Eye to eye with Lyle

He heard the click and turned to take me in, without a wink of fear.

A long pause and…back to his fishing. Silly as it sounds, I gulped—yes I did—and said “Thank you.”

Call me sentimental but I had asked this Little Blue Heron to come. When he arrived, I hollered to splendid spouse, “We can’t leave yet,” grabbed my camera, trudged down to the crunchy gravel whose sound often scares off other birds, and stood as close to him as I could without sinking into marsh mud.

He didn’t flinch but flew even closer, to the very edge of the pool nearest me. Lyle the Little Blue Heron. The very same bird I photographed a year ago, as a chalk-white Juvenile, then again as an adolescent in the spring.

And now as a magnificent mature Heron, rejoicing in his powers, he looked me in the eye and proceeded to show his stuff. Already, he had extended a leg and folded it underneath, standing one-legged as grownups do when angling.

Now he pulled a big crab from the pool—too big for him to eat—and released it, like a fly fisherman having fun. Why else would he do that except to show he could?

Next he threw his beak open and sang a few bars of that eerie heron holler. Then he pulled a fish from the pond. Ate it. And flew off.

Lyle, I love you and I’m thankful you know it, and know me. Thank you, Lyle.

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