Weekly Photo Challenge: VIVID

It’s hard learning to live with vivid mental images of scenes I cared for and failed to photograph.”

Sam Abell

(11 photos)





Well I guess this is my month for birds . I’m opening this week’s challenge response with two captures of a beautiful, vividly blue heron balancing on a slender branch as he prepares to launch into the unknown.Β  I shot these on a second trip to the rookery I posted about last week. As I mentioned in that post, I was happily entertained by the bird chicks as they ventured out of their protective nests for the first time, but I failed to capture any shots of their antics. I was determined to correct that with a second visit.



“Somewhere, things must be beautiful and vivid.”

Lisa Ann Sandell

Lest you think my task might be easy, consider the challenges. First; find a bird who is old enough to climb, but too young to fly. Next; find a vantage point that allows a clear shot within the dense foliage that protects the birds’ nests. Finally; without disturbing its natural environment,Β  find a chick intent on venturing out and about. Exhibit A: the young chicks in my captures above and below. πŸ˜„



“No man-made invention will ever be as clear, or as vivid, as the image captured in your mind of a loved one who’s gone.”

Larry Wilder
After observing the birds for a bit, I learned that before they seriously consider an adventure, they puff their little wings out and assume what I can only describe as a pre-dive position. Much like an olympian about to launch from the high-dive, they move into a tuck position like the one above, poised and ready – but often this results in a false alarm and no jump occurs.


“It is a gift to see life around you clearly and vividly, as something that is exciting in its own right.”

Bill Brandt

Speaking of vivid, how about the color of the waters over which the young birds were frolicking? The brilliant green was a lovely background for my shots, but I wouldn’t want to have to swim in it!



“Vivid images are like a beautiful melody that speaks to you on an emotional level.”

Steve Bochco



Β “A vivid imagination compels the whole body to obey it.”


Once I became acclimated to the movements of the chicks, I began to get a sense about which of them would be active, and when an adventure might begin. Then it became a waiting game – how much patience did I have and what might I have been missing at some other nest while waiting at this one! Sometimes there’s a reward like the shot above and much more often, not so much. The little chick below, for example, never got much farther than his nose/beak.



“The impressions of one’s youth remain the most vivid in manhood.”

Gustav Stressmann

I found myself wondering what it must be like for a chick about to make its first dive. As the youngsters mature, their nests become increasingly smaller. What seemed a cozy, protective environment soon becomes crowded and restrictive, and although mom and dad have worked hard to deliver meals, the lure of the fish swimming below must become harder and harder to resist. What’s a baby bird to do???



“Vivid simplicity is the articulation, the nature of genius.”

Criss Jami

Happily, I was able to capture some of the bravery of the little chicks as they tested the limits of their newly-found abilities. None of the birds in my post were yet able to fly, but they were exploring their little patch of the rookery as far as their scrawny legs and oversized talons would allow. Clearly it would not be long before they’d be soaring overhead, seeing the world from an entirely new point of view.



“Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination. “

Walt Disney

For the moment though, the chicks are restricted to an area within which they can climb or hop. Because their claws and beaks are large and strong they travel quite effectively, hopping from branch to branch and tree to tree.Β  Interestingly, each set of siblings seems to have it’s own little home, within a small “neighborhood”. They could clearly travel farther but seem to choose to stay within established boundaries. How they know the extent of their reach, and why they stay within it, are questions for another day.



“Open your eyes to life: to see it in the vivid colors that God gave us.”

Nancy Reagan

Next week — ABB (Anything But Birds!!) Stay tuned πŸ˜„

To enjoy the vivid examples ofΒ  some other bloggers, click here.




127 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: VIVID

  1. What a wonderful exploration of a heron rookery! I love both of your photo essays and your explanation of the habits of these fledglings. Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a webcam stationed at a heron nest near the university. A few years ago my husband and I watched the entire process from the sequence of preparing the nest, to egg laying, chicks hatching out and growing up. We became self-proclaimed heron addicts!

  2. Excellent shots, Tina, but the one titled ‘Precarious’ is downright hilarious.

    Having spent ages trying to capture birds through foliage, I can well appreciate the difficulty of the photos of the chicks.

  3. How patient you were Tina and it paid off in these super shots . Having the time to consider and absorb the behaviour of such moments is very rewarding . Marvellous photos – full of tentative expressions !

    • Thanks so much Poppy – patience is definitely my short suit but it was the only way to get what I wanted so I controlled my natural tendencies πŸ™‚ appreciate your appreciation!!!

  4. These are such fabulous shots! The Blue Heron is a vivid bird in color and life. How wonderful to see the young offspring – vividly!

  5. Must say ~ intensely enjoyed all the photos
    of the birds! So many hours of devotion
    spent on these bevy of beauties… truly
    admire your passion ! Delighted on your
    interpretation of this theme! Excellent!

  6. Wonderful photos, Tina! BTW, I’ve updated that post to included the Chihuly links. Even though they came through for me to approve, WP somehow got rid of them. SIgh. But they’re up now.


  7. Amazing shots all round, Tina. Patience and persistence pays, and you certainly captured the birds in their element. Beak to Beak is my favourite shot out of this collection – what a great illusion. The other day I was looking closely at some birds fly, and realised sometimes when they fly they hold their wings still…and glide so gracefully. Birds really do know how to trust themselves, so I am sure the little chicks here will know when the time is right for them to soar πŸ™‚

  8. Wow! I’m speechless. Gorgeous pictures. I love them all. The post is perfect. Se plenty of life.

  9. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I have
    really loved surfing around your weblog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing on your feed and I
    am hoping you write again soon!

    • Truth be told Liz, I did lurk about a bit!!!! Fortunately the birds didn’t seem to mind too much and the results were, at least for me, well worth the effort!

  10. I am so glad we got to revisit the rookery … I did wonder last week where you had to position yourself to grab some of these shots without 1) falling out of a tree yourself 2) in with the snakes in the high grasses .. wherever.. I loved Daring to Explore photo and quote… All of the birds looked like they were pressing the limit !!!

    • Indeed they were ALL pressing the limit and so was I πŸ˜„ although I neither climbed nor fell out of any trees, I came close to slipping into that green morass more than once!!

  11. Can’t you just imagine the tiny wheels turning in those little heads…..trying to figure out what they’re supposed to be doing next and just how to do it?

  12. T –
    These are absolutely fantastic. I am wondering how many bug bites you got waiting and watching!! Kudos for your patience. XO

    • LOL, thanks Capey. Since I was covered from head to foot it wasn’t too bad. However I couldn’t have been much hotter if I’d been standing in an oven on broil !!!!

  13. This was just adorable. I had no idea they puffed their little wings to get ready to dive. Or at least try to. Oh, can you imagine the trepidation?! But they are so cute! Wonderful as always, Tina.

  14. how FABULOUS these furry friends are…..what incredible shots….truly breathtaking!!! Loving the opening quote!! U have such a great eye for details….enjoyed these!!

  15. Tee, guessing this isn’t the first “Wow” you’ve received, so let me just say “Wow!” My favorite,
    beak to beak. What a gift. Thanks

  16. Love these photos…. Especially the last one “long hard climb”…and you are so right about the brilliant green background especially on “about to jump”!!!!

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