Wednesday, 27 May 2015

#638 Wyoming studio, the pond: Great Blue Heron

I spend lots of time in the field traveling far and wide to experience the wildlife subjects that I use for my art.  
A pleasant feature of being in residence in Wyoming is I only have to walk a few paces from the studio to take part in the unfolding drama that constantly takes place at our pond.   Among the birds typically there, I might see a raft of migrating ducks in the fall, always nesting Canada Geese, Mallards, and Mergansers in the spring, pheasants, an occasional Sandhill Crane, Mourning Doves,  many different songbirds, White-faced Ibis, Belted Kingfisher,  Osprey, Bald Eagles,
and one of my favorites: The Great Blue Heron; which is the focus of this blog post.

Below, is John James Audubon's lithograph of the Great Blue Heron.

We've had lots of rain this spring, the pond is full, and the Great Blue has occupied the little island on the pond and fishes for small trout with its dagger-like bill.  When the heron arrives, the nesting Canadas vacate the island and move their brood to the pond's edge but always come back to the safety of the island in the evening when the heron flies off to roost.

Below, the Great Blue Heron has arrived, strides to its favorite fishing spot as the
Canada Geese move off the island with their brood.

There's an old cabin next to the pond, which along with bushes and a jon boat, provides cover when we photograph.
I'll show a picture of the old cabin in the next blog which is about the resident Canada Geese.
Below, are photos of recent events at our pond featuring the Great Blue Heron.
Trish took the first one of the bird behind the jon boat.

The Great Blue Heron is the largest North American heron and is commonly seen in every region of America except the highest elevations of the Rockies.  The big bird slowly wades or waits patiently, staring into the water when feeding and then quickly strikes any prey that comes within its reach.  They have a six to seven foot wingspan and the male is larger than the female.  The bird usually has blue-gray plumage, but in some areas it is completely white. 

Below, are two early etchings of the Great Blue Heron.

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Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

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