Sunrise over swamp and fog at Babcock Wildlife Management Area near Punta Gorda, Florida
I spent a wonderfully peaceful hour yesterday morning watching this Green heron as it fished at a marsh in Babcock Wildlife Management Area. After living in New York City for thirty eight years I can’t seem to get enough of the peace and quiet this part of Southwest Florida provides. I rise early and drive the short distance to the Wildlife Management Area then catch the sunrise and head out to the ponds and marsh where something new awaits me each morning. All around me I hear the two Belted Kingfishers chirping as they circle and dive for fish. I am astonished each time I hear the actual wings of the Sandhill Cranes as they fly directly over me. Along comes a cormorant and its wings also make the soft, almost whispering sound above my head. I watch the little Green heron make several catches of small fish and see it lurch percariously off its perch to dip its head into the waters below. He provides me with a perfect reflection in the blue water. So I sit and wait and adjust to his rhythm and the world slows down to a calm, placid pace (except, of course, for the fish).
Green heron getting ready to strike at a fish at Babcock Wildlife Management Area near Punta Gorda, Florida
Green heron catching a fish with reflection at Babcock Wildlife Management Area near Punta Gorda, Florida
All of a sudden the pattern changes and instead of leaning forward into the water for his catch the Green heron takes a tremendous dive into the water. I shoot several shots and am rewarded with this shot as he emerges from the water with his biggest catch of the day. He lands back on his perch and proceeds to enjoy his meal. What a wonderful moment to share with him completely alone surrounded only by birds and the breeze through the slash pine trees.
Green heron taking off from the water after catching a fish at Babcock Wildlife Management Area near Punta Gorda, Florida