This is the Diablo Wind; It’s a Challenge.

I was fortunate to be greeted with a calm day early this morning, there wasn’t ripple on the Slough nor a hint of a breeze. Would it last? I didn’t expect it to, sure as the day is long the wind began to blow fifteen minutes later. All was not lost as a Great Blue Heron landed on the old dock then began to hunt for breakfast.

He was perfectly still for 5 minutes peering deep into the water below, suddenly making his move it appeared he was about to fall in. It’s quite impressive how far the neck will extend, it’s always much further than I would expect.

He came up with one in the process slinging water all over the place, the Heron was happy but it’s not hard to imagine what the fish thought. It makes me wonder how many fish it takes to sustain this big bird plus feed the hatchlings waiting in the nest. A Barn Owl takes 30 mice to feed itself and the chicks in the nest; the Great Blue Heron is 7-10 times the size.

They won’t swallow a live fish perhaps the fins get caught going down or it just moves way too much to handle. None the less when they catch a mammal or amphibian they will knock it senseless, dip it in the water as lubrication and finally swallow it.

That lump in the throat is the location of the fish ever so slowly being swallowed.

At about that time the wind kicked up reaching 25 mph rapidly followed with an increase to 30 then it’s final destination of 40mph. I packed up my kit then went back into the house, enjoyed the rest of my coffee and edited the pictures. Much to my surprise I had zero deletions out of nearly 100 images. Those I tossed in the trash were mostly the South end of North bound train or a head on shot which blended the beak, face and head into a weird looking mess.

All in All it has been another Great Day, these are the best days of my life.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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