your muse.

    This was truly amazing. I have never seen a blue heron in the wild. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Wow the photos are awesome. How great to have captured so many - he's wonderful!

    Something new will be coming your way to photograph soon I'm sure.

    Enjoy your week!

  15. Wow Jeanie, these are amazing photos. The Heron is one kind of bird that I will never see here in our province. I don't know about B.C. But your post is wonderful... and you're so lucky to have Harry as your neighbor! ;)

  16. Bon Voyage, dear Harry! Have a happy winter and come back to us again in the Spring. Lovely pictures Jeanie!

  17. Beautiful pix! And I loved reading about Harry! We had our ow Harry in our back yard last month. Amazing to watch those wings.


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