Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So near . . . and yet so far

One of my fondest goals as a summer resident of Steve Martinez' fictional Porcupine County in Upper Michigan is to get a good photograph of the dozen or so great blue herons nesting in a remote rookery just outside Porcupine City.

The trouble is the rookery lies in the middle of an impenetrable swamp about 200 yards wide by 400 yards long. One needs a ten-thousand-dollar 1,000-millimeter telephoto lens to get a good shot -- or enough Navy SEAL training to sneak up undetected under the surface through the reeds and leeches with a shorter lens.

Both alternatives are, of course, way out of my league.

So I had to make do with a hand-me-down but very sharp 300-millimeter lens and crop the original photograph by about two-thirds to get this long view from the road just south of the rookery.

Click on the photo for a larger version. With some browsers you can click twice for an even larger closeup, and if you do you'll spot three young herons in the nest.


  1. great shooting... and yeah, i know - never ever enough lens when you need it... but 10k seems cheap compared to those canon lenses for my 550D that seem to start at around 14K for 600mm

  2. Lovely photo: I do envy you having such marvellous wildlife on your doorstep.

  3. Can't you get to it with a dinghy or something?

  4. Approaching in a boat would spook the herons. These are wild birds, not tame aviary creatures. They are very shy.