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Field Notes


My wife and I were taking a hike in the Smoky Mountains (Cade’s Cove Area – near Abram’s Creek) and we were searching for any signs of river otter (a species that continues to elude and frustrate me, but that’s another story).

We were heading back when my wife noticed this great blue heron at the river bank. He wasn’t fishing, just kind of standing up on the bank above the creek. Well, I wanted a shot of that, but since this was just a 5 minute scouting hike, I didn’t have my camera (a lesson I have to learn over and over again).

He seemed the patient kind and this little cut off section was close to the parking lot. So, I quickly made my way back to the truck and returned a few minutes later with my camera and tripod.

Surprise – the heron was gone.


I knew they usually don’t travel too far, so we started walking along the creek and found him perched about 10 feet above the water on this branch!

Not only that, but he had chosen a branch with a nice autumn background as well – what a photogenic bird :)

A quiet approach allowed me to get into range and snap off this image. After I had my photos, I hung out hoping for more. However, turns out it was nap time for the big guy, so we bid him farewell and went back to the car. (And yes, there was a stupid grin on my face the whole way.)