Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017

As you may know, the garden is in a bit of disarray. So instead of plant pictures, we’re sending along photos of some fine-feathered friends.

This morning just as Bill and I headed out for a winter walk, I got the bright idea we should go look for herons to photograph. So we jumped in the car and drove five minutes to Whittaker Ponds, where bird life is generally abundant. Today, not so much.

Nature at Whittaker Ponds

…the sedge is withered from the lake, And no birds sing. ~Keats

We saw quite a few ducks and geese, but they were way out in the middle–too distant for decent shot. And then as we were driving home, I espied a Great Blue Heron in a tree, right by chance, where I’d espied one a couple weeks earlier. A quick U-turn later, we were back on the trail.

Great Blue Heron espied way up there in the tree.

Great Blue Heron espied way up there in the tree a couple weeks ago.

We crept stealthily toward the bird. Ah hah!

The following pictures compliments of Bill Wagenblatt.

Great Blue Heron at the Columbia Slough

Great Blue Heron at the Columbia Slough

Feeling as if we’d already had the best of luck, we hopped in the car and turned toward home, again. And THEN we saw a big white bird, the Great Egret, sitting in another tree, close to where we’d managed to scare away the first one.

The photographer with the big lens over yonder. (Bill usually photographs vintage race cars, but he’s ever the good sport.)

Intrepid photographer Bill Wagenblatt stalking an Egret.

Intrepid photographer Bill Wagenblatt stalking an Egret.

And then, grumpy Egret. I think he saw us and did not find us amusing.

Great Egret near PDX

Great Egret near PDX

A little bit closer. Such stealth we employed to sneak up on this one, to his ever-growing chagrin.

Great Egret near PDX

A closer view of Great Egret near PDX

I gather when they shift from standing on one foot to standing on both, viewing time is becoming limited.


Whoops, Great Egret startled again.

But lucky us. Captured in flight. Coooool.

Great Egret

Great Egret taking flight, complaining all the while. They’re noisier than I realized.

Wishing you a wonderful new year, full of high flying adventure–and with any luck, just minutes from your front door.


  • Tim Vojt

    Happy New Year, Patricia. Great shots by both of you. Love the heron and the egret. Our densely packed, old neighborhood is not far from a River and some wetlands, so the herons love to fly over the neighborhood in search of goldfish is back yard ponds…..We saw one perched on the top of our neighbor’s roof last year. Perhaps he was part Stork!

    • Hi Tim,

      So nice to hear from you. And glad to know you share the love of herons and egret. They seem so impossibly prehistoric. When we were passing thru the neighborhood a few blocks east of us–on our way home–we recounted seeing a heron on the roof of a house–watching the pond in a front yard. We later talked to the homeowner and she said they regularly fish there. Seems they’d avoid such densely populated places, but apparently the force is great.

      Cheers to you and yours.

      • Tim Vojt

        Indeed, the force is great! (Loved Rogue One yesterday)
        A friend had a coworker who had been surprised by a blue heron flying into a pond near their office building. Terrified by the large, unidentified intruder, she exclaimed when she got inside, “There’s a f***ing pterodactyl out there!”

  • Alison

    Happy New Year, Patricia and Bill! Bird photos are a great way to start the year. The egret is quite beautiful in flight.

    • Hi Alison, Hope you and Nigel are having a smashing good time. Turns out, Bill had lots more pictures that he’s just surrendered. It’s a good thing he pre-selected his favorites, or I’d still be sorting out the 90 other options. I might sneak some more on, though. Some have more foliage in them–so I can call them gardening related. Cheers.

  • Anna K

    Fabulous photos! Nice work – and Happy New Year to you both!

    • Hi Anna,

      Thanks for popping in. Hope to see you soon.


  • Ricki Grady

    We’ve spotted herons when we go canoeing on Sauvie Island (no photos because I have demonstrated a special talent for tipping canoes) but the only egret ever spotted was on our own little road. Bill is a mighty fine photographer.

    • I’m so impressed you go out in a canoe. This is the year, I swear, I’m going to get out in nature more. It’s right here in our PNW backyard, right? Hope you’re having a grand time. XO, Rickii

      • Ricki Grady

        Our canoe sits idle most of the time, so if you ever want to borrow it…