Gracie Glides Into the Wind

Gracie is a gracious Great Egret who greets me on the cove around midday. ..

I try to photograph my new friend on days with just a light breeze, so I can tell which way she’ll launch when she’s ready. Great Egrets mainly fish by wading — although at times they’ll glide a bit awkwardly over the water, imitating the more adept Snowies.

But Gracie doesn’t humble herself. She stands and watches the water while she stirs it up with her long legs. Then, when she’s fished out the waters, she’ll glide completely out of the cove, almost always launching into the wind. I have to be ready for this to happen, reading her beak as she makes up her mind.

Following Gracie in flight isn’t hard if you start from the instant she launches. If I’m lucky, the sun will catch her wings, defining each beautiful feather.

I love watching her long white wings fold and extend as she greets the breeze.

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