Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 11th, 2012

The shore comes inland

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The current post in The Task at Hand, entitled “Herons & Photogs & Poets, O My!”, features two poems about herons by Linda Leinen and a photograph of a great white heron by Judy Lovell. In contrast, the last couple of posts in Portraits of Wildflowers have featured (as will a few more) the native plant known poetically as snow-on-the-mountain. Yesterday, to my surprise and delight, I was able to combine the bird and the plant.

Here’s how that came about. Yesterday morning I returned to the area in Cedar Park where I’d photographed a colony of snow-on-the-mountain, Euphorbia marginata, but this time I went across the street to a small pond around which some of those plants were also growing, hoping to get pictures different from the earlier ones. No sooner did I approach the pond than I saw a great white egret, also known as a great white heron, Ardea alba. I began on the opposite side of the pond from the bird, taking my time, and gradually worked my way around the fringes. The bird stayed a certain distance ahead of me, but it didn’t seem particularly wary and let me get closer than I thought it would. One result is this picture of the heron in front of the wildflowers, a happy synchronicity in white.

In The Birds of Texas, John Tveten writes: “The great egret [Casmerodius albus] is the largest of the white herons in Texas and is distinguished by its yellow bill and blackish legs and feet,” both of which are visible here. For more information, you can consult the Wikipedia article on the great egret.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 11, 2012 at 6:00 AM

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