Just across from the dam …


There is a challenge called Five Photos, Five Stories.  I secretly hoped to be asked to participate in it. Looked like it was right up my alley.  Sure enough, Cee at  Cee’s Photography Blog asked me to join!

I have been following Cee and participating in her challenges for a while.  If you aren’t familiar with her and her beautiful work, I invite you to visit her.

The rules of Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo (or more!)  each day for five consecutive days.

2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or nothing more than a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to you.

3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is supposed to be fun. It is not a command performance!


It was time to visit the dam in the middle of town. The weather was finally warm enough for short sleeves. Probably for shorts, too, if we felt inclined. We planned the excursion for today, knowing it would rain yesterday.


Spring is here. No leaves, but the trees have a soft, fuzzy look.  I decided to start shooting from above the dam. I usually shoot from the bridge, but I have many pictures of the dam from that angle. I thought I’d give try something different.


I felt pretty good, so I followed Garry out onto the ledge. I’m too scared of heights to go all the way. I’m a wall hugger. But I got a nice shot of the husband on the ledge. From behind. With my back against the wall.


It was just about that time when I spotted the bird. A very large bird and it wasn’t a bird I’d seen before. I got all excited and took so many pictures, I burned through my spare battery. At which point, my camera shut down. I should get a second spare battery.

Turned out, it is a Great Blue Heron. Sounds like something Perry White might say. “Great Blue Heron, Superman!” I did not know what it was. Despite all the birding sites that assure me how common it is, I’ve never seen one. I’ve spotted and photographed other herons, egrets, geese, swans, ducks of all kinds. But never one of these guys and I’m sure, given he was taller than me, I’d remember a sighting.

This bodes well for our river. The Great Blue Heron follows the fish. As of 1974, the Blackstone River was one of the top five most polluted rivers in the U.S. It has come a long way since then and this bird is the proof. If there were no fish, he would not be waiting by the river. The birds always know.

The rules of Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive day

2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.

3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!

I’ve gotten a lot of negative feedback when asking others to participate in this. I don’t understand the problem since it’s what we do anyway. We post pictures and write about them or other things of which the pictures reminds us. This challenge doesn’t require much writing. A paragraph will do.

I’m not going to ask anyone specific, but I hope a few of you will volunteer. Considering how many bloggers complain about the Daily Prompt, I would expect everyone would welcome something new. Not exactly true.

47 thoughts on “5 PHOTOS, 5 STORIES – A GREAT BLUE HERON – DAY 4

    • He was standing still for a LONG time … almost an hour. Probably waiting for a fish. I had a 600 mm lens at the ready. I was already focused on the area. I could not have been more ready — or more lucky.

      With wildlife, the good shots are always 90% luck. You are there, the bird is there. You had the right camera, the right lens in your hands and you got the shot. Otherwise, it’s another one that got away. I had a bobcat living in my backyard for two years and never got a picture of him.

      Yet he was occasionally close enough to touch, though we both passed on that opportunity. It was the original reason I started carrying a camera everywhere. A cell phone is a great little tool, but it’s not a camera and doesn’t have the lens. Even so, I don’t always have the right camera with me, nor do I necessarily have enough time to take the shot.

      Liked by 1 person

        • The mom bobcat had her kittens in the next door neighbor’s shed. Bobcats are loners, so when the kittens were old enough to fend for themselves, mom left. Number 1 son stayed until he ate everything that moved for about 6 acres. He tortured the dogs by sitting outside the fence and letting them bark themselves into a coma, then walking slowly away. Unlike what the books say, the bobcat wasn’t the least bit afraid of us. He took over my teepee and when I tried to go in, leapt out and scared about 10 years off my life.

          One day, he dropped down off the roof onto the deck next to me. Ditto on the scared out of another 10 years. Then he took the deck stairs in a single bound. Athletic fellow. Scared the life out of my son by dropping down next to him from the overhead beams of the woodshed. But never a picture. Not a one. They are mostly (but not entirely) nocturnal … and they move fast.


    • The only person I know who is NOT afraid of heights is Garry. He jumped out of airplanes for fun. Not being afraid of heights was a real plus for him as a reporter and it still makes him able to go places (obviously) I will not go. I’m not sure HE should go there either, but he’s too big to stop 🙂


    • Apparently they are all around me too. I just never saw one. I would have missed him, but he moved and that caught my eye. Do you see them in your backyard or just in the area? That is an impressive bird.


  1. Pingback: Roses are Red – Baby when you come | Naveen writes

  2. I love Herons in general, but blue Herons are really great. They are gorgeous. Your pictures are awesome, as always.

    I’ll probably jump on this bandwagon. It feels weird not blogging… and this is a good thing to do without overtaxing my stupid arm. Yesterday kinda fit the bill, right? ^_^


  3. Wow I have never seen one of them before. Makes my ducks and swans look like riff raff on the river. I envy you getting out on your walks at the moment. i am still more or less reconvalescent, but it can only get better. I now breathe and cough less but am being careful. I hope to be ready to go some time this week. I am also a wall hugger when it comes to taking photos from astounding heights. It is so much safer to lean on a wall without suspending over the distance between your feet and ground level.


    • I don’t walk as far you you had been before you got sick, but I’m getting better. I was pretty tired when I got home. We’ve been lucky recently with our little excursions. There have been geese, ducks, herons, swans … and even people! Falling down bridges and kayaks in the river. It’s a thrill a minute in our little town 🙂 I was SO excited about the heron. I thought it was a rare bird, but apparently it isn’t rare. Just I never saw one. A friend of mine assures me (and produced photographic evidence) that they breed about 10 miles north of here. I have to go see. They build HUGE nests in the trees in the swamps. They nest in colonies, so you get to see a lot of them at a time. I’ve never seen a colony of nesting anything, so maybe we can visit there. Eventually.

      The sun got tired and went away, today. And it’s chilly. I’m all bundled up in sweatshirts and turned the heat back up. But the flowers are blooming. We have made progress.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I am a hiker, spent days in the mountains climbing and hiking when I was younger. Guess what, I am terrified of heights, when I look down…it draws me into it, like something would pull on me. I love the picture of the Blue Heron, great shots. Can I participate in the challenge? I have a few pictures, from back then when I had a working camera. What do I have to do? And most importantly, does it have to be 5 days in a row?


    • I’d love your participation. I think this is what blogging is best at … showing and telling, as it were. You have great stories, too. You can start by more or less copying the description text about the challenge, link back to me, then do your own thing. If you think you know anyone who’d like to play, ask them if they are interested. If they don’t snap your head off, you are money ahead 🙂 I’m still baffled by that because (a) a simple “no thanks” would have done it for me, and (b) this is what we do. We take pictures, we write little stories. Not exactly a chain letter or a strain of anyone’s resources. People never cease to confuse me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Who could find negativity in inviting friends for this fun activity? Did they comment? e-mailed you? How sad ! As regard the tall bird, was she really taller than you? Hard to believe till I see one. I keep on watching some most beautiful birds in and around Aurangabad city, we are posted presently. but I am not good in identifying them. Not sure of their names. Google uncle doesn’t show them. Some rare species I had seen near Diu Islands. Flamingos stole my heart.


    • First of all, some people are very negative. That’s the way they are and I always think if I’m nice to them, they will change. They don’t change, not really. Others are so arrogant they think they are too important to join in someone else’s game. They must have had a hard time finding friends in school.
      The Great Blue Heron is the second tallest heron, but the heaviest. The difference between him and the goliath heron (the tallest) is a couple of centimeters. All the big herons are taller than me, but to be fair, I’m short! He is a magnificent bird. I was SO glad I had brought my camera with the super zoom lens. I couldn’t have gotten these pictures with any other camera!


    • You don’t have the same bird exactly, but you have a Gray Heron in your area that looks almost identical. They always live near water … rivers, lakes, streams, the ocean … because fish are their primary food. So while you are out and about, keep an eye open. They are there, but they tend to blend into their surrounding. I almost missed him … and Garry didn’t see him even after I pointed him out.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There is nothing that says we have to do it every day. I think some people have chosen to spread it out over a longer period for whatever reason. The fun is in finding pictures and their stories … and most of us have lots of stories and many pictures, even if we aren’t writers or photographers.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That is a very dignified looking bird. Isn’t it encouraging when the birds and fish come back to a once polluted river? As for that ledge you wouldn’t get me out there I’m afraid. I felt nervous just looking at where Garry was.


    • I was amazed I got THAT far on the ledge. I wanted the view from there, but I don’t think I’m ever going back.
      It is very encouraging that the big heron is back on the Blackstone. They have been around (apparently) in tributaries and ponds deeper in the watershed, but missing from the Blackstone, which is the main (and most polluted) river. What a treat to have them back!


  7. Some lovely photos and a great story! It is always wonderful when something special crosses your path.

    So you must have a big fear of heights (and deptgs) to hug a wall! Good luck coping with that!

    But what I would suggest : you can always challenge yourself 😉

    Have a great week!

    Kind regards, Tieme


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