Saturday, December 11, 2010

Great Blue Heron Walk

He saw us before we saw him, clumsy humans that we are, totally unaware of our surroundings. Lifting silently into the air, the Great Blue Heron's large wings carried his prehistoric looking body up and away. Obviously he was not impressed we were invading his territory, a place that was already inhospitable with its recently frozen pond making fishing impossible.

Soon after the first heron's flight, my husband noticed a second heron on the other side of the pond, standing on the frozen surface, quite possibly wondering why it was impossible to penetrate the water to access dinner below. Within seconds, it joined its fellow heron in the sky.

As the herons made their departure, I was left wondering how they are able to survive with the pond frozen, cut off from their main source of food. A bit of research on the internet provided me with some answers. Apparently, herons have a varied diet and not only eat fish, but land animals like gophers and voles as well. In fact, from the sounds of it, herons are pretty adaptable when it comes to food. The heron I noticed today was clearly trying to fish and I wondered if it was able to penetrate the ice with its bill to obtain food below. Will have to keep an eye out and see if that is the case.

My Internet research also told me that we live in the permanent range of the heron which runs from southeast Massachusetts down along the coastal states to about Maryland and then due west, encompassing all of the southern states. Herons in the northern climates overwinter in southern areas.

Another interesting tidbit discovered while researching the Great Blue Heron came from Native American lore. The heron totem gives you a lesson of self-reflection. It teaches you about the power of knowing yourself so you can discover your gifts and face any challenges you may have. The Great Blue Heron totem encourages us to follow our intuition and take a journey into self-realization.

Self-realization...a worthy pursuit during a time of year when it is so easy to get distracted with the message to consume.

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