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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Not What I Was Looking For

Sometimes you get what you are looking for and sometimes you get something different.  
    Last week I drove the river road slowly, looking for the  Belted kingfisher I had spotted several times, previously. I heard its raspy call but could not see the bird.  There was a group of Canada geese scattered across the field and floating in some left over flood water. But they are everywhere if you live along a large river. There was also a Mallard duck couple gently floating along, avoiding the geese. Mallards weren't what I wanted today.
I finally gave up on the kingfisher and was just pulling my car back onto the road when I noticed the Great blue heron. 
Fully dressed for breeding season, its plumage showed up spectacularly in the morning's light.  The beak, usually a dull yellow, was now tinted orangish as were its legs though they don't show that way in this photo. The thin, black plume curving off the back of the heron's head added grace to the bird's profile.
We often don't find what we expect but that is not always a bad thing.  When this happens, we are presented with opportunities to do and see the unexpected. It might mean that we see a Great blue heron in breeding plumage or it might mean that  we are offered a new life path.  The thing is, it is up to us to be awake - to be open - to notice the unexpected opportunity.  I could have said, "but I was counting on a kingfisher." Then I would have missed the heron. Even the heron was more than it first appeared.  I watched it and took a photograph then drove on home. Once I put the picture onto my computer, I realized that its feathers were more defined and different than those of herons I usually saw. So I studied it, did some research and learned something. I now know that the unexpected heron gave me not just a pretty picture, it gave me a chance to learn - a chance to grow.  It inspired me.  
   I paint a little (a very little) but I would like to try to paint the heron. Maybe I'll fail. Maybe my painting will look more like a tall chickadee.  We'll see. I'll let you know.  Meanwhile, I'm thankful for the unexpected.

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     That first book in the Amazon ads, The Great Blue Heron by Hayward Allen. received a good review in Amazon.  Have any of you readers seen it? Let me know, I'm thinking about it for  myself.

7 comments:

Mia said...

To take whatever life brings and take pleasure of it, is a gift we should treasure more. Lovely photos, I'm looking forward to see your painting :)

Jane said...

Beautiful. What lady wouldn't find him him a catch all dressed up in his finest. They are such lovely birds.

Sharon Creech said...

I am partial to great blue herons, consider them lucky. Every spring, we wait for the arrival of one (the same one?) on our dock.

Naturedigital said...

A great find.
Beautiful photographs.
Costas

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

I like the blur on the second one... , it looks like a Chinese Painting !

Debbie said...

gave myself a little tour and found some really great pictures!! will def be back. debbie

Beyond My Garden said...

Won Ching Wah, Yes I enlarged the first one to show his head's detail, the photo really blurred. Thanks for seeing that as a good thing.

Debbie, Thanks for stopping back, come back soon and check my other two blogs.