Heron rows forward into flight

Toward evening
the heron lifts his long wings
leisurely and rows forward

into flight. He
has made his decision: the south
is swirling with clouds, but somewhere,
fibrous with leaves and swamplands,
is a cave he can hide in
and live.

―Mary Oliver, Excerpt from A Poem for the Blue Heron


I found this particular blue heron perched atop a magnificent cottonwood tree several mornings in a row. She would sit, nonplussed, staring off into the distance while I focused my lens and waited. And waited. This made for some very stoic heron portraits. But on this particular overcast morning, she was completely alert, staring down into the water below. I held my breath while focusing the lens praying she meant business and BOOM! off she flew with those magnificent blue wings stretching into the composition.

What an amazing creature to witness up close through the viewfinder!


Photo Credits: Heron Rows Forward by Susan J. Preston, Bosque del Apache, NM © 2019, all rights reserved
Technical: Fuji XT-3 | 243mm (XF 100-400MM F4.5-5.6 R ML OIS WR) | 1/1250 | F5 | ISO 6400