From day to day I never know what I will see outside my window. Sometimes it's the resident bluebird family I have come to count on each day, and then sometimes it is something completely unexpected but amazing!
We have lots of Great Blue Herons that visit us, so seeing them is nothing new, but today, while hanging out with the dogs, I noticed a huge flash outside our back door. What made this unusual was that the flurry of large wings didn't move past quickly and go towards the creek, but instead this majestic bird landed in one of our walnut trees away from the water but relatively close to our house.
Herons in the wild are extremely temperamental and wary of people, so I doubted I would be able to capture this unusually "close" encounter, but I grabbed my camera anyway and headed outside. I was sure that when I opened the door it would take flight, but it stayed put and kept its eye on me.
At first I wondered if perhaps it was a eye lid I had captured in the down position, but as I snapped away and came inside and really magnified the images it became clear that the eye was completely black, but not cloudy in any way.
It made me wonder if that could be why this particular heron was so different from any I had encountered before. We usually can't get within 200 feet of one before they fly off, squawking with dismay, and I have plenty of heron "butt" pictures to prove this.
Instead of fleeing, this bird seemed to almost want me to get closer, to make note of his or her uniqueness. I also think that this might be a juvenile, though it stood about 4 feet tall and easily had a wing span in excess of 5 feet. The mottled neck feathers and chestnut edging on it's wings and near its legs can be an indication of its immaturity.
After a bit, he or she decided to move on, and flew off towards the water. I was so happy I had talked myself into going out and taking a chance even though past experience dictated that I would only capture pictures of a fleeing bird.
And the bonus is that this heron was even more lovely with its mismatched eyes. To me, it made it even more beautiful. Some people find differences to just be strange...I find them to be captivating, and strangely beautiful!
Enjoy your day!