Thursday, July 7, 2011

Osprey Marsh

One day last month, Frank and I drove over to a place just a few minutes from my home called Osprey Marsh.

We'd heard about it before but had never been there. The day was overcast, and a storm seemed like a possibility, so we didn't venture too far from where we parked, just in case. We were armed with our respective cameras, lenses and a backpack which carried water and a light lunch if we were lucky enough to avoid bad weather.


We wandered the area, and though we didn't see any Osprey, for which the marsh is named, we did see a few birds and other things, in the hour or so that it took us to explore.


Heron catch
As we approached the marsh, we saw a Great Blue Heron fishing. It's a sight we see often but it was his catch that was most impressive. He had his back to us for a short while and we could see that he had a rather large fish in his bill. Frank, being the astute and knowledgeable fisherman that he is (he wrote the book, after all), knew what it was at a glance.




heron catch 2
Just before he flew off with his catch, the heron turned toward us and confirmed Frank's call. He had a huge Brown Bullhead Catfish. He carried it a short distance away and enjoyed his meal.




water lily 2
We looked for, but didn't see any frogs among these lovely lily pads, but the water lily was certainly worth stopping for and admiring.




duck family
Nearby, a family of mallards wandered past. The young appeared to be maturing toward adulthood - probably teenagers.




goose family
And further down the shoreline, Mother and Father Goose kept watchful eyes as their five goslings took a nap on the beach.




snail
Frank focused on this snail with his camera, and I decided to snap a shot of it with my own. I'm sure he has a similar image somewhere on his hard drive.




mini  orchids
On our way out toward the car, we saw these lovely mini orchids or iris-like flowers. They were quite tiny.

The weather held out long enough for us to find a bench, and munch on a few of the goodies we'd packed. We headed for home after lunch. When we were seconds away from the car, the rain began.

Sometimes, these things work out just perfectly.

63 comments:

slommler said...

Beautiful photos!! Love the mini iris...gorgeous!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Tabor said...

Lovely. We have the same iris, but our bloomed months ago! It is very difficult to get a good heron shot here unless you hang out at the fish traps. They are very shy.

Cricket said...

Very nice. I love water lilies, though we always called them lotuses. I'm not sure if there's a difference... maybe.

So, first course, escargots, then a bit of pate, with duck a l'orange to... just kidding. Well... no, I'm just kidding. ;-)

And how about A Lotus On Irish Streams ? by Mahavishnu, just for fun.

Brian Miller said...

ooo what a neat snail shot...love the shell...

Pauline said...

Thanks for the walk - seeing through your eyes is always a treat.

{ T G L } said...

These are wonderful - especially of the heron and goslings!

Thanks for sharing a wee bit of nature with a big city girl! :)

Blessings,
This Good Life

TechnoBabe said...

The water lily is indeed worth admiring. I don't see any of these here. The Mallard family is so wonderful. Amazing that they are all still staying together. Soon the teenagers will on their own.

Jinksy said...

I could pick that iris off the page, it feels so close! ♥

thrviewfinder said...

womderful shots...

the lilly and the orchid shots are nice...

btw are frogs attracted to lillys ??

Anvilcloud said...

Nice Iris -- and others, of course.

texwisgirl said...

these were beautiful shots. what a lovely outing. and the overcast skies made for perfect great blue heron photos!!!

Leah J. Utas said...

Such a beautiful world.

DJan said...

As usual, perfect. I also love the iris, but also the little snail.

Snappy Di said...

Amazing how a camera's lens can take a very small flower and make it look HUGE. It's really a lovely blossom.

DI

ds said...

Truly perfect. Love especially the lotus/lily pad and the snail. It's the little things...

Daryl said...

Nice lily pad ... nice every shot

...louciao... said...

I always think it's a treat to catch sight of a heron, even if they are rather plentiful. I love how their toes seem so nicely pointed when they fly--very balletic. You caught a good specimen here, enjoying its lunch. I had a similar encounter in Stanley Park last visit. Don't know what it was having for lunch, though, as I didn't have "the book" with me.

Suldog said...

Perfectly wonderful photos, as always. The thought occurs to me that the fish is swallowed alive? Or does the heron shake it about and keep it in the air until it dies?

(I don't know why I think of these things, but I sometimes wish I wouldn't...)

ellen abbott said...

all beautiful. hard pressed to pick my favorite of this bunch.

SandyCarlson said...

A place full of life, even if the master of ceremonies was on lunch break elsewhere! Watching a bird eat a fish--it's amazing. I hope it's easy on the fish!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Amazing shot of the heron with the fish! He had quite a big dinner there. The ones I see only manage to get tiny little fish. All of the photos are wonderful! Great job.

Robin Malherbe said...

Love that water lily photo!

messymimi said...

Mostly i try not to use the "P" word, for few things are in this world, but your day was as close as it gets, and you have photo proof!

Shrinky said...

Don't they just?

That lilly is simply esquisite. The purple iris was my mother's all time favourite flower, I can never see one without it automatically calling her to mind.

How serindipidous to catch that heron at lunch! (Smile)

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

You have wonderful pictures of Osprey Marsh.That is a large fish for the Heron.

Linda Reeder said...

Great heron photos. I've never seen an heron with a fish that big before!

Snappy Di said...

Come leave a comment on my blog for the Fairy Hobmother! I did and won a $50 Amazon Gift Cert. Seriously.. come comment and leave your wish.

Di

missing moments said...

Love the heron and his capture. Not so good for the fish, I suppose. LOL. What a fun walk to explore!

silly rabbit said...

What a nice day! That snail has a precarious perch. Ha. All of this is very lovely. Thanks for sharing it.

Steve Gravano said...

What a catch! Beautiful job, I love the snail photo. We don't see too many snails down here.

rosaria said...

The picture of the snail is unreal.

Mage said...

I'm sitting here smiling. Your posts often leave me with a pleased expression. Thanks.

Andrew said...

Beautiful images...
I have really enjoyed my browse of your wonderful blog.
Many thanks for sharing.

Maggie May said...

I've never seen a bird like that before.... and what beautiful snails you have.Irises are always lovely.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

chariskalee said...

Oh this story just sucked me right in. It seriously felt like being there in person. Gorgeous photos!

Stacey Dawn said...

You seem to get the best walks in... and what a capture of the heron with the fish in its mouth! Wow!

Mental P Mama said...

Always a treat! Did he swallow that fish whole???

Frank Baron said...

It was a very nice day and we were blessed by witnessing the heron's great catch. And you did a great job of catching the catcher and the caught. :)

That Janie Girl said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Looks like a productive venture to me. The snail - very cool. We have herons here at the lake, but one day, a Great Blue Heron stopped on our dock. So very large - over 4 feet tall. Impressive. An osprey does come in the winter. Sits on top of the rope swing and eats his lunch.

Lisa RedWillow said...

You sure had an amazing day out. Both of you. Im in aww of that giant bird I have heard so much about , seen photos off but have yet to see myself. Gorgeous and your flower is just stunning.

Hilary said...

• Thanks very much, SueAnn. :)

• Tabor, thank you. They're more shy in some areas than others around here. Higher traffic areas like parks see herons which are a bit less cautious. These pics were taken from quite a distance. He was indeed shy.. and hungry. :)

• Cricket, a fine choice of music, as always. I just looked up the difference between lotus and water lilies and these are indeed the latter. A lotus grows up from the pond and its leaves do not touch the water. Now we both know something new. ;) And as far as your menu goes.. you're only partly kidding. The rest of you is drooling. :P :)

• Thanks very much, Brian. :)

• TGL, thank you kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• TechnoBabe, they grow up so quickly, don't they (sniff!)? ;)

• Jinksy, I'm glad you like it. :)

• Thrviewfinder, thank you. I think the frogs are just attracted to the lily pads. It gives them a place to rest, yet make a quick retreat back into the water if need be. That's my guess, anyway. :)

• AC, thank you kindly. :)

• TexWisGirl, thank you. It was enjoyable day. I'm glad you think so too. :)

• Leah, it is indeed. :)

• DJan, thanks very much. :)

• Di, that's part of the magic of photography, isn't it? :)

• DS, thank you. And you're right. I don't know where we'd be without the little things. Probably lost amid the big things. ;)

• Thank you, Daryl. :)

• Louciao, I know what you mean about their toes. I got a shot of one at the cottage, flying right in front of me - toes doing exactly as you describe. I'll post it eventually. I'm very fortunate to have "the book" either with me or at easy access by email. I prefer the former. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Jim. I already exchanged a few emails with you but I'll repeat it here in case others are wondering. I missed the actual consumption of this particular fish but I often see the heron swallow much smaller fish live. Google and YouTube helped a bit too. There was a duckling capture which was just distressing though. :/ Thanks always for the visit. :)

• Thanks kindly, Ellen. Very much appreciated. :)

• Sandy, I didn't see the actual kill/swallow but I'm coming to realize (via YouTube) that the heron is not all that easy on its prey sometimes. I came away mildly traumatized! But yes, that is life and that's how it is sustained. Thanks always for your kind words. :)

• Gail, thank you. I usually only see small fish dinners also. This was quite the catch, eh? :)

• Thank you, Robin. :)

Hilary said...

• MessyMimi, we might just define "perfect" differently. I don't think there is literally any such thing but when I look at certain people, places and things, I believe there is.. and it's probably the imperfections which make it so. Perfect and flawless mean different things to me. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Shrinky, thank you for stopping by. I'm hearing that word "serendipity" a lot lately. ;) I'm glad my photo evoked a memory of your mother. :)

• Ruth, thanks very kindly. :)

• Linda, neither had I. Now we both have. ;) Thanks very much for the visit and kind words. :)

• Di, I'll be by as soon as possible. Thanks for the invite. :)

• Missing Moments, thanks very much. And yes, not great for the fish but such is the way of life. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Silly Rabbit, thanks so kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

• Steve, there are lots of them around here. They often draw me in with the camera. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks, Rosaria. Snails often make a lovely subject.. for such an odd little creature. :)

• Mage, thank you so much for that lovely comment. Such a nice thing to say. :)

• Welcome, Andrew and thanks very much for the kind words. I hope you'll return again soon. :)

• Maggie May, thank you. The heron is rather common around here but always a huge treat to see. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Chariskalee, thank you so kindly. I'm so glad you joined me. I enjoyed having you along. :)

• Thanks, SD. I make a point of enjoying my walks. Wildlife always manages to help in that area. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• MPM, I never saw him eat the fish. He flew off with it and by the time we caught up with him, it was gone but I don't think herons can eat something any other way than by swallowing it whole. :)

• Frank, I did enjoy that day immensely. Thank you. Both winged and human company was the best. :)

• Janie, thank you kindly. :)

• MJ, you're very lucky to have such close up and personal visitors such as the heron and osprey. They're very impressive, aren't they? Thanks always for your visits and your very kind words. :)

• Lisa, thanks so kindly. I hope you happen upon a heron sometime soon. If they live where you do, keep scouring the shoreline of ponds, rivers, creeks and marshes. You're bound to see one eventually. Thanks for the visit. :)

Linda said...

Another lovely post. The mini-Iris was especially beautiful.

ladyfi said...

Gorgeous shots - I particularly like the water lily!

Jeff said...

beautiful, as always!

Bob Bushell said...

Very beautiful images Hilary.

Kerri said...

Oh what a lovely day! Sometimes overcast skies can make for the best shots - and you got some GREAT ones!
Of course of the LOVE the Heron with his catch - but my fave is the snail ..... awesome image!!

She Writes said...

I love that kind of serendipitous day!

Karen said...

Hillary, I enjoyed that. Isn't it amazing how those birds can eat that big fish with their skinny necks? Ha, that snail looked like his shell was on upside down. Great as always

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

your photography shows a true gift for seeing things.

absolutely fine pictures, i love all of them, especially the mini iris!

happy weekend!

betty xx

p.s. it's always been my pleasure to visit your lovely blog.

Reb said...

Wonderful shots, I really like the snail and the babies are all getting to be quite big ;)

photowannabe said...

Spectacular photos. I'm really taken by the lilypad one. So dramatic. It seems you have the most amazing vistas to photograph, I have a little camera envy.
We're going to Las Vegas in a few days. I hope to get some interesting glitz and glamor shots.

Cloudia said...

gems all, but that mini iris!



Aloha from Waikiki

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Dianne said...

I love the rich colors of the snail shot
and of course I adore all shots of sweet baby critters and elegant dining herons :)

beth said...

do you think that heron had babies to feed ?
when i see them catch fish, normally they disappear in one big gulp......

Barbara said...

What a wonderful outing! Great captures, especially the heron and tiny flowers!

Pearl said...

You make me want to walk in the woods...

Pearl

Gary said...

The photos almost demand that you take a breath and relax the shoulders a bit. I love that feeling.

Hilary said...

• Thanks kindly, Linda. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Lady Fi. So nice of you to stop by. :)

• Thanks very much, Jeff. :)

• Much appreciated, Bob. :)

• Kerri, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. And of course it's always a thrill to hear such encouraging words from a fine photographer such as yourself. :)

• Amy, as do I. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Karen, thank you. I wish I had been able to witness the actual consumption of the fish. It would have been one huge GULP! :)

• Betty, you always say the kindest things. Thank you so much for always being so supportive. :)

• Thank you, Reb. It's amazing how many water fowl families there are out there in various stages of growth. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Sue, thank you. You have absolutely no reason for camera-envy. You take such wonderful images your own self. I'm looking forward to seeing your Vegas glitz! :)

• Cloudia, thank you kindly, my friend. :)

• Dianne, thanks very much. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. I know what an animal lover you are. :)

• Beth, I'm thinking that if the heron had young, it would be bringing them small fish, because I'm pretty sure they'd have to swallow them whole also. I'm guessing it ate that one itself with one of those classic GULPs. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Barbara, thanks very kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• Pearl, grab a camera and come join me. :)

• Gary, that's exactly how photography makes me feel. I'm glad you got that from my photos. Thank you so much for letting me know. :)

Pierre BOYER said...

Lovely wild life pictures...

Greetings from France,

Pierre

lime said...

just love the lily pad shot.

Rob-bear said...

What, no Ospreys at Osprey Marsh?
Time to re-name the place, I guess.