Yesterday I came upon this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) in one of the back areas of Huntley Meadows Park during my first visit there in a week. There was an area of open water in an ice-covered pind and I watched the heron catch several fish. I’m still going through my photos and may post some shots of his catches later. For now, I’ll leave you with this image of the heron walking toward the edge of the water.
Although the park was technically open throughout this recent snowstorm, the gate at the entrance to the parking area was closed. A Facebook posting from a friend yesterday morning noted that the parking lot was being plowed and I immediately headed out to my favorite park. Wednesday is normally a work day for me, but I had decided to take the day off to avoid a commute that promised to be hellish.
The park is still covered with lots of snow, including the boardwalk, but was passable with some effort. In some places, there is a narrow packed snow path where others have walked. My favorite places, though, were literally off of the beaten path and I found myself wading through a foot of wet slushy snow to get to them. The only other tracks I saw in these areas were those of animals.
I’d love to return to the park today, but will probably have to go to work instead with what could be a hellish commute. Local schools have finally decided to call it quits for the entire week after several days of announcing daily closures. Even the federal government is opening with a three-hour delay today.
I feel so much more energized now after having the chance to get out in the wild yesterday with my camera. I guess that I hadn’t realized how much I had missed the experience and how important nature photography had become in my life.
Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.