Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘heron

White egret standing on a grape vine

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Herodias alba; Lakewood Park in Leander; January 12.

And here’s an unrelated quotation for today: “There’s more mendacity in the way educated people in America talk to each other now than I have ever seen in my 54 years.” — John McWhorter in a recent interview.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 1, 2021 at 4:37 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Green heron

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Click for a larger image.

On August 5th I trekked to an out-of-the-way pond in my neighborhood that I hadn’t visited in at least a year. Given the drought we’ve been in, I found the pond had partly dried up, but not enough to deter a couple of green herons, Butorides virescens, from hanging out there. Putting on my 100–400mm lens, I gradually made my way closer, finally stopping when it looked like one more step would take me into the mud of the pond’s exposed bed. In the picture above, the dead tree and its reflection were intriguing even without the bird; click to enlarge and see more detail. Below you get a closer look at one of the herons.

Here’s an unrelated quotation for today: “Three may keep a Secret, if two of them are dead.”
— Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack (1735).

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 20, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Great white herons at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

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On the roof of a shelter at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge on October 6th we saw a great white heron, Casmerodius albus. Half an hour later I got a lot closer to one that was unfortunately behind branches which had me struggling to aim through them for a clear shot. The busy background also fell short of ideal, but we photographers sometimes have to take things as they come to us. Now that I think about it, having my first and last initial come to me in the form of a heron’s neck isn’t so bad.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 5, 2019 at 4:33 AM

Great blue heron on the Pacific coast

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I’ve seen an occasional great blue heron (Ardea herodias) in Austin, but the closest I ever got to one was at Muir Beach on the Pacific coast of California on November 1st of last year. Why the bird let me get so close, I don’t know, but I wonder if my being downhill from it made me seem less threatening. From a photographer’s point of view, my lower position let me aim upward enough to isolate the heron’s head and neck against the sky.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 17, 2017 at 4:56 AM


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White Egret in Dead Trees 8174

See how this gleaming white great egret (Ardea alba) contrasts with the bare branches of the dead trees all around it. You can also contrast this bird with the somewhat bedraggled gull you saw a few days ago hunkered down on an Indiana beach. And then there’s the contrast with the second and much smaller egret below and to the left of the prominent one. The great egret, by the way, is the largest white heron in Texas.

Today’s photograph comes from Southeast Metropolitan Park on September 1.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 5, 2016 at 4:58 AM

Also at the Lower Falls

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Great Blue Heron 1237

Also at the Lower Falls in McKinney Falls State Park on April 15th I saw a great blue heron, Ardea herodias. According to John Tveten, this is the largest of our herons, standing some 4 ft. (1.2m) tall. Of the various pictures that I took of it, I’ve chosen to show this one because of the curious way the line of the bird’s bill, with its orange-brown lower part, seemed to me from a distance to follow around into the similarly colored and presumably iron-rich stain on the rock behind it that was roughly a mirror image of the heron’s neck. Notice how the dark patch on the bird’s shoulder also finds echoes in the dark depressions in the rock.

For a closer look at the heron and the stain and the dark depressions, click the excerpt below.

Great Blue Heron 1237A

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 5, 2016 at 5:13 AM

H. H.

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Heron Flying Low Over Lake 1728

On the same August 23rd outing to Meadow Lake Park in Round Rock that led me to the D.D., or dense dodder, I photographed this H.H, or handsome heron, flying low over the lake. My subject appears to be the largest of the white herons in Texas, the great egret, Ardea alba, where alba means ‘white’ (think of albumen and albino).

I haven’t had much success with pictures of an individual bird on the wing, but this one strikes me as not too bad. For the technocrats among you, I’ll add that I panned with a shutter speed of 1/800 sec. to freeze the bird’s motion and used a high enough ISO to yield an aperture of f/16 that would keep the heron sharp in case the focus was a bit off.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 26, 2015 at 5:00 AM

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