Green Heron; The Character Actor.

I suppose we could call it a storm, but by the ones that occur in the midwest and eastern seaboard this one wasn’t much. I may be speaking too soon, the major swoop is suppose to be tonight and Sunday. Right now it has cleared up which is one of the two best results of a small bit of rain. First is the Wild fires are at least more controllable or hopefully have been extinguished. Second is the air quality; a substantial number of people had been wheezing, coughing and sneezing for the past few months. The watering eyes, stuffiness and joint stiffness remain with me but they should at least be reduced by tonight. I’m not alone in this it’s an unspoken condition we are all managing the best we can.

This morning was rainy until about 10:30am when it stopped and the sky cleared up; it’s suppose to return in a few hours. I went out an hour ago, it wasn’t pleasant which made me decide to return to house and leave the dog outside. I managed to take a number of photographs of this Green Heron that showed up and stayed for a long while. He is the one I call “Tiny” due to his unusually petite stature. I give him (he is a male most likely) credit because he is always hot on the trail of another meal.

I was quite close to him using a 400mm lens no cropping was needed but because they were shot in RAW editing took a few minutes. He has been frequenting this Dock for the past few days, he particularly likes this snug corner he is in above. Standing merely 9″ tall, the females are closer to 12″ some more others less. The male in many bird species is typically smaller than the females, the Ladies need the larger body mass for help while they are carrying eggs.

These guys are comical making them interesting to watch they have the patience of their larger cousin the Great Blue Heron. They mate for life when one takes to the air the other is not far behind. I watch them throughout the day flying around the slough, they don’t fly together so much as the male follows the female by 30 yards or so. Their nest has been on the far levee near the water in the Tules (reeds and weeds). It must be a secure nesting area because the Canadians and Otters have their young in the same patch of vegetation.

They are not exactly a beehive of activity motionless most of the time then suddenly begin to preen and groom. Green Herons will fluff their feathers as if separating them to dry prior to flight. The bird in the picture above is beginning to prepare, one of the first things they do is stretch out the wings and flex their legs. Satisfied with that he will jump to a higher spot, either on a handrail or another flat surface such as the top of the dock. From there he will prepare his plumage as shown in the first photo above. Finally after 10-15 minutes, yes it takes them that long, he is ready to take to the air.

He continues working on getting ready to get ready by flexing his feathers on his back. Green Herons are enjoyable to watch I watch their body language which is much like humans although I don’t believe they are able to be translated for the same meanings. As I’ve mentioned often there is no way I or any other human can get inside the mind of any animal to discover their true motivations and reasoning.

If I were to attach a description, inaccurately, it would be procrastinator, I don’t believe that to be so. They go through all of the motions due to Hundreds of Thousands of years evolving; It may be more of a safety factor. Animals will crash once in a while, I suspect early in the evolutionary stage it happens often. Even us Humans made more mistakes than not during that period of our development. I read this morning due to poaching Elephants during the past 15 years have stopped growing tusks; it makes perfect sense to me.

I was watching these guys, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn I named them, approaching from 3-400 yards away. At first I thought it was a common log we see often drifting with the tide either in or out. I kept my eye on it while watching the Green Heron and noticed some movement. They inched closer very slowly taking nearly an hour to reach the place I was on the Levee top. The log finally reached the dock I was near and the wind blew it to the space in front of me protected from the breeze by a docked boat. I took several good images, as is the normal course of things I took way too many and deleted all but 15 out of a total of 50. I have gotten to the point a great majority of my pictures are keepers which makes it difficult to decide which to trash or keep.

Yesterday was a good afternoon and this morning was restful to say the least.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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