Jordan Lake, Haw River 16 minutes after the sun rose … I was tracking a male osprey as he came in over the dam and almost disappeared down into the shadows of the riprap and the sudden glare of the sun. I watched the osprey flare and snatch his fish and then the quiet morning exploded in osprey shrieks and great blue heron gronks. A large light grey shadow was closing in on the osprey. I don’t know if the heron had had an eye on the same fish as the osprey or that the heron took exception to the osprey disturbing his morning fishing. The osprey fled the river with his fish and out over the dam and the heron grumbled his way back to the riprap shoreline.

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: I was tracking the great blue heron, hoping it would cross in front of the trees with their fresh light green leaves and give me a nicely composed landscape photo. The heron obliged me and did just that. But, when I got home I found that another critter had managed to get photographed too! Have you found the squirrel yet?

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: sometimes Mother Nature makes me heartedly laugh! This great blue heron appears to have special antennae just for locating fish. But joyful laugher aside, the plumes are there because it is the start of breeding season and he has put on his finery. The season is also why his chest plumes are so extravagant. The wind tossed those special feathers every which way. Those plumes almost caused the extinction of herons and egrets in this country: back when ladies wore elaborate hats and wanted those feathers to add to their perceived finery.

Jordan Lake: On June 5, 2020, Captain Doug and I, while out on Jordan Lake, came across a great blue heron.  He had somehow peeled his face from the corner of his beak to just in front of his eye.  We both wondered if he would be able to heal.  Captain Doug kept an eye out for the heron as the weeks went by, but didn’t see him.  Then on September 16, 15 weeks later, we found the great blue heron.  Eye still bright.  Skin scarred around the eye and pulling it into an oval, but the bird looked just fine.  Does have a very distinct look.  Whew!!!