This afternoon I spent some time hanging out with a heron.
You see, I woke up this morning with my soul craving beauty and stillness, but with my brain berating me that I was too busy to go gallivanting about. So I made a deal with myself. If I could knock four or five things off my to-do list, then I would reward myself with a stroll along the Chattahoochee. Once the proper motivation was in place, I tackled the tasks with gusto and then headed off to the park.
Once I got there, I crept down one of the paths leading to the river where I encountered this beautiful Great Blue Heron wading in the water. I stood and watched him do his best imitation of a statue for about a half hour.
Occasionally he would coil his neck or slowly take a step forward.
Eventually I gave up on seeing him do anything exciting and moved on down the trail in search of other creatures to photograph. When I was heading back to my car I felt prompted to stop and see if he was still standing there. I’m so glad I did.
He was still there, and this time as I watched he slowly stirred the water with his foot. (I “googled” this behavior when I got home and learned that he was trying to stir up prey.)
It must have worked because he suddenly plunged into the water…
and came up with a fish impaled on his spear-like beak.
He shook the fish, swallowed it whole, and then spent a few moments fluffing his feathers.
With his belly full and his feathers fluffed, he bid me farewell and flew away.
He was a delightful companion to have on this lovely spring day, and a more than satisfying reward for scratching a few tasks off my to-do list!