A Day of Intended Rest

A day of rest is on the docket, and I ponder whether or not to get dressed, but when I open the blinds, the heron is in attendance, and not long after I hear his throaty alarm. A Great Egret has decided to show up also, so I get dressed and grab my camera.

A rustle in the bush across the way, alerts me that the anhinga is also present.

“Looks like it might be a busy day on the canal.” I tell Ric.

I toss in a load of wash, then lounge on the bed, read some emails, and when it’s time to move, I glance out again. A new bird has joined the activity.

I rush outside, but too late. Whoever the visitor was, it is gone. I glance around to see a kestrel perched on an overhead wire. I take a few pictures and then go back inside. I really need to rest.

When the washer signals, I get up to see the bird is back. This time I approach more carefully. A lone wigeon ducks beneath a bush. I get a few shots before it disappears, and just as I’m putting the lens down, see another lone figure standing on the bank. The Green Heron is back!

I am able to take quite a few pictures before he notices me and moves out of sight. Chuffed, I decide to look around to see what else might be happening. My friend is strolling through the shallow water, and the anhinga is fishing under water.

I notice the arrival of another heron, just as the anhinga raises up out of the water with a fish. Neck fully extended, he somehow manages to swallow the fish whole. Quite a sight.

Meantime, the second heron and my friend are approaching one another.

“Oh boy,” I think. “This won’t be pretty.” Buddy doesn’t like other birds getting in his territory.

My camera starts going crazy as I witness a synchronistic dance between the two birds. I’m not sure what I’m witnessing – whether it’s a statement of prowess or a mating ritual.

In the end, Buddy raises his wings, and then turns away. The second heron moves upstream.

All returns to calm on our little patch of canal. I’ve taken a hundred photos.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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