Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Big Blue

The Blue Heron is a beautiful bird to watch; it waits motionless for a fish or a frog to be within range and then suddenly lunges to intercept its prey. They are elegant in flight too, but look awkward even comical, when they first take off.

The Blue Heron "is the largest North American heron.... It has head-to-tail length of 91–137 cm (36–54 in), a wingspan of 167–201 cm (66–79 in), a height of 115–138 cm (45–54 in), and a weight of 2.1–3.6 kg (4.6–7.9 lb). In British Columbia, adult males averaged 2.48 kg (5.5 lb) and adult females 2.11 kg (4.7 lb)." Wikipedia

There have always been herons at the pond at Jericho and they are usually solitary. I have seen them chase off other herons intruding into their feeding territory.

 A large group of heron have been nesting at this time of year in Stanley Park for a few years now and they are there again this year. I have also seen a small group of herons gathering at Jericho park.


Could it be that a few have decided to set up house on this side of English Bay?

 I watch the heron below as it picked up and dropped several sticks ...

 Then finally decided the one below was suitable and flew off with it.

 Here are two off the herons in a large willow tree I think.

 And after a deal of squawking and flapping of wings the stick was placed in what looks to me like a nest.
While this was happened another pair of herons circled close to the tree, landed and then took off again. I will be watching with interest to see what happens next.
It is tulip time here. I don't normally buy tulips because I have always found that no matter what I do they droop within a few hours of being in a vase...but I recently learned a trick (probably from someone else's blog) that I will gladly share with you. Before you place the tulip in a vase (re cut the base of course) stick a pin through the top of the stem and remove to make a small hole, about 1/4 inch below the base of the flower, and they will not droop.
We had some lovely weather this week which took me out into the garden to do some cleanup, but I did manage to finish one painting. It is a watercolour again, this one is 8" X 10". Someone asked me how big my paintings are a couple of weeks ago; anywhere from 8" X 8" to 14" X 20". The larger size is a 1/2 sheet of watercolour paper, I like cold pressed paper except for portraits, then I use hot pressed or smooth paper.
Without further ado here is "Cute as a kitten":
Thank you for stopping by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next time...


  1. A great post. I knew to stick a pin through tulips.
    The cats are stupendous. I'm trying to recall where I have seen them portrayed in a similar style.

  2. Oh you are triumphant in all. The Heron pics are excellent, and your drawing, superb.

  3. such a cute painting!

    i love the gbhs. such grand birds! you got some great reflection shots - and how wonderful to spot their nest!

  4. Great idea on the flowers. Love blue herons and awesome painting.

  5. gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous....i am forever chasing them and do find them difficult to photograph!!

    these images are wonderful!!

  6. Beautiful painting. Good infor about the tulips. I wonder if the squawking was due to a disagreement over the placement of th stick. :)

  7. I love to photograph herons and you got dome fun shots! I'm waiting for tulips to bloom here!

  8. Your painting is wonderful. You have captured perfect expressions. That is just how they would look when their wrestling is interrupted mid-play. I enjoyed the Great Blue Heron photos. I like that they tell a story.

  9. Wonderful shots and information about the great blue heron. There are several at the lake near my house and I always enjoy seeing them.

  10. Gillian, I love the herons! They are just so impressive! Cute kitty picture as well!

  11. Oh dear, I thought I had left a comment for this beautiful post. Love the heron shots and that vase of tulips (great info to prevent droop) is absolutely gorgeous. "Cute as a Kitten" is spectacular too.

  12. I love herons. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you got to share your space with baby blues? I'm surprised to hear that they only weigh around 5 pounds. They look so much larger but I guess bones are mostly hollow and well.. feathers don't weigh much.

    Thanks for the tip about the tulips. I must try it. I've also heard that a penny in the water is helpful.