Coffee in the Park ~ this bench is taken!

It was a busy beautiful morning, the first day of fall, as we loaded the car with three paintings of Charleston to take downtown to the Charleston Artist Guild to hopefully be juried in as an exhibiting member. Not knowing how long the jurying process would take, I decided to put my camera in the car in case it took several hours and we needed to kill some time.

Well, we needed to be back in an hour to pick up my paintings, so we decided to pick up a muffin and coffee at a bakery nearby and drive over to Battery Park to sit on a park bench overlooking the water. I gave up on the idea of doing any photography until a tugboat went by and I went running to the car to get my camera. I’m a sucker for tugboats.  I guess it’s the maritime artist in me.  

As I walked back to the bench to sit and finish my coffee, I heard some birds squawking a few benches down, under an old oak tree. To my surprise I could see three very large, juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons hopping up and down off the park bench!

The Bench Warmers, photo by William R. Beebe

The Bench Warmers, photo by William R. Beebe

Shy Bird!  Photo by William R. Beebe

Shy Bird!  Photo by William R. Beebe

On Top of the Old Oak Tree! Photo by William R. Beebe

On Top of the Old Oak Tree! Photo by William R. Beebe

Battery Park, Charleston SC.  A Night Heron Rookery.  Photo by William R. Beebe

Battery Park, Charleston SC.  A Night Heron Rookery.  Photo by William R. Beebe

Good Grip! Photo by William R. Beebe

Good Grip! Photo by William R. Beebe

Balancing Act!  Photo by William R. Beebe

Balancing Act!  Photo by William R. Beebe

I've got an itch!  Photo by William R. Beebe

I've got an itch!  Photo by William R. Beebe

We walked over to see if I could get a few pics without spooking them away. As we approached we soon discovered that there were many more Night Herons up in the tree.  We didn’t scare them at all. This was their tree! They weren’t about to leave.  

Turns out that the Night Herons nest in the old oak trees in the park.  The park is known by birders to be a Night Heron rookery! We were lucky to stumble upon them before they migrate south for the winter.  

Our time flew by as I took pictures of the cast of characters and before I knew it, it was time to head back to the Charleston Artist Guild to pick up my paintings. 

We might never have discovered the rookery in Battery Park if we hadn’t taken my paintings in that morning, bought coffee and a muffin, and sat on that park bench waiting to hear whether I would be accepted into the Guild.  

It turned out to be a very good day for along with discovering the rookery I was juried in as an Exhibiting Member of the Charleston Artist Guild! It is a wonderful organization of which I am honored to become an exhibiting member.

I wasn’t out looking for birds but somehow they found me!  I’m not sure what my next bird painting will be or when I will be painting it, but it’s always on my mind.  For now, I’m working on a painting of Church Street in Charleston and enjoying it thoroughly.  

Thank you for reading my journal and for your interest in my art and photography.  If you are interested in seeing my Church Street painting as it progresses, I’m posting work-in-progress photos on my Facebook Page.  Thanks again!!!


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe