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Great Blue Heron dines at Sunrise Park

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Frog morsels were on the menu for this native wading bird.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CYNTHIA ETTER - Local photographer Cynthia Etter snapped this shot of a Great Blue Heron the evening of Thursday, March 9. It was supposed to be a frog hunt. But as soon as she spotted this Great Blue Heron, Cynthia Etter ran all the way home.

The 28-year-old Troutdale resident was strolling with her mutt, Molly, when she spied the large wading bird at Sunrise City Park around 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 9.

Spring rains have swollen the pond at the park's center, and Etter had figured she'd scope out the area for a future froggy photoshoot.

An avid animal photographer, Etter usually takes photos of the hummingbirds that congregate around her house near Reynolds High School.

She runs a Facebook page — Cynthia's Hummingbird Cafe — to share her best shots with friends and family.

"You really have to sneak up on a hummingbird," Etter recalled during an interview. "(Here) I didn't have to be as stealthy. He definitely didn't seem like he was threatened by me."

Armed with nothing more powerful than an iPhone, Etter jogged back home to grab her Nikon D3200. She got her shoes muddy, but was able to capture this hunchbacked heron perfectly.

"He looked at me and didn't seem fazed. I think he was just enjoying his frog snacks," she said.

Unfortunately for local nature lovers, Etter will soon leave Troutdale for a home currently under construction in North Plains. The move will help her husband, Mitch, who works as a manufacturing technician for Intel. Etter has her hands full taking care of the kids (Kaelie, 7, and Ryleigh, 2.)

"I love taking pictures of animals," said Etter, who was born and raised in Gresham. "I don't know if I would consider myself a photographer, but I really enjoy doing it."