Saturday, August 16, 2014

In the Shadow of....Great Blue Herons?

I posted here about a year ago about how frequently it has happened to me that I've been in the shadow of Turkey Vultures.  Usually it happens when I'm on a sunny ridge top, and all of a sudden a big shadow passes over: a Turkey Vulture.

Well, last week I did some canoeing with a friend along the Conococheague Creek north of Greencastle, PA, and we we so fortunate in that we saw too many Great Blue Herons to count.  In most of the cases we would paddle downstream and startle a heron, which would flap away, mostly in the downstream direction.  Of course, in a couple minutes we'd flush the bird again.

After a couple times, the heron would usually wise up and instead of fleeing away downstream, it'd turn either left or right and circle around, getting behind us on the upstream side, probably muttering to itself in heron about those damn canoeists.

At any rate, there was one instance where we didn't see the heron, but all of a sudden a large shadow swept over us on an otherwise open and sunny stretch of water. I immediately looked up towards the sun, and sure enough, there was a Great Blue Heron sailing overhead.

I smiled, having been party to an uncommon treat, being in the shadow of a heron.

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