A few days ago, while walking along the cliffs here in Santa Cruz, I saw a great blue heron. It’s not my first heron here – two years ago I often saw one in the state park at Lighthouse Field – and I maybe saw this same one on the cliffs a month or so ago, or perhaps it was another of the same size. But I don’t see them often and I never see more than one at a time.
I stopped because to continue would have been to pass so close as to make it fly and other people on the sidewalk behind me also came to a stop. Soon there were six of us standing together looking at the heron. It watched us back.
I wonder what about the bird made us stop. It was beautiful, but most birds are beautiful, even the pigeons have such pleasing shapes and iridescent colors, and we wouldn’t have stopped for pigeons. I suppose it must have been the size, this very large bird, and maybe also something in the regal bearing. Eventually it chose to fly, suspicious of us in spite of ourselves, and we said to each other what a beautiful bird it was, and continued with our walking, our jogging, our solitary jaunts along the cliffs.
I’m turning this blog for a bit to the subject of such animal encounters, mine, but not only mine; I hope to have others weighing in — if I’m lucky and people love me enough, many others. I am calling this the beast, bug, and bird blog. On the beast, bug, and bird blog, this is post #1. — Karen Fowler