Wednesday, July 9, 2008
blue in nature
The few times that I come upon it at the far edge of the waterfront -- and that's not too often -- the great blue heron usually flies away immediately. Because it's a shy bird that loves to be undisturbed, I'm already worried that it will disappear for good with the so-called "development" planned for our waterfront. That is, the building of a hotel and condominium right smack dab center of our public waterfront, right on the shoreline of the commons that me and others walk each day. It will bring tourists, they say. Good for the economy, they say.
Sadly, our town isn't the only one where developers are favoured over birds, beasts, and their habitats.
The great blue heron is a bird of peace. It has a stillness about it, and its regal presence speaks of its ability to stand alone, to forge its own path. This morning, the heron ignored me because it was on the hunt. I didn't catch on at first, but it had already spied a fish swimming in the shallow waters across the bay. It craned its neck, pointed its beak towards its prey, and very cautiously set out to catch its breakfast. It didn't make a sound. Neither did I.
One after the other, it placed its long legs very slowly and methodically in the water. One step, then pause. Long pause. Another step, then pause. Long pause. I stood watching it for what seemed like a long time. It WAS a long time!
But it was in no rush. Modern life hasn't tampered with its internal rhythms, with its way of being. Of course, "development" will speed it on its way ....out.
At times it just stood there
and stood there
until almost imperceptibly it swept its long neck to one side
then crouched low in the water and just as I stood dumbfounded wondering, what is this bird up to?
it jabbed its beak lightening fast into the water and brought up a small sparkling fish. Of course, it was faster than the shutter of my camera!
Then, with the fish clamped between its beak, it turned lakeside and walked out a ways,
stood contentedly for awhile, then began to shake the fish back and forth like a voodoo doll
then in one gulp swallowed it whole
and immediately flew off