Thursday, December 27, 2012
A Great Blue Heron Pays a Visit
But what's this? I by my window, computer before me,
When outside there arose such a flutter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the mutter.
Away from the window, I flew like a flash.
Searched for my camera amongst all the trash.
I like to think the heron was fooled by our swollen pondlets just like I was as a kid, living for a month on top of a mountain in Texas while my dad was on an observing run at McDonald Observatory. At the base of the mountain was a pond full of catfish that we had much success catching during long evenings before my dad headed up to the telescope, to scrutinize the depths of the universe for the night. That part of Texas was known for its lack of rain, which is why the observatory was there. But one afternoon, a single large cloud appeared on the horizon in an otherwise blue sky. It came right over us, as if on a mission, dumped its thick rain upon us, then left within an hour. I looked down the mountain and saw the pond had tripled in size. Maybe it was all of those Field and Stream magazines I was reading, but to my thinking the swollen pond meant that the fish had tripled in size as well. I was so excited I hiked all the way down the mountain, sugar plummed lunker fish dancing in my head, and cast my line into the sprawling, muddy waters, expecting great things. Not a single fish. Slowly it dawned on me that there still were the same number of fish, and they hadn't grown. They were just more spread out and they couldn't see the bait because of all the muddy runoff. I was, in the true sense of the word, dis-illusioned. But in retrospect it made for a great hike.
Before I could rouse the kids this morning, the heron flew off into the bleak morning sky, to grace some other place, and hopefully return after some future rain, to lend our modest waters its deep scrutiny.