Saturday, November 14, 2009

Great Blue Heron at the Crossroads

Literally at the Crossroads, just out of the corner of my eye, on an empty lot, I saw a Great Blue Heron. I took this photo while still in the car (from the passenger seat, I'm not crazy) and then asked to get out of the car, please. I wanted to get closer...if you click on these photos you can get closer views too. Use your back button to return to the post.

The field is polka dotted with the holes of gophers and still sporting some golden poppies. After we met, I read that although the Great Blue Heron is

"primarily a fish eater, wading (often belly deep) along the shoreline of oceans, marshes, lakes, and rivers, it also stalks upland fields for rodents, especially in winter. "

Learning this about Heron's feeding habits helped me understand the normalcy of the Heron's early November jaunt to the shopping center, which isn't all that far from the marsh at the river's end at the ocean. I did see one diving beak motion down into the ground before I approached. I realize now I may have delayed this bird's dinner procurement and I already had mine in the bag. It's amazing how just a little undeveloped land can provide for wildlife. Directly to the west of where we visited is a gas station and to the north is a motel. Across the street one can bank or buy groceries, flowers, jewels, coffee, or books and there are lots and lots of cars,

but the empty lot is a small paradise. Rightly wary, we both remained respectful in our dance of approach and distance but of course the Great Blue set the rules for boundaries.

~Such a beautiful bird~

all else faded away as this elegant bird captured me.

Standing tall this Great Blue is at least three feet. This may be a younger bird and or female, as the plumage is not too fanciful.

Must you go? I must too. I thank you for the visit, lovely bird. I'm glad your terrain includes many vistas far and beyond the road. Next time I see you, I'll be more polite about your meal times. I was glad to learn you thrive all over the continent, and I am especially glad that we are neighbors. You can visit my garden anytime... we've got gophers aplenty.



GretchenJoanna said...

Thanks for sharing your visit. He is beautiful.

DavidDavid said...

Very cool!

Sarah Beth said...

Wow great photos Mom! You and Dad are both becoming great nature photographers living there!

Mike said...

In 1976 I was a 16 year old counselor at a YMCA summer camp on the Patuxent River in Maryland. There were tidal marshes on two sides of the camp as well as across the river. I would take groups of 10-12 adolescents canoeing up the channels which meandered deep in the marshes.

I remember rounding a bend to find a tree rotting where it had fallen in the reeds next to the channel. There was a Great Blue Heron perched on one the branches which we hadn't seen because it was shielded from view by the 6 foot high marsh grass. As we made the turn we each other with about 25 feet between us. It looked straight at us for a moment then took flight directly over our heads. Its wingspan was about 6-7 feet and it's head and beak maybe 3 feet long. There was something very prehistoric about it as it flew over our heads, like a pterodactyl.