Last weekend, members of our little Abilene photo club, The West Texas Photographic Society, visited the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Honestly, August is not the best month of the year to visit a Botanic Garden in West Texas. Nonetheless, there was more to see there than there is in Abilene this time of year. So our shutters were kept busy. Here are a few from the main Garden, which is free to the public:
The highlight of the trip was the Japanese Gardens, which carry an admission charge of $5.00 per person. Dirt-cheap by anyone's standards. We all decided that this trip would forever be known as the Blue Heron Trip. Living safely and luxuriously within the Japanese Gardens is a relatively tame Great Blue Heron. Now, I've long had a fascination with Great Blues. My fascination started as a kid when my brother and I found one that had been shot in the wing by a local poacher (please don't call these people hunters). Anyway, we rescued the bird, a feat in its own right, and delivered him (or her; we didn't know how to tell) to the local Game Warden who took the bird to a bird rehabilitator. It was, in our young lives, the most important thing we had ever done.
For years, I've worked hard at photographing Great Blue Herons in the wild, and it remains one of the toughest photographic challenges I've faced. Great Blues are the most skittish of birds and usually won't allow you to get within 100 yards before they fly. Well, in the Japanese Gardens, we'd found a tame one. And so the paparazzi gathered around and we photographed that bird for close to an hour. For me, it was sheer bliss! And here are my rewards: