Saturday, 10 November 2007

Herons


A few weeks ago I was walking with Mollie at the beach in Flushing when on the very edge of the water I saw three large birds. They looked just like herons, but I’d only ever seen herons along the creeks.

I squinted at them: it was a hot day and the sun was slow, shining strongly in my eyes. I drew closer and, sure enough, there were three herons standing on the rocks at low tide. Mum, Dad and Littl’Un.

Of course you never have a camera when you want one, and herons being shy birds, they flew away before I could get too close.

I stood on the beach, watching as they flew to the top of a tall tree; the branches bending and swaying as they settled one by one. Standing on the beach I could only feel their absence, wished I could do more.

But it was the most magical sight. The sun bouncing off the water, turning the shadows black. The herons stood out in relief, like perfect statues, frozen in the sunlight. It was a sight that I hope I never forget.

12 comments:

Rebecca Taunton said...

Herons are fantastic birds, aren't they? It seems almost strange that they would nest in trees, but they do. An odd sight.

And isn't it just typical you'd see something you want to photograph just when you don't have the camera!

RT

Jez Bell said...

Unexpected moments like that really are magical arent they? Just catching up with your posts - sorry to read on your last one re letters from publishers. I think you have to think that they wouldnt have been right for your book, and its their loss not the other way round.

laurie said...

there are herons at our lake, and egrets, too. they're beautiful and so graceful, even with those long, awkward necks.

that's a great thing to come across on your morning walk.

elizabethm said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog about my illness. It was cathartic to write and I would love to feel it had helped anyone to cope or to understand. I have put it behind me now and getting on with life on my welsh hills blog but it was good to know someone new had found it!
Herons are special aren't they?

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You will have the memory always, cameras can never better that.

Crystal xx

Flowerpot said...

RT - yes I never realised that they nest in trees before - seems so unlikely. I imagined a nest up a creek in the mud somewhere.

jez bell - that sounds very good advice. I will bear that in mind!

laurie - yes we have egrets too - I think they're amazing.

Flowerpot said...

elizabethm - you have great courage and deserve to be happy.

crytsal - yes you're quite right. And photographs often fade...

Akelamalu said...

That's one of those times when you could kick yourself for not having a camera handy!

Philipa said...

Sounds great Flowerpot - I used to like watching the herons at Coombe Abbey. I like the great crested grebe too, like to watch him dive and then pop up when convinced he must have drowned he's been down so long. I like buzzards too but my fave has got to be the red kite. Great memories, thanks for making me remember good times :-)

Miss Understood said...

I'm always seeing beautiful things to photograph when I don't have my camera with me. So I took it to work with me for a week (we travel around a lot)and didn't see a damn thing!

Moments like that stay with you always.

Flowerpot said...

ak - yes, though to be honst I don't usually have one with me. I must make the effort!

Flowerpot said...

Philippa - I love buzzards too - saw a great hulk of one this morning while was walking Mollie. I could watch them for hours.

MissU - that's really sods law!