After the last video are links to other bloggers posting about herons
Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.
I like walking on the beach. It is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
Passing me, a Great Blue Heron flies low with its broad wings – eventually landing far ahead of me. From a distance, the Great Blue Heron appears as a slender shadowy figure standing still and staring out to sea. Sometimes on the dry sand away from the constant waves – other times at the water’s edge as water laps over its talons.
Some days I see the heron from afar – standing and staring all alone – and no humans nearby. Other times the heron patiently stands and stares at the sea, but with a fisherman. The heron seemingly knows the fisherman is likely the source of the next meal and a possible feast for the day. Now that’s one smart bird.
The seated fisherman stands to tend the pole that appears to have a fish on the line. The heron’s attention heightens. The fisherman walks away with his catch – the heron follows. After freeing the fish from the hook, the fisherman tosses his unwanted fish toward the heron – who slowly approaches, then quickly uncoils its adaptive neck and beak to spear its prey – then swallows it whole.
No matter where, the heron stands and stares. Not pondering the meaning of life. Not reflecting on its life, friends, or children. Undoubtedly working to find the next meal – so the heron patiently lurks as a phantom hunter.
The heron is watching for a struggling fish or crustacean in the shallow water. Standing with its eyes peel and a sharp beak on a coiled neck coiled ready to work – which together serves as a sharp dagger action of a harpoon. When the heron walks, it does so slowly as it doesn’t want to alarm its prey. But I most commonly see the heron all alone – standing and staring.
Some days the heron allows me to walk relatively close – sometimes slowly stepping away. Other times as I approach, the heron flies ahead to a new spot – only to be disrupted as I again approach his new domain. The pattern repeats before the heron flies away to find a new spot to stand and stare all alone. We will see what happens today.
As I enter its domain, I find the eyes of this zen master to be menacing. Besides, I know it’s neck is powerful and the beak is sharp. Its legs are long and four claws serve as an anchor. Its stick-like legs remind me of tanks on Star Wars.
This time as I pass, the heron continues standing in stillness and silence – seemingly doing nothing – but maybe concentrating as a disciplined soldier. Its wings now appear as a cloak.
The heron uses its adaptations to survive and eventually produce other Great Blue Herons so the tradition continues over time. After all, the heron is designed for a specific role in nature – just like all other living things in nature that surrounds us.
There is something about the Great Blue Heron that gives me sorrow. Although beautiful in flight and design, I don’t see it as beautiful. To me, its drabness signifies depression and despair. Perhaps its stillness is a sign of praying for better, more joyful times.
We live in a self-maintaining wonderful world that is a mere speck in the grand universe. There is so much to ponder as I walk on the beach – a walk that is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
See what other bloggers have posted about herons
- A heron and egret conversing
- Great blue heron (photos)
- Meet Frosty the Heron
- Pencil sketches of a heron
- Up close and personal (photos)
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