The Yosemite Wildfire has taken on a new life; The Birds are around but not too active.

When I came upstairs this morning after waking up I looked out the big window at the river. On one of the docks was a Great Blue Heron, I had a Doctors appointment so while I was preparing to leave I watched it. It was practically motionless until we left.

I did not take any pictures of it because it was in a spot full of “stuff”, distractions that would have spoiled the image. The photo above was taken a few months ago, the Heron today was in a pose resembling this one. After all there are only so many ways a bird can perch, take off and catch fish. Like so many of the pictures I take them to capture that perfect shot. That means I end up with literally hundreds in the same poses.

My goal with each picture is to capture the details perfectly. The Great Blue Heron is one of those animals that photograph well. It’s possible to take a picture with sharp highlights, shadows and feathers.

I returned from the clinic noticing on my way back up while riding along the levee the Heron was on a different dock. I just noticed him I decided not to photograph him due to the poor lighting. It was completely motionless he preened, scratched and looked as if he was going to dive in the water.

Later that afternoon he was out there again on a different dock.

I decided to study it for a bit so I sat on the deck outdoors and watched. The Heron did not move more than a few feet in any direction preferring to maintain his position. I watched him out there for over one hour until deciding to return to the house. I kept an eye on him from inside through the window for another hour. He’s been out there for over two hours holding that pose; I was looking for tell-tales which could send a signal when he is about to take off. It never happened, finally I looked up and the bird was gone. He was perched there for 2-3 hours. I learned for the next time to set up my video camera to capture it taking off.

A neighbors dog came wandering around, “Pork chop” is his name, he and Skunk-puppy are the same age. He comes to the house once or twice a week to play with her. That Heron spotted him and kept him under it’s watchful eye until the dog left; I thought the bird would be alarmed and take to the air. But no such luck he merely remained perched content with keeping him under its watch.

I didn’t see it take off but I’m sure it resembled this picture; they can only take off in so many different ways.

On the wildfire front the Yosemite fire is still uncontained at 10%; thousands of households have been evacuated. For the meantime the smoke is being blown East into Reno, Nevada. However the forecast is for tomorrow we may be under another Orange Sky due to the smoke being blown towards us. That’s the way things go, now it’s too bad for us, Reno has suffered enough. Some positive things are evident such as the overnight temperatures are in the low to mid 60ยบ F. It helps cool down the fuel which is the next best thing to water.

I don’t imagine the cool wind is able to extinguish a fire but I heard through the coconut telegraph that it helps.

I’m expecting the smoke when I awake tomorrow morning but I won’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t turn the sky Orange; again.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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