Thursday, October 1, 2009

Downtown Heron

Click on the photo for a much larger, though not perfectly focused, view.

A couple of days ago I noticed a great blue heron hunkered down at the west bank of the Cannon River here in Northfield, across from where I work. I've seen one on this downtown stretch of river only once before, though I know they are commonly seen just a few blocks to the north, where the town-tamed river becomes relatively wild again as it wends its way through the Carleton Arboretum and onward toward Cannon Falls and eventually the Mississippi.

Usually when I photograph the river I try to avoid any intrusion of the traffic and fast food signs on the far side, but contrasts and unexpected juxtapositions interest me, and in this case the sighting of the rather reclusive heron and its small-town-urban setting seemed to call for a different view.


cindyzlogic said...

How cool to get a GB Heron right downtown! I can see some geese and maybe ducks there, too.

Penelope said...

Yes, plenty of geese and mallards. This is the most "civilized" section of the river. A pair of cormorants has been hanging around on a sandbar about a block to the south, where the river is a bit more natural. And we get a few more-exotic species of waterfowl passing through during migration. I love working right by the river -- it's a nearly constant source of interest to me.

Jim H. said...

Much better than downtown heroin!

Some friends live on the river opposite the Carleton campus (near the 2nd street bridge) and often see herons on the riverbanks there. It would be nice if Carleton removed the parking lot from the west bank on that stretch of river.

Penelope said...

Whoa, I just noticed that the previous time I commented on seeing a heron downtown was exactly one year before this most recent post! And it was in just about the same spot and in the same hunkered-down position (not standing tall). That is quite something!

I have seen a egret in about this spot a time or two, as well.