Great Blue Heron - July 2011 at Quail Hollow Pond
Great Blue Heron
June sped by and I found myself out of time. So July 1 was the first available date to complete my Monthly Challenge at the Pond. It felt so good to be back there. A hot mid Summer morning with the smell of newly cut grass overlaying that baked earth scent. The shorn pastures now a golden stubble – the blooming lupins long gone.
At the pond, bullfrogs bellow and Stellars Jays yell with strident voice. Dragonflies dip and hover on shimmering wings. Robins seek out insects in the cut grass and California Quail scurry and call out in the brush. As usual, there is lots of wildlife activity to keep things interesting.
After setting up my gear in my usual place, I start looking closely at the pond, deciding what to paint this month and how to paint it. The reeds and reflections are looking particularly appealing.
Then suddenly, a Great Blue Heron swoops in and lands on the log normally occupied by the Western Pond Turtles. He is magnificent – and just like that, I have my painting subject for the morning. He stayed a long time – over one and a half hours in total before flying off.
Skip, an artist friend from my painting group has joined me to paint this time – we paint in companionable silence most of time – with occasional comments back and forth, mainly about His Heroness – as we have dubbed him. We decided the bird is certainly male. He stands completely still for long stretches – waiting for the fish to come to Him – this tactic works well – he gets at least 2 small fish during our painting time.
By 11.30 it’s already hot and the morning light faded. Time to seek shade. See you next month Pond – thank you for another wonderful painting adventure!