Monday, February 7, 2011

A Great Blue Heron at the Shopping Center

Some days are filled with lots of tasks that are just what they are...simple things that need to be done and that is that.   Having done a task that was pleasant to be finished with...we realized we should stop at the grocery for a few items needed at home.

The Del Monte Shopping Center has a little berth of trees around it that includes  a runoff creek, which is probably what dictated the need for preserving  this little urban buffer zone.   Four lanes of traffic and freeway exit lie just the other side of this tiny oasis.  As we neared the mall entrance we saw this lovely heron in the narrow strip of undeveloped land.

I have to learn how to size pictures for blogger on my new system, but the bird is just to the left  of the tree and that is a main thoroughfare through the city of  Monterey just behind it.

Even though I approached slowly,  kept a respectful distance and used the trees to make my presence less intrusive,  the Great Blue Heron  was very aware of me.
"Ardea Herodias" is 50"   I suspect this is a fairly young female.


"'ll scare away the mice and gophers I am after."
I've read in Stokes Field Guide to Birds that individual birds may claim temporary feeding territories up to several yards in diameter which they will defend.


Watching the bird walk in grace as it hunted for a meal 
was like a dip in a cool pool, a song, starlight, a prayer...
the ordinary is extraordinary, it just needs to be received.

"I am just a bird...out for lunch...nothing to see here...don't you have any people business to attend to?"

Well, I did have other things to attend to, of course, but I went on my way with a lighter step, much refreshed by just one little creature filled up full with being just who it supposed to be. 




In all my many days, I have never seen a blue heron . . . not even at my shopping center. :)


Carol............. said...

This must be the blue heron that used to constantly sit on our Washington rooftop drooling as it watched our pond filled with fish! That's all it could do, "wishful thinking" since we have an electric wire strung around the pond to give that heron a mild reminder to stay out!

The mud flats filled with edible goodies is just a mile away so we encouraged it hike on over there!

HHHmmmm, maybe someone gave it a one way ticket to California! LOL

Seriously, the herons are such a graceful bird. They won't dive into water to catch their food but they walk on in, only waist high, then wait patiently to spear their prey with their saber-like beaks.

John said...

I am not sure the owners of the koi ponds in my neighborhood share your love of the heron, but as I told them, if you open a fish buffet what else would you expect?

Rosannah said...

Heron: "Change is coming, take advantage of opportunities... you are invited to act with assertiveness and self-reliance."

GretchenJoanna said...

You've reminded me that the heron is really about some important business...these birds give the impression that they are just serenely enjoying the air, though at the same time they remind me of the most elegant aristocrats on display at a gala affair.

Haddock said...

Ha ha , like the last bit....nothing to see here...don't you have any people business to attend to?"
Its a pity that we watch them in awe and they do actually get disturbed.
Some times I wonder who is encroaching whose space....

Jeannette said...

Glenda...never seen a great blue heron? I ope that changes some time.

Carol, I can tell from your lovely description that you have observed these birds.

And Gretchen...I like how you remind me of what different affect they display in flight versus their elegant party strut... They are a the gala affair called life! is interesting the symbolic meanings that birds and animals have in different cultural realms. and your family have certainly had some close shared space with bird family
life...what a great series of posts you wrote on the patio nest. Birds do need us to tread lightly, don't they?

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I really enjoy your responses.