Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Great Blue Heron

I spotted this Great Blue Heron in the Sudbury River near Marathon Park in Ashland, MA.  Had a nice shady spot to shoot from, and he was content to continue fishing in my presence.


I think he originally mistook me for a Hollywood agent auditioning him for a part in the Aflac Insurance advertisements.  I've never seen a Great Blue Heron do this.  It almost looked like he was yawning.

Don't you just love the brighter breast feathers?  You don't always get a good look at them.  I wish I could tell this Great Blue Heron that eating fish from the Sudbury River is not good for his health.

Did you know the Boston Marathon originally started in Ashland, Massachusetts (not Hopkinton, where the starting line is now)?  The Boston Marathon is the oldest and most famous running race in the United States.  It was started by the Boston Athletic Association founders after they saw a unique race at the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece.  The first Boston Marathon was run on April 19, 1897 and began in front of Metcalf's Mill in Ashland on Pleasant Street and was 25 miles in length.  

Start and finish lines fluctuated in the early years of the race until 1924, when a decision was made to increase the length of the race to 26 miles and move the starting line to Hopkinton, Massachusetts.  Marathon Park was dedicated in 2003 as a remembrance of Ashland's place in Boston Marathon history.  A short paved path and a couple of benches allow you to enjoy the scenic Sudbury River.

[Click on any photo for a larger view.]

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