Heron today, turtle tomorrow

Joanna says I have little patience, and she is right.Β  Several weeks ago she reported that we had, for the first time since we’ve been here at the farm, a small group of Painted Turtles living in the pond below the house. She said that it would be nice if I could get a picture of one. She immediately thought about what she had said and added, No, you don’t have the patience. Over the next few days, and whenever I had the opportunity, I would scan the edge of the pond for turtles and, on several occasions they presented themselves, but whenever I would get down off the tractor or mower for a better look, they would dart away. Even when I displayed infinite patience and approached quietly, and on foot from a distance, it was clear that the turtles were very aware of movement at the edge of their newly adopted home. My solution was to construct a bit of a blind by laying a few ends of plywood down at the water’s edge and across from a spot that I thought would provide both a suitable place for turtles to bask and a nice backdrop for a photo. So, with my blind established, and while Joanna was away, I surprised myself by sitting along the edge of the pond, hiding among the Cat Tails, for a bit more than an hour. I saw no turtles, but I did demonstrate what was, for me, an infinite amount of patience. Yesterday Joanna walked up from the pond and said that she had spotted a young Green Heron. She suggested that I get the camera and, if I approached quietly, I might be able to get a nice shot of it. And so I did … and did!

BirdOne

21 thoughts on “Heron today, turtle tomorrow

  1. I like going on the evidence. The insistence from our loved ones that we have no patience is often grounded on particular cases when we were, in fact, impatient, but then extrapolated to places beyond which the data can support. In short we’re all impatient at times but that doesn’t mean we’re by nature impatient. Consider the evidence (1) you have a Ph.D. (2) you are an educator (that, by itself, is enough) (3) you’ve co-managed a farm for almost 30 years, (4) been a valuable family person for all your life and (5) the huge number of beautiful photos you’ve taken. I think it’s unlikely you lack patience. It’s likely the opposite. Perhaps what you are is stubborn and driven πŸ™‚ Traits I admire, by the way, especially when you give them their correct names: persistent and determined. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of self-criticism; helps keep us between the lines πŸ™‚

    1. Your comment has had the, perhaps unintended, effect of boosting my outlook this morning. It’s been a very long holiday weekend here and your words brought some hope into a gloomy day. [We had beautiful weather while away and were welcomed home by rain.] J and I drove to Vermont to help daughter #2 setup a new apartment. > 1500 miles, 3 days, interrupted (hotel) sleep, no ‘proper’ meals, lots of painting, innumerable trips to the hardware store, more painting, and dealing with the dog (who does travel well but was in unfamiliar territory). Tired. Thanks for the observations. D PS: Just as I was preparing to push ‘reply’ it occurred to me that most all of the kind words you sent southward, I could just have easily and honestly sent northward to your comments section. Agreed?

      1. LOL. Who knows? I do know we share a lot of parallels. It turns out that we just got back from bringing my oldest, Alan, up to the airport. He’s off to Calgary on a work term for the next four months. He will be working with Suncor (a large Oil and Gas company) in their downtown office. It will be a great experience for him. He’s never lived away from home before and, besides, Calgary is a great city to live in. Right now, though, my “J” and Alex (son #2; him and Alan, besides being brothers are also best buds) do not see it that way, as you might expect. Rain here too; just as gloomy. Here, we went from having the hottest July on record (average of 25 C) to having the wettest August since 1984, and Sept seems no different. Oh, well, another year awaits and time to “Put another season’s promise in the ground,” as Stan Rogers put it so well. Speaking of which, are you familiar with the song? If not, here are two links:

        First a very nice live version of the song:

        And second an excerpt from a documentary about Stan (sadly, he died 30 years ago) which puts some of the song into some very appropriate video. I bet it will move you.

        1. I’m sitting here at the kitchen table and played the second of these … Joanna’s immediate response was …. ‘Yup, that’s poetry.’ Mine was …. ‘Yup, that guy knows what it’s like … he really knows what it’s like.’ ‘Putting another season in the ground,’ is such a beautiful way of putting it. D

  2. Fantastic image! I love the reflection in the water and the simple symmetry it creates in this fantastic composition. Your posts this summer have inspired me to reinvest my energies into learning more about my camera. I have a few simple books on macro photography from the library right now. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get to the point of wanting more equipment, or (yikes) learn about processing, but I am inspired to follow your lead. πŸ™‚

    1. Most excellent! Most excellent! I await the results. Something like Lightroom will do wonders for any JPG image file. But, once you’re really hooked, you’ll need to get yourself something able to record RAW files … then the potential of the image, and the utility of something like Lightroom is really unleashed. I am increasingly surprised by the number of ‘high’ end compact cameras that have fairly large sensors and which record RAW files (that’s another way of saying that you don’t have to invest multiple thousands in a DSLR and all its associated glass). Have fun. I can’t wait! D

  3. Again – the surprise effect … ! When I read the first line and saw the image I was really not sure if I knew all possible meanings of the word ‘turtle’ πŸ™‚

    1. I am so sorry. Joanna says I should point out to you the saying … Here today, Gone tomorrow! The substitution of ‘Heron’ is understandable … but that of ‘Turtle,’ is a bit of a stretch. Sorry for the confusion! Thanks for pointing out the confusion – I’ll be more careful in the future. D

  4. LOL! Your blog titles are so creative! This one made me chuckle. I think we both have a limited amount of patience. I am impressed that you made a blind within which to hide. You will get those turtles … once you make up your mind to do so. This image of the heron is just gorgeous. The clarity is amazing, but it’s the reflected image that really sets this one apart.

    1. I cannot tell a lie … Joanna came up with this title! You say, “I think we have limited patience …,” I, for one, KNOW that I have absolutely NO patience … with neither anyone nor anything! If I had been born just 30 years later, I would have been immediately diagnosed as ADD/ADHD … poor Joanna, having to live with me all of this time. My academic year begins tomorrow and I was reminded of the time Mom signed us up for swimming lessons at the beach. I distinctly remember panicking (I think mostly because of the cold water) and telling the instructor, “I think I hear my Mother calling,” and just walked away. Perhaps I’ll do the same midway through lab tomorrow or, better yet, during lectures on Tuesday. Just a thought. D

      1. LOL! I sometimes get that feeling when I have to go to work and see my patients. I hate racing around in the morning to get going and have to be there at a certain time. Once I get there, it’s not so bad. That’s funny about the swim lessons. I hated them too. Water was freezing, but I never walked away! Good for you. I think things were much nicer at Mrs. Mahoney’s pool! πŸ™‚

    1. Hey there Cynthia … thanks for the visit and for taking the time to comment. I took a quick swing by gaiagarden and really appreciated the cicada photos … quite nice. Have great day. D PS: As a fellow biologist, I appreciate the blog name you’ve adopted … Gaia Gardener.

      1. There aren’t too many people that actually understand what it means. It makes me smile that you understood. Thanks for letting me know! I’ve also had at least one person get upset, thinking I was trying to claim to be Gaia, I guess, which is NOT my point at all. I’m just trying to garden with the thought of “Gaia” in my mind and heart.

        1. It sounds like you and my wife, Joanna, have lots in common. She is known locally as ‘Mother Nature,’ and the label fits for she is one of a very, very few people I know who really puts nature first, while her needs, wants, and desires, come second. It takes lots of strength and mental fortitude to live that way and to pay-it-forward to this planet that we all share. Bravo to the both of you! D

  5. Yes you did and very well too. If it is of any consolation, I also have a low success rate with the painteds … and I have a great deal of patience. πŸ˜‰

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