Expecting not-very-nice weather for Sunday, we skipped our Saturday morning errands and headed for Hinckley Lake to rent a canoe. It had been a while since we last paddled around the quiet waters of the park but we set out confidently, She in front with a canoe paddle, I in the back of the boat with a kayak paddle. We actually did fairly well, pretty accurately controlling the boat and maintaining good speed when desired. Of course wildlife, most especially water fowl, are a big attraction for me at Hinckley so I carried the little Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC43 — I did not want to risk getting the Canon SLR or its expensive lenses wet. Of course there are risks of another sort to not carrying one's best at all times!
Cruising along the shoreline (and trying to avoid morning fishermen) She spotted a smallish great blue heron nabbing minnows from water's edge. Judging by its size and its failure to flee it was a young bird we approached close enough to bean with a well-placed toss of a stone! So we circled out, I retrieved the little Panasonic from my pocket, and we passed by the youngster repeatedly as I shot photos. It's actually not a bad little digital snapshot camera but I have grown used to SLR speed and quality. I missed several shots due to shutter lag, got blurry results from others, and had very little telephoto reach. Still, in all, it was quite an experience to observe a truly wild bird in the open at such proximity. One of the barely-acceptable photos was kind of fun… young heron is apparently wet and all ruffled up, seen nearly straight-on. Kind of comical, in fact!
We left the bird in peace and continued our travel paralleling the shore. I'd wanted to get a nice on-water opportunity to photograph a water lily and finally got one. Just one. The only water lily we could reach (due to shallow water boating restrictions) was all by itself, floating in dark water amongst the lily pads — no other blooms anywhere. We took the boat in very close, nearly floating over the flower, I made my shots (three, one fairly good), and headed back out.
It was a pleasant morning on Hinckley Lake.
The flower is so pretty. It hardly looks real. The puffed up heron is really funny looking. In Waterville there is a Heron who stands on one side of the river and an Egret who stands on the other nearly directly across from each other. I've never gotten a photo since I'm always driving when crossing the river there.
A fresh water lily looks too perfect to be natural, even when viewed in nature. I'm glad the photo picked up some of that quality. Thanks! — JG