A great blue heron sizzles in mid-afternoon as it waits for a fish to come close.

Oh man. It’s shades of last year as the triple digits keep rolling. If you’re a wildlife photographer on an 8-to-5 schedule (none are), you can forget it. Nearly all wildlife waits for early morning and late evening to get active. Through the day, it’s a siesta in the shade.

That is, unless you’re a great blue heron. I found one standing on a log in the worst part of the afternoon, braving the sun and hoping that schools of small shad playing along the surface might blunder within range. They teased in and away, never quite close enough for a strike. So the hungry heron just stood in the sun as time passed, mouth agape and sucking air hot enough to pop popcorn.

At least a drink was handy every few minutes. And herons learn early in life that for them, eating is about waiting. Sooner or later, a fish or crawdad always appears within range of their god-given spear. And you can bet when it’s this hot, they won’t miss. See the video here: http://lens-on-kansas.blogspot.com/2012/06/hot-heron.html