Great Blue Heron, Foggy Pasture
Great Blue Heron, Foggy Pasture. Merced National Wildlife Refuge, California. November 25, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.
A long great blue heron overlooks a pasture in clearing fog, Merced National Wildlife Refuge, California
I photographed this critter on my first bird photography trip of the season in the Central Valley of California. I mostly shot at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge but also made a quick visit to the nearby San Luis area. In typical Central Valley form, the day started out very foggy - tule fog hugged the valley floor and obscured the view in many places. My late morning most of the fog had dissipated, and hazy light came through the still-humid cools-season atmosphere.
When I first arrived at the Merced wildlife refuge, the fog was so thick that it was more or less impossible to photograph the birds - though I tried! Eventually I reconsidered and did some landscape photography in the mysterious atmosphere of the thick fog. As it finally began to clear, I turned my attention back to the migratory birds. I found this solitary blue heron in a pasture at the far corner of the refuge, and I used my car as a "blind" to eventually pull almost parallel to it on the gravel access road, then stopping to make a series of telephoto shots with the foggy pasture as the backdrop.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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