Tuesday, April 20, 2010

wade in the water

[SOOC (no post editing). click to enlarge]

My wife and I were both born and raised in Chicago. Not Chicagoland, or the major metropolitan Chicago area, but Chicago proper. We were from inside the city, and not just near it. I thought I would never live anywhere else, and I never wanted to.

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Then a window of opportunity opened up for us to purchase a house. I already told you how much I loved Chicago. My wife, on the other hand, wished for a lot more space, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. The house we found in Bolingbrook seems to be a fair compromise. It is approximately 35 miles West by Southwest from Downtown, and if you go another 35 miles, you'll drop off the edge of the earth.

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The move meant that I would have to commute until I could find something closer. Thirty-five miles from Downtown Chicago usually meant that the Friday night commute was TWO HOURS!! But it was a whole different place when I got near Bolingbrook. I have only recently started taking pictures of birds, but I remember the first time I saw the Great Blue Heron hovering over the expressway near our new home. I had never seen one of these in the city, and it meant for me that we moved some place special.

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This bird gets spooked if you so much as cross your eyes, so I had a difficult time getting close enough to take its picture. On Saturday, I saw it in a pond, so I parked nearby, and trekked through tall grasses and prickly weeds to close the gap. It is amazing how loud and crunchy the ground was. I walked slowly, then proceeded in a crouched position, then crawled on all fours, then did a snake crawl, and finally slowly rolled down a slope to get in position.

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This great bird was hidden behind some reeds, but providentially was curious enough to move into a position where I could snap a few pics. I couldn't believe what was happening! Then I went to change lenses and it flew off. I wish I was quicker, so that I could get it in flight, but you will have to settle for this one for now, wading, but wary.

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Leeloo has some nice pics of the Great Blue Heron on her blog as well. Go check it out.

15 comments:

mr. dave said...

i see more and more of them around our area every spring..over by old grau mill they hang out all summer..their wing span is huge..need to get a pic of one in flight!

imac said...

My my Craver, we are quite the pro arn't we.lol.
Great shot and well worth the agro to get it.

Bird Girl said...

That is a beautiful shot! I can feel your excitement as you are sneaking up on this heron...
Yes often they spook sooo easily, don't they. But every once in a while a junvenile will just fish and won't really care if you're watchin' :-)

I didn't get a chance to say thank you for visiting my blog from Chris'! so thank you!

George said...

This is a wonderful picture of the heron and I'm impressed with what you did to get the picture. As far as I'm concerned it was worth it.
By the way, I grew up near Crown Point, Indiana, which isn't all that far from Chicago. I imagine it is now a part of Chicagoland.

Carletta said...

They are skittish little blue devils aren't they. :)
You went far above what I would have done but it paid off - really nice shot!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

How anyone can stay in a city amazes me but there are some of them who never move out and see these wonders of nature. I am glad you did Craver as it open up a whole new world doesn't it?

Kirigalpoththa said...

Nice picture of the heron!

Leeloo said...

I live in a city, but it's a small green city, so we still get quite a bit of wild life here (believe it or not, but a deer entered through the front door of the Legislature Assembly once LOL, that was actually a shocker, I had never heard of a deer being in the downtown area, let alone entering buildings, lol) but I usually get out of the city when I go birding/hiking. Maybe I should start crawling around too to get better pictures, I've never done it... yet ;)

That picture is great Craver, you must've gotten quite close! I love how you can see the details in the bird's face and his 'hair' blowing in the wind, lol!

Craver Vii said...

It's funny Mr. Dave, how Old Grau Mill is not really very far away, but since I live in the opposite direction (the place I know you from is like the edge of my world), anything past it feels like it's so far away.

Pro would be nice, Imac. I wonder if I could eventually work my way up to an internship-type of deal with a pro as an event's secondary photographer. I know they sometimes do that at weddings. It would not hurt to take classes, too. Well, except for the time investment, which I don't have right now.

How nice of you to drop in, Bird Girl!! You caused a bruise on my chin, because every time I look at your pictures, I stand agape (my jaw hits the floor).

Thank you George. I hear references to Crown Point on the radio a lot. And yes, this was easily worth the effort. Plus, it begins to make up for all the times I tried to be sneaky, but still missed the shot. But hey, I figure it's like baseball, the ones who hit home runs... they swing and miss... a lot. But if that's what I have to do to get a big hit once in a while, I'll keep on doing it.

Craver Vii said...

(lol) Carletta, you should see the grass stains I got on my pants that morning! It's okay; I was wearing bluejeans, plus I wash my own clothes.

Believe me Joan, there is a beauty to the urban areas, too. It's a different kind of aesthetic alltogether, but rich and robust in its own way.

What's this? A red locator light is blinking in Sri Lanka... EXCELLENT!! Hello Kirigalpoththa, so nice of you to drop by. May I call you "Kiri?"

Growing up, I had Chicago as a reference, and naively thought all cities were like Chicago, with only slight differences. Then, when I was about fourteen, I visited Saint Louis, and their downtown looked like it could fit inside one of our museums. Leeloo, I'm not surprised at all that a deer walked through your legislature. Last year, one crashed through a window at church, and bled tracks on the office carpeting before heading back outside, never to be seen again.

Happyone :-) said...

You were lucky to get such a great picture. I know what you mean about them being spooked easily. I have a hard time getting pictures of the ones I see by the lake I walk around. They are beautiful birds and I love to watch them take off in flight.

Chris said...

Hi
you did the approach quite well if he did not move. This is usually how I get close to my bird, just crawling like a snake ;-) The picture is a real reward, it is gorgeous. I'm happy you enjoy your new place, and by the way the other birds pictures you published are superb!

mommanator said...

isnt it amazing the new vistas we view if we dare!

lime said...

i think it's pretty impressive that you got THIS close. well done!

Craver Vii said...

Imagine their giant size, soaking wet, and still able to take off and soar through the air. Happyone, I see that and praise the Creator for his marvelous design.

Chris, you take so many photos of so many birds, that it looks like they just flock around you. I wish I could spend a day out there with you, learning how you take those incredible photographs.

I am glad to see these things Mommanator. Imagine how many people pass these things each day and never give them a moment's thought.

Yeah, it was pretty close, Lime. Now that you mention it, maybe it wasn't a sudden movement that frightened him... maybe it was the smell. ;-)