As winter closes in around us, even here, the Great Blue Herons go about building a nest, inviting us to watch as they make a home of gathered branches and twigs, oblivious to the state of our world, of the pandemic gripping us.
We watch respectfully, knowing that in this darkest of seasons, we are about to witness our own little miracle and will soon bear witness to the simple joy of birth.
Mockingbirds greet the morning
Great Blue Herons stare
imagining their voices
night sweetly welcome the dawn
The great temple bell
awaits the morning, the monk,
its daily purpose
cast deep within the metal
always verging on release
Smoke of incense too
prostrates itself to Buddha
soon a morning breeze
or the freedom of the sky
There is always that moment when I stand stock-still, afraid to move, the poised camera a lead weight on my hands, arms emaciated hammocks dangling from shoulders inviting something that will not come into focus.
The Great Blue heron, who is the sole focus of my attention, stares at me, or through or perhaps past me, with a patience I try failingly to emulate, knowing I will look away, lower the camera, see an egret, an ibis, someone who will give me pause, and the heron will take flight and I with twitch of finger will capture that place that she so recently occupied.
For Something Different, a new bird photo each day, visit my other blog:
The herons don’t seem particularly happy even though their mating season is over, for the wood storks have taken over the shrubs on the island, their babies endlessly describing their wants and desires. Even the anhinga hang back, staring down, knowing that soon enough the little ones will fledge and life in the wetlands will return to normal.
Late in the night a train rolled by through the city, a few miles down the hill from here, its horn muted but still required at crossings. I know it appeared in my dreams, but I cannot tell if it was as the heron in flight over the lake, or the long bearded hiker with the oversize backpack who wandered down our street and became a slat in the fence at the dead end.