Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Watchful Waiting: A Life Lesson from the Great Egret

I’ve probably shared that March is my least favorite month of the year, and spring-break week I best spend in self-imposed hiding.  My reasons and prejudicial behavior are not important.  Sometimes I work on self-change; sometimes I work on self-acceptance.  And sometimes I just work on letting time pass. And with the latter I rely heavily on the wonderful quote from Mark Twain’s “The Diary of Adam and Eve” as Adam repeated two words with each Sunday’s diary entry:  pulled through.  This is my week to pull through.

But my recent five days at Brazos Bend were a wonderful exploration of my favorite month of the year:  February.  Memories of those field days give me much to celebrate.  Raw digital images of the park’s resident birds give me good company to occupy my mind and challenge my creativity.  The biggest challenge is my limited artistic skill; the second biggest challenge is my continued clumsiness with mastering Photoshop Elements.  But I don’t mind either. 
Although not as rewarding as chasing birds in the field, chasing after and developing that one crisp image that tells a bird’s day-in-the-life story is a thing of beauty to me.   It is time well spent for what I would call my day-in-the-life story. It was 1:30 a.m. this morning when I ended my yesterday and turned off my computer.  Ten photographs were my Monday product.  Sleep was my reward.

I should mention that like most birders, I love chasing after and photographing those hard to get and rare species of what we call migrants, the colorful warblers and other passerines that too-quickly pass through Texas as they migrate north each spring and again south each fall.  Like many humans, they spend spring-break week out and about pursuing the best locale, the best food, the best entertainment.
And so I give pause today and share my special fondness for the most visible of local year-round residents:  the egrets and herons that call this coastal bend their home. I love to watch these gentle giants of the bird world as they hide, often in plain sight, by simply being still.  Their innate stillness makes them expert fishermen.  They patiently wait for the exact moment to display their lightning lunge toward the prey at hand (or perhaps I should say at bill).  Their watch is purposeful.  Their wait is purposeful.   

And so I raised my 400mm lens and shot this image of a Great Egret at Brazos Bend that last wonderful week of February.  This gentle giant was stoic and still, hiding out among the reeds at Brazos Bend.  It was giving watch, waiting.  Until it wasn’t.
( Please "click on" the photo to enlarge your view of this Egret's day-in-the-life lesson.)


  1. Sometimes the best we can offer on a day-in-the-life is that we "pulled through."

    So my dear friend, keep "pulling through" and so will I!

  2. I have often wondered what animal I related to or respected the most. It is a tie between a rapture (one of the big ones) and a Great Blue Heron. I love to watch them fish. My most favorite month is the next one because it brings me closer to the day I will meet my Lord face to face. Ok so I may have to repent for a 1000 years or so but after that it should be wonderful. :>

    Have you heard the "Good News"
    The best is yet to come!

    Miss Ya!


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