Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Big Bird That Got Away

This is one of those old fish crow stories, about hearing a fish crow in the backyard this morning, going "uh uh"..."uh uh", again and again, with that call that sounds like it's contradicting everything you happen to be thinking. "Uh uh. That's a lousy idea," it seems to be saying. "Uh uh. You don't want to do that." And so I go out on the back patio to see what all the "uh uhs" are about, and locate the fish crow, seemingly alone in the top of the silver maple tree, and while I'm looking up, out of the corner of my eye I see a great blue heron lifting itself up out of the shrubbery screening the chicken coop and fly off in its heavy, gangly way, swooping around an evergreen tree to drop back down to the ground a couple doors away. We have no fish, nor any pond this time of year to even offer hope of fish. Was it remembering ponds and goldfish past? Or was it hanging out with the chickens, who also were clustered under the shrubs? Maybe some kind of big bird affinity happening there. And why was the fish crow making that steady, repetitive call, as if monitoring the situation and letting fellow crows know what gives? I went over to my neighbor's. He has a pond with a pump-driven waterfall. The great blue heron was gone.

That was a good photo that got away, and if the neighbor had any fish in his pond, a couple long-necked gulps may have left his pond as empty as the tree in this photo.

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