A great blue heron and I hunted together on the beach this morning for a half hour, and I was truly honored to be so near to it.
Of course, my Olympus digital camera, just purchased two months ago, isn’t working, so I couldn’t take any pictures. Nevertheless, it’s a moment of my life that I’ll never forget — at least not until senility sets in, at which point I’ll be happy just watching shadows move across walls.
That gorgeous bird was every bit of 45-inches tall. The heron was more gray than blue, and its legs looked like hinged stilts as it stalked through a pool of water deserted by the tide.
When I first saw the heron, sunrise was 15 minutes away and it was still darker than a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie (thanks to The Stranger from The Big Lebowski for that line). I was looking for big triangles as the heron hunted fish just thirty feet away.
Big Blue was wary, constantly glancing at me as it preyed, but it never seemed particularly frightened, not even when other beachcombers joined us.
The heron was north of me as the sun ascended behind low-lying, wispy clouds. For a few minutes, it’s head was surrounded by refracted light — like a halo.
Lord, why couldn’t I have had a camera with me?
A beautiful, fellow beachcomber walked by and I told her of my frustration. She expressed her sorrow. Then she shrugged and said, “Some things you just can’t capture.”
Her sentiments immediately comforted me. Every moment of life doesn’t have to be captured on film. Sometimes one is better off committing experiences to memory.
Thanks, Big Blue. You made my day.