11.29.15: Blue on green

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Great Blue Heron standing in wetlands, Stages Pond State Nature Preserve, Ashville, Ohio. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK ARCHIVES

Technical information

Date/time:
Aug. 2, 2008,
9:58 a.m.

Location
39°40’11” N,
82°56'8" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Camera: 
Canon EOS 40D

Lens: 
Canon EF 600mm f/4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter (840mm) 

Aperture: 
f/5.6

Shutter: 
1/400th second

ISO: 
200

If I’m ever asked to describe the most serene nature scene, my words would attempt to paint a visual image that would look something like this photo.

I find standing at the edge of a wetlands area or beside a lake and watching a Great Blue Heron or Great Egret hunt for food to be extremely relaxing. The bird remains motionless for a long period of time as it watches fish swim nearby. When it makes a choice from the watery menu, the bird begins the almost imperceptible process of  lowering its head before striking quickly to catch a fish. It will hold the fish in its beak for a few minutes, occasionally tossing it in the air and recatching it to position it before swallowing. Then it returns to the methodical hunt.

I see a lot of Great Blue Herons and a few Great Egrets around the lakes and wetlands of Central Ohio. I always stop to watch and, if I have a camera with me, grab some photos.

This is one of my favorites.

The Great Blue Heron was hunting in a shallow wetlands area in Stages Pond State Nature Preserve in Ashville, Ohio, south of Columbus. Very tall, grassy plants growing on the opposite side of the wetlands and a tree line behind the grass provided a nice green reflection in the water, making the blue feathers on the bird stand out in contrast.

I really like how the few plants growing in the water help to break up the green in the foreground and the small patch of plants in the middle does the same in that area. The reflection of individual grassy plants at the top of the photo creates an almost dreamlike, defocused effect.

It’s a very serene nature scene.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.