A Brave New World 28.5"x36"
I am obsessed with juvenile herons, and my absolute favorites are the juvenile green herons of Greenfield Lake, located in the Cape Fear region of Southeastern North Carolina in Wilmington. These elusive birds thrill me. Usually choosing the thick overgrowths of Summer near the base of water-bound bald cypress trees, they are rarely seen by the visitors who stay to the walking paths of the exterior. But from my kayak their activity is apparent. In the mid-Summer I search out the tuft-covered fledglings emerging onto the low cypress branches exploring their new, still flightless world. It is incredible to witness them learning to perch and forage for insects and fish. I carefully form a degree of trust with these beauties in my careful and steady approach to them, and that, coupled with their natural curiosity of this new world, allows me to capture detailed portraits. It is a joy to watch them learn and grow, and in the best case scenarios, see them in their first flight to the nearby trees! This one I affectionately call Dandelion Head. As a result of this obsession I now help local Audubon chapters track nest location and numbers at Greenfield Lake and surrounding areas, a thrill for that young, curious nature enthusiast still alive inside me.