This is the closest I have been to a blue heron…
With wildlife, I’m convinced that no matter how much you try to plan ahead it's really just dumb luck that you are in the right spot at the right time.
We had been driving around Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge for a few hours looking for wildlife when the clouds started rolling in and the winds picked up. It was getting pretty dark so we decided it was time to head home.
As we drove back across the dam road, a blue heron glided over the water and plopped himself down not 25 yards in front of us; right next to the only parking spot on that narrow road as if to say, “Take my picture!” We whipped over and I jumped out of the car.
Two men were fishing from the dock no more than 30 feet from him. They appeared to be drunk. They were screaming in excitement and their voices carried easily over the water.
“Did you see that!” the one fisherman exclaimed to the other as I squatted down along the edge of the road.
I didn’t want to waste this opportunity so I didn't take the time to swap lenses. With my 400mm lens and 1.4x extender on my 7D, I was far too close to Mr. Heron to get the shot and had to back up a few feet.
The second time I squatted down, I drew the drunker of the two guy’s attention, “What’s she doing, she’s not peeing right there is she?”
“Nah, she’s just takin’ a picture.”
I chuckled all night about that. If those two couldn’t scare away the heron, I don’t think anything could. I ended up leaving before he did.
Here’s a couple of other Great Blue Heron images that I shot earlier in the day….
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I am the 8th photographer in 4 generations of my family. Back in 2006, my husband accepted a job traveling and I jumped at the chance to go with him. We have spent the last 11+ years traveling the United States.