Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 209 - Lilypons Heron Rookery

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

Guarding the Nest
Willow Beauty
What a gorgeous day!  We deserved a good one, and today we got one.  I'm so glad I had planned to walk at Lilypons to see the nesting great blue herons.  I could not have picked a better location.

Lilypons is a water garden/pond center near Adamstown, MD.  It has acres of ponds that will be full of water lilies and lotus this summer.  However, it is also a haven for birds, particularly the great blue herons.  This is their nesting season, and every year the herons create great stick nests in a couple of sycamores near the Monocacy River, which borders the property.

Great Blue Heron Maternity Ward
Lotus Leaves
Lotus Abstraction
My friends Norma and Beamie joined me for my walk today, and after making sure we had rope and mud gear, we took off to find the best spot to scramble down the hill from the path.  Along the way, we held back numerous arching branches full of thorns, occasionally needing help from each other to extract the webbed straps on our backpacks from the vicious grip of the thorns that did manage to snag us.

We found the trees, slid down the hill into the old river bed, crossed a stream, and landed at the base of one of the trees, with about five nests overhead.  The other tree was across the river on the other side.

You turn my world upside down!
There were at least five herons, maybe more, either sitting on the nests or standing next to them, enjoying the blue skies and sunshine.  Occasionally a bird would fly by and

we willed it to land on the tree, but they were out searching for fish or just enjoying the beautiful day on the wing.

We climbed back up the hill and took a few more shots from the higher vantage point, but no matter where we stood, branches either were in the way or the birds were positioned behind limbs. 

We returned to the car, dumping our tripods, and continued walking on the property.  There is much to see, and we met quite a few other people out with either cameras or binoculars, all seeking the many birds that are on the property.

I enjoyed finding reflections in the ponds.  The lotus leaves and stems made wonderful abstract designs in the water.

I took the opportunity today to use my new Nikon D7100 on this walk, and I am a little worried that it has some focus issues.  It was the first time I had really used it, and I need to do some more photos with it, comparing it to my older camera in similar shooting situations before I decide that it has a problem I cannot overcome.  I was not happy with the sharpness of many of today's shots.

All in all, it was a great walk at Lilypons, and I will return again when the water lilies and lotus begin to bloom.


Visit my photography show, "My Maryland," at the public library in Urbana, Maryland, on the lower level of the building.  It is there until the end of April.

Hurricane Sandy Relief: Donate to the Red Cross, and I will mail you a 5 x 7 print from any of the photos I have posted on my blog OR any photo on my website.

Forward to me via email a receipt for donating to the Red Cross. Tell me whether the photo is from the blog or the website, and Include its title along with a mailing address. The name on the receipt to the Red Cross must match the name of the mailing recipient. Send the receipt and the photo request to

Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Visit my web site:
Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots

Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk:
  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use whatever camera is easy and convenient for walking comfortably; always have a backup camera at the ready in case of mishaps (I use the Nikon Coolpix P7700)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

No comments:

Post a Comment