Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not-So-Great Heron

"You would know the heron if you saw it... A queer tall white bird with soft feathers and long thin legs."
- Sarah Orne Jewett, A White Heron

What’s so great about these ginormous birds? They’re “protected” from predators: humans aren’t allowed to hunt them. Yet they are allowed to use my fishpond as an all you can eat buffed. Now I ask you, is this fair?

The bird in this picture was totally not worried when Tech Support Guy walked to the other side of the pond to take this picture. He (the bird) is taller than I am, although I outweigh him by a few pounds. As you approach his position, he stares you in the eye long enough to communicate that he can come and go whenever he wants and there’s nothing you can do about it. Then he shrugs his wings and lifts like an elevator to the top of the nearby roof, where he remains sneering down at you for a few moments before flying away, as if to say that you are literally beneath his notice. I submit that giving wildlife a protected status ends up turning them into spoiled snobs.

The heron couldn’t be bothered fishing for the small mosquito eaters that populate the pond. The few surviving koi/goldfish are all almost black. Anything that flashes any color is soon dispatched by the heron during the early morning and twilight hours, or by the raccoons et. al. who hunt at night. So our pond is a living demonstration in genetic selection to adapt to the prevailing conditions.

1 comment:

Martha in Michigan said...

I'm sorry it eats your fish and impinges on your equanimity with its arrogance, but it sure is beautiful.