18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Great Blue Heron on a foggy Catawba River morning

I’m lucky because I live next to a river. Before the pandemic, I appreciated the river for it’s recreational opportunities, but I had never really seen it as a home for so much wildlife, especially birds. With the gift of more time, I spent many sunrises and sunsets on the river – when the animals are most active. It was like a whole new world opened up. I bought a longer lens for my camera and often planned to paddle out to the island in the middle of the river to see what I could capture. The island became a sanctuary for me. It had already been a sanctuary for the birds.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Camera: NIKON D3400
Copyright: © emily critcher