Hopkinton Lake was my kayaking destination for Wednesday. I remember canoeing it many years ago with Jann and getting some decent shots of Great Blue Herons in the slide film days.
On the way there I checked out the Sandhill Crane. Again it was fairly near the highway. I took a few photos out my car window and moved on. It was early so the whole field was still in shade. The low contrast of shade can be great for showing colors.
I was on the water before 7 am.
A few minutes after 7 am I found a Great Blue Heron standing in the warm early light.
The next GBH was in the shade. I slowly circled it and got some close-in photos of it with two very different backgrounds.
A bit farther along I got a GBH in flight.
I kayaked under the 202/9 bridge and got well beyond it to the south. A large bird flew overhead and I started shooting. It hit the water very far from me and came up with a fish. The photo below showing “Two Fishermen” is highly cropped and hence poor quality.
Here are two photos of the Bald Eagle carrying its fish, again from a long way away.
I saw where it landed, quite far from me. I slowly paddled in that direction, approaching as slowly and quietly as possible. I suspect it saw me before I got very close. But I got a few photos.
Then it decided to head farther south.
I paddled to the far end of the area and got a photo of the eagle with a nice reflection of its white head.
I headed back under the bridge and thought I saw something break the water’s surface very briefly. I slowly approached the area with camera ready. It was something — a snapping turtle.
There were still more herons to photograph. I’m estimating I saw 15, but I might be double counting, as I headed out and back. There seemed to be more on the way back and many seemed quite unconcerned by my presence.
To complement the snapping turtle I got a pair of painted turtles.
I saw a GBH in a “cul de sac” near Elm Brook Park. It was quite far away but I headed toward it. I suspected that if it flew its path would be toward me rather than away from me into the nearby trees. I had my camera set for 10 shots/second and held the shutter release down when it launched. Here are 10 of the 32 photos I took as it flew by. I continue to love the 200-shot, 14-bit raw buffer of this camera.
The world already has many more Great Blue Heron photos than it needs. But here is one more, the last for this blog, except of course for the slide show that follows.
I was back at the launch site around 10 am.
Before loading my kayak on my car I got a photo of a dragonfly with somewhat worn wings. In any case, they only live only a very short time.
As a special bonus, and I headed NW on I-93 late morning I saw around 6 Nighthawks flying fairly low over the road. My camera was on my seat next to me, but at 65 mph I thought better of it.
Here are a few more of the photos I took this very enjoyable morning.