Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's the Great Blue Heron Charlie Brown

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.

31 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

singedwingangel said...

They truly are beautiful creatures. We have a few at a local pond nearby and they have called it their home away from home.. Course we also have skunks, moles, deer, red foxes and coyotes lol

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

That is so cool! Too bad you couldn't get a picture!!

Erin M. said...

I'm sorry you couldn't get your own photo, but this one is gorgeous. What amazing creatures. I love nature! And shame on your hubby for not getting up to see it!

hokgardner said...

We have a wet-weather creek through the middle of our 'hood, and we have herons and other wildlife in it on a regular basis. It's always so fun to see.

My parents have a small pond in their backyard, which has goldfish in it, and they have had herons swoop in and dine on the fish every once in a while.

Noelle said...

what an exciting visitor so early in the morning! i hate those missed photo ops!

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

we have them here, and even have a country club called the Blue Heron.

wanted to ask if you would be top blog of the week in the next few weeks? shoot me an email

speakingfromthecrib@yahoo.com to let me know! thanks!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

SingedwingedAngel - It was beautiful and a little freaky looking. It had glowing yellow eyes and a really long bill. Hmmm, maybe it wasn't a bird after all. Maybe it was an alien. I'd better check for signs of probing.

Lee - I know. Too slow and I wasted too much time trying to convince the hubster to get up and see it.

Erin - Shame on him indeed. He has no idea what he missed.

Noelle - I guess it's the gift that I get for getting up at the taint of dawn to blog.

SFTC- Are you kidding? I'd saw off an appendage to be Top Blog of the Week. Thanks for considering me!

Jen Chandler said...

I can see where you were a bit shocked! We had a flock of herons fly over our house several years ago. They make the most eerie sound! Sorry you didn't get a photo!

Jen

linlah said...

How cool it that. We have wild turkeys and geese that think they own the streets of our neighborhood.

our b life said...

So I totally believe in signs and finding out the meanings of things. So I looked it up for you and a Blue Heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance. They represent the ability to progress and evolve.

Conquer The Monkey said...

beautiful, I Love this story!!!

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Lovely!

We have a flock of wild parrots in out neighborhood that flies together from one park to another every afternoon at 4:00. One evening we heard them flying all over the place at 8pm. 20 minutes later, there was an earthquake. Birds know stuff. That heron was trolling for coffee.

kys said...

That's neat. I probably would have been a little freaked out because I live in my head too much. I saw about 5 deer in our neighbor's yard one morning after a big snow. I was trying to get the kids and Hubs to see them before they ran away.

ajm said...

Ooohh, that makes me think of my childhood on a lake -- Blue Herons visited often. But I have yet to see one in our pool. Lots of toads, but no majestic birds!

Fun blog!
Andrea
http://alittlebitrocknroll.blogspot.com

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Jen - This was such a shock. We live in the burby burbs. He was a little far from the shoreline.

Linlah - I see wild turkeys all the time when I go to Pennsylvania. They are the dopiest creatures to walk the earth.

Our B Life - That's very interesting and heaven knows I could stand some evolutyion. My knuckles are a shade too close to my knees. ;)

Conquer the Monkey - Thank you. I am on Heron watch now.

LPR - Wild parrots, that's something we'll never see on the east coast. I hope you're right about the Heron looking for a Venti Mocha with a double shot of espresso and not trying to tell me that my pool was going to be swallowed by the earth.

Kys - This bird was weird looking. He was eyeballing me too. He did kind of freak me out.

AJM - Thanks for stopping by. Growing up by a lake must have been a great experience. This bird was such a rarity to me. I can't imagine what it would be like to see them every day.

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

How VERY VERY cool!! Great picture! We get wild turkeys around here (and I'm not talking about my son and his pals). Wild turkeys......U G L Y

Blue Herons? VERY COOL!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Nancy - I'm pretty sure it was a fluke thing, but it's something cool to remember.

Susan Fobes said...

He might have been flying over and was attracted to your pool. A friend of mine had this odd visitor stop by her pond and eat all her gold fish!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Susan - That's what my boss told me too. He lives in a coastal town on the south shore of Long Island (which is ocean facing)and he's had friends that have shut their koi ponds down because they were getting emptied by heron.

blueviolet said...

Oh my gosh, I can't believe you had one right there by your pool. That is the COOLEST thing. Dang it that you didn't catch it on film, but you have the memory!

Amy said...

It bears a striking resemblance to our Louisiana Egret which can often be seen on the side of a road way or some other misplaced location.
Also, I work mere yards away from a Brahma Bull. So, yeah...I get the whole "out of your element animal thing!" Damn thing scares the crap out of me every time I pass him!

Harlem's A Hatin said...

That is so cool. All I ever see are damn squirrels.

Aunt Becky said...

Wicked cool. And beautiful. I just love birds. We have egrets here, snowy white egrets, and they look like that but much smaller.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Blue Violet - Yeah, (sigh) but I'm glad I got to witness it.

Amy - A brahma bull? Now that's not something you see every day. Well, you do see it every day, it's not something I see. Ever.

Harlem - No pigeons?

Aunt Becky- We have snowy egrets are here too. They are prettier than this alien was.

Lin said...

Yeah, I think it's pterodactyl, alright. Run for your lives!!!!

Ah, don't panic, pally. We live be a canal and these bad boys are forever flying over the house. I don't want them to land here as they are notorious menaces to backyard ponds--they spear the koi!! There are actual heron statues that folks put by their ponds to discourage them from coming. (Isn't it scary that I know this???) They are loners and will not come to a small pond where there is already a heron staking its claim.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Lin - You are so right. It was so big and weird that it looked like something out of the Flintstones. Being that my pool cover offered nothing more than soggy leaves, I don't suspect that he'll be back.

Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...

did you know if you see a blue heron it means 49 years of excellent underwear? Like you'll find the perfect thongs that don't pinch your fat. It's really lucky.

ps I'm following now :-)

Wendi said...

Wow. That's so cool. All we get here are flying roaches.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Martinis - There is no underwear on the earth that can make that claim . . .Blue Heron or NOT!


Wendi - That thought gives me nightmares.

kanishk said...

That is so cool! Too bad you couldn't get a picture!! Work from home India

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