This past Monday was a gorgeous; sunny and warm without being too hot. So, I decided to go down to the Arboretum and see if I could get some interesting shots while wandering around. Maybe the hummingbirds would be around the dahlias again (as they were around this time last year). Plus, it had been a couple months since I had done any shooting down there.
It was slightly discouraging. There might have been one hummingbird (or a big dragonfly or something else entirely), but it flew away before I could get a good look at it. The dahlias were nice, but mostly the same as the past couple years. A couple of butterflies were around, but not many and not staying still long enough to shoot. The rose garden is nice, but I wasn't seeing anything new (or in a new way). In fact, the most interesting thing I saw was that there were irises growing in the Iris Garden (interesting because I thought they were dug up and saved or sold after they were done blooming).
And then I saw it. About 10 feet in front of my, at the end of the Iris Garden. A Great Blue Heron slowly strolling along. I'd never seen one at the Arboretum before, and I don't think I'd ever gotten this close to one anywhere. So I start taking some pictures and trying to get a better angle on it without scaring it away. Just as I was getting there, it jumped...onto the dam in front of the Iris Pond.
I'm not sure how to describe the feeling, standing 10-20 feet away from a gorgeous bird who is just standing around, occasionally trying to peer through duckweed to see if there is anything to eat. Watching as it gets tired of that and decides to preen and scratch, because it feels good and comfortable.
(notice on the one above that it is actually the lower eyelid that is partially closed)
Some days you just get lucky. Monday was one of those for me.