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The Photographer Who Fell In Love with Herons

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  • Kate Marianchild
    Dear Mendobirders, Peregrine is offering a slide presentation by a world-class photographer of herons on Thursday, April 21, 7 pm, Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah.
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 11, 2005
      Dear Mendobirders, Peregrine is offering a slide presentation by a
      world-class photographer of herons on Thursday, April 21, 7 pm, Grace
      Hudson Museum, Ukiah. Below is David Smith-Ferri's article about it.

      The Photographer Who Fell in Love with Herons

      by David Smith-Ferri

      Imagine yourself walking along a river bank, lost in thought, when you
      are surprised by a tall, elegant bird standing motionless in the
      shallows - a great blue heron. Have you ever been startled by the
      beauty of a bird, and changed by it � made somehow more yourself?
      Lovers of birds and beauty are in for a treat on Thursday, April 21st,
      when photographer Philip Greene comes to Ukiah to make a slide show
      presentation on herons and egrets of the western United States. This
      presentation, to be held in the Public Room of the Grace Hudson Museum
      (431 South Main Street) begins at 7 PM and is sponsored by Peregrine
      Audubon Society. It is open to the public. Come early to be sure of a

      Philip Greene is a professional photographer who has fallen in love
      with herons. �If I could get away with it, I�d spend all my camera time
      photographing them,� he exclaims. He speaks about herons both as an
      artist and as someone who has spent a great deal of time in their
      company. �The great gift they have to offer us is their form and the
      graceful unity they enjoy with their environment. Their wings and
      feathers reflect the shape and flow of leaves. Legs and feet appear so
      similar to branches that the place where tree stops and bird begins is
      often unclear.�

      For over thirty years, Greene has made it his business and pleasure to
      study and film the world of herons and egrets, traveling across North
      America to do so, as well as to Africa, Central America, and the
      Caribbean. His photography has been exhibited in museums and galleries
      internationally, from Taipei to Helsinki to Alberta. In the early
      1990�s Greene�s photography and his energies were at the center of
      efforts to protect heron nesting habitat in Marin County. these efforts
      ultimately resulted in the establishment of the Marin Islands National
      Wildlife Refuge, home to as many as 2,000 herons, and a �jewel in the
      crown of the Bay Area�s wild lands.�

      In his presentation in Ukiah, Greene will discuss the courtship,
      breeding, and nesting habits of herons. We�ll see photographs of this
      behavior, including �the Supplant,� in which the male heron, after
      performing a showy �Circle Flight� above the trees and a showier
      �Stretch� display at the nest site, actually drives the female away.
      Fortunately, the female, who has sense enough to recognize pre-marital
      jitters, persists even in the face of this aggressive,
      �push-me-pull-you� behavior. Herons perform all this action in their
      �nuptial plumage,� the colorful and showy growth of new feathers and
      the changes in the color of their legs and bills that occur only in
      breeding season.

      In addition to a profound knowledge, Greene brings a love of herons, a
      wonderful, dry sense of humor, and a warm and engaging spirit to his
      presentations. It was these traits, alongside his beautiful
      photographs, which led the Audubon Society to invite him to Ukiah.
      Anyone interested in visiting a local heron rookery during the current
      nesting season can obtain information by joining Peregrine Audubon at
      Thursday night�s presentation.

      Submitted by

      Kate Marianchild
      Publicity Chair
      Peregrine Audubon Society

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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