Diffused morning light on a healthy Great Blue Heron I spotted motionless in the reeds in early March. A few moments later while I crunched into a trail bar he snatched a big fish and gobbled it down. Perfect timing. Lol Regardless what a great wetland resident in it’s environment. Not sure if this is a male or female as Herons don’t have a great deal of sexual dimorphism but it appears to be a young adult. I’m always amazed at how well Heron’s blend into specific elements of their landscape through tonality and form.
The most visible factors that distinguish wetlands from other land forms or water bodies are the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. The animal life that inhabit these environs have beautiful adaptions allowing them to be successful in these settings. I find imagery that focuses on these relationships very compelling artistically and sometimes offering a unique glimpse into evolutionary process. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life. They are critical to the overall health of our watersheds and local ecology so please tread lightly when visiting.
Your local wetland should provide a wide variety of wildlife filming and photographic opportunities. Look around. More likely than not, there is a wetland, teaming with life other than mosquitos, near where you live, work, or play. If your looking to add to your wildlife portfolio I strongly suggest finding one, exploring it and tracking some places that offer good photographic opportunities. Don’t go at 10… set your alarm prior to sunrise so you can get onsite at the very first light. This will keep you from battling for the warm shower water at home and keep you from startling wildlife when they become more active through the best hours of morning light. If your lucky you may get some thin morning clouds and the water surface will magically steam giving your scenes a mystic feel and elongating the hours of prime light.
Great Blue Herons are obviously great subjects. If you find some move slowly and be respectful and they will often reciprocate by hanging out with you. If you not from this part of the globe Great Blue Herons are a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands from Alaska to Central America. Often seen standing silently along inland rivers or lakeshores, or flying high overhead, with slow wingbeats, its head hunched back onto its shoulders. Highly adaptable, it thrives around all kinds of waters from subtropical mangrove swamps to desert rivers to the coastline of southern Alaska. With its variable diet it is able to spend the winter farther north than most herons, even in areas where most waters freeze.