Last week I had the pleasure of photographing a magnificent Great Blue Heron at Torraine Lake in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Since the nearby Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge is closed for a few days this month for deer hunting, I’ve been doing more local photo walks in the parks near my home.
I was walking along the paved trail that circles Torraine Lake when I spotted a Great Blue Heron hidden in the brush along the eastern bank. As soon as it noticed me on the trail, it took flight and landed on the other side of the lake. I hurried around to the other side, hoping to get another glimpse of this large and graceful bird. Luckily it had landed in the shallow water on the edge of the lake and didn’t fly off this time when I quietly approached.
The morning fog was just lifting off the surface of the lake, making for some beautiful reflective shots as the heron stood motionless in the water. I love the mirror-like effect in this image, with the bird perfectly duplicated in the calm water below. The fog adds a serene, ethereal mood to the scene.
Torraine Lake is such a great spot for observing local wildlife like herons, ducks, and geese. The mile-long paved trail and pedestrian bridges offer easy access around the lake. I always enjoy coming here this time of year, when the refuge is temporarily closed, to see what interesting birds and other animals I might encounter. Although nothing beats the refuge, Torraine Lake is a nice local alternative for nature walks and photography.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever photographed wildlife at Torraine Lake. I’d love to hear about your experiences.
About Torraine Lake
Torraine Lake is located in Fort Smith, Arkansas at 10000 Chad Colley Blvd.
Torraine Lake was built in 1987 and named after the Torraine family who owned the land originally. Sometimes called Stick Lake by locals, it covers 48 acres and is home to a variety of birds, fish, and other wildlife.
- Date: 10/16/23
- Time: 7:48 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- ISO: 5000
- Aperture: 7.1
- Shutter: 1/400
- Exp. Comp.: +0.3
- Lens (mm): 500
- Program: Manual
Photographing Bird Reflections in Water: Tips and Techniques