This morning as I was doing my pre-dawn blog reading, I saw something whoosh past my second story office window in the dim, gray morning light. It seemed to me like it might have been a piece of paper or garbage, though what that was doing falling out of the sky, I couldn't say. Not always sharply aware or even interested in what goes on outside of my little bubble, I ignored it.
I sat at my desk and hopped from blog to blog, reading and commenting, reading and commenting until again, there was movement in the yard. This time the movement was not fleeting, it was consistent and spoke clearly of a live presence out there. Finally distracted enough to look away from what I was doing, I saw an immense grey bird, walking the edge of my pool. I did a triple take and rubbed my eyes, because I could not believe the size and shape of this creature. It had long legs with webbed feet like a duck, a long goose-like body with compact wings and a neck that had to be at least 18" long. Atop his neck, a tiny head with a long bill.
As he walked gently along the pool ledge, his head slowly bobbed atop his craning neck. Then he turned his head and body and faced the house, looking directly at me looking at him. I tried to wake my husband to get him to look at this alien creature in our backyard, but he and the worthless dog were uninterested in our visitor. HELLO? There is an EFFING THREE FOOT TALL BIRD walking along the ledge of your pool! You might want to drag your lazy asses out of bed to take a look. Nothing. Being that they weren't going to get up and look at him, I decided to grab the camera and try to get a picture.
I ran down stairs and found our camera on the counter in the kitchen. I looked out the kitchen window and saw that he had gotten off the pool and had gone to the top of the hill. Just the perfect location for me to quietly sneak a picture out of the sliders in the den. Just as I got to the sliding doors, he drew up his long legs and took flight. He needed a minimum of flaps once he stretched out his wings and what I estimate to be at least 25 pounds of bird was gone, just like that.
Knowing that there are wetlands about 4 miles away, I googled for wildlife at the local beach and sure enough, there he was - The Great Blue Heron. I think it was my first time seeing one. It was certainly the first time seeing one in my backyard. There is something magical about seeing a bird or animal misplaced in an environment like your backyard. You almost have to ask yourself - Did I really see that? I hadn't had my first cup of coffee yet, so I guess I can't be sure. But one thing that I am certain of, I will never ignore a piece of paper flying past my window again.