Sweet Reflection

July 20, 2012

This edition doesn’t feature much action but I couldn’t resist sharing such a magical, morning moment when a green heron jumped on a snag to reveal its crystal clear reflection. Although most of our pond is covered with watermeal, the little heron managed to find an open patch of placid water that made a nearly perfect mirror. I continue to photograph this heron and its sibling as they hunt tadpoles and central newts. Sometimes they perch on a log for over 30 minutes before I hear a splash which snaps me back to attention and triggers another struggle to get a shot of both predator and prey during the commotion.

Green herons are the chattiest of all the herons I’ve photographed. They constantly cluck and cackle as they guard their favorite fishing holes. The siblings I’ve been photographing are always kicking each other off snags and logs to gain the best access to the amphibian treats in the pond. I can tell that one is a bit more submissive as it constantly watches the sky for attacks from the other. None of the fights last too long; it’s mostly just posturing.

One of the most interesting observations I’ve made regarding green herons at our pond is their interaction with blue jays. Several blue jays hang around the pond most of the day and get along fine with the herons–until roosting time. As the herons try to find roosting spots, the blue jays converge on them, like crows to a hawk or owl, and chase them from the perches with relentless resolve. Only after dark does the harassment finally end as the blue jays let up and find roosts of their own. I’m not sure why the blue jays are so ornery but I wouldn’t be surprised if a green heron consumed a blue jay nestling once in a while, given the opportunity. Who knows?

Canon 1D Mark IV; Canon 500/4 L IS Lens; 1/500 sec @ f/4; ISO 400; RAW Capture; Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod with Wimberley II Head; Converted and Processed on Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP)

Coming Soon:  I’ve been photographing a new arrival at the pond: a mink!

Thanks for looking!


Gallery:  www.dannybrownphotography.com

15 comments on “Sweet Reflection”

  1. Really nice photo, Danny! I’ve been getting some Green Heron shots at our pond, but nothing like yours. By the way, I’ve been using a 2x lens extender with the 500 mm and a 1Dmk4, and getting pretty good results with autofocus when the light is good. Helpful for me, since I don’t have your ability or persistance to get close.

  2. Thanks for the heads-up on the 2x; I’ve been thinking about buying one! I’ll be back at the pond tomorrow going for more shots of the mink. Good luck at yours.

  3. Incredibly clear reflection! I guess you must have ironed the surface of the pond…and now that the mink has started visiting you, I hope something else brings you to Forest Park….!

  4. It sure saves on gas just to shoot here at the pond but it won’t last forever.

  5. Nice pic, Danny! My thoughts are the same as Deponti.

  6. Wow! Or, using the word of those younger than I, “sweet!”

  7. This is sooo good. I had to look at it and check out that it wasn’t just an inverted top half.

    Great catch!!

    • Thanks Bill. I made a similar image a few years ago and accidentally framed it “upside down” when somebody ordered a print. Ha!

  8. Hi! I’m doing a post very soon on Colour Matching in nature and wondered if you’d allow me to use this photo? I’d have 7 or 8 photos all up, and I’d clearly link back to this post and to your blog home. Would you pls let me know?

  9. It’s such a beautiful picture!

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