Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FROSTBITE FISHERMAN

When I looked out at the river a few minutes ago, I saw the great blue heron standing on a rock in the riffle directly in front of the cottage. Since there seemed to be some amazement with yesterday's post regarding the fact that herons hang along the river all winter long—regardless of snow and cold and ice—I thought I'd make a few quick photos and give a you better look. The sky is cloudy, the sun is down (I think) behind the western hills, and the light is going fast. I had to turn up the ISO to 800 in order to be sure of a fairly sharp image. They turned out well, I think, considering.
Hope you get a kick seeing one of my favorite feathered frostbit fishermen…
Any fisherman knows, you have to be patient…
…except that sometimes, the water looks better in this direction.
There…all set…bring on the fish!
Here…fishy, fishy, fishy…
Winter fishing ain't all it's quacked up be… so who invited the ducks!

24 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

He looks so out of place to me sitting on the ice! I biggified every photo to take long looks.
These are really beautiful!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Great pics. Cute commentary.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

The bird is standing on an ice-covered rock in these shots. But a bit later, he moved closer to the deck (out of photo range) and stood on another rock that was about 4 inches under the flowing water—I kept looking at his feet (I could sorta see him through the deck lattice) and wondering how cold that must be on his feet…and yeah, I know his feet and legs are probably biologically equipped to withstand exposure to icewater, but it sure looked cold. Brrrrr! He caught fish regularly, BTW.

Hey, I like that word… biggified! :-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Thanks on the pix. As to the commentary, maybe that's what the heron was thinking about saying, maybe not…but he was certainly thinking of something.

Bernie said...

He looks so cold....yet beautiful. Are you still getting snow Grizz?

We had a warm day today and though the sun tried to peek out it didn't quite manage too, perhaps tomorrow.

Stay warm my friend....:-) Hugs

Wanda said...

You made me laugh..... I'm still laughing.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Herons are truly beautiful birds—their colors subtle, but quite lovely, and such pretty featherers. The eyes, as you can see from the photos, are yellow—and they don't miss a thing.

We didn't have much snow today, really more blowing around than any measurable amount. A bit of sun, too. A nice day.

I'm staying warm…you do the same.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

The funny thing is the way the heron studiously ignored those ducks—and they had to be bothering his concentration. But the bird never looked around and remained stoic until the ducks drifted off back downstream, then he gave a glance their way, shook himself (glad to be rid of noisy riffraff) and went back to watching for minnows.

Rowan said...

Scribe these are just wonderful photographs! I always feel sorry for the herons having to fish in icy cold water, they are on the river near here too and I see them all through the year. The dipper is another little bird I keep seeing still perching on his stones in the river. What interests me is how their legs cope with the extreme cold of the water. Presumably there must be some protective mechanism that prevents frostbite and hypothermia both of which would affect human beings if we tried to do what the herons do.

Rowan said...

I only looked at the photos and your main text first time round, have just gone back and read the little comments under the photos and they made me laugh:) They are just perfect for the pictures.

Jayne said...

Poor little guy! I do hope something swam by to be grabbed from the ice above. :c)

giggles said...

Lovely pictures of your GBRs....

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Gret, great pictures. ANd I SO Love that you can imagine/create what that heron is thinking......imagination is what keeps people young at heart - your heart must be the heart of an adventuros child. Delightful.

Love to you
Gail
peace......

The Weaver of Grass said...

I have just called the farmer in to look at these wonderful heron photographs Scribe - your photos get better and better. I often wonder if the heron has cold feet - although I did read somewhere recently that ducks have a system where by their feet never get cold - so maybe it is the same for herons.

Cherrie said...

Great post!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

I'm going to have to read up some on herons with regard to this question as I honestly don't know the answer. I know that with waterfowl such as ducks and geese, there is a mechanism—whether vascular or chemical I don't recall—to keep their feet from freezing and chill the rest of their body fluids. Whether it is similar in herons I don't know.

No dippers here now, but the kingfishers are out and fishing, too—diving repeated into (and under) the water.

Hey, glad my "heron" comments amused you. :-D

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Not to worry…the heron comes up with a fish pretty regularly. And there's nothing "little" about him at 4 feet tall! Anyway, cold as he looks, he's doing just fine—whereas I'd be shivering and shaking and starving to death.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

A most photogenic bird—not up there with redbirds and pileated woodpeckers, but stately.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I never intended to grow up…and haven't yet; just ask anyone who knows me well. At least not in heart and mind; the body is occasionally problematic.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Cherrie…

Oh, ho…so you like herons, eh? Glad you enjoyed the post. Great blue herons are a constant here on the river, and you can bet there will be other pix and posts at least mentioning/showing them…like within the week!

Tramp said...

Great pictures, very expressive bird.
Everyone seems to be having a real winter this year. Reminds me of one of my old dad's sayings:
"The weather usually gets seasonal about this time of year".

Robin said...

That is priceless...

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

Ha! I've never heard that saying before…but I love it! Your ol' Dad was a wise, wise man.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Robin…

I take it you mean the heron photos—which was just being sneaky on cue, and trying to look like furniture, as seen through the sliding door window, when that sharp-eyed bird glanced my way.

The priceless part was succeeding!