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As you may know, the garden is in a bit of disarray. So instead of plant pictures, we’re sending along photos of some fine-feathered friends.

This morning just as Bill and I headed out for a winter walk, I got the bright idea we should go look for herons to photograph. So we jumped in the car and drove five minutes to Whittaker Ponds, where bird life is generally abundant. Today, not so much.

Nature at Whittaker Ponds
…the sedge is withered from the lake, And no birds sing. ~Keats

We saw quite a few ducks and geese, but they were way out in the middle–too distant for decent shot. And then as we were driving home, I espied a Great Blue Heron in a tree, right by chance, where I’d espied one a couple weeks earlier. A quick U-turn later, we were back on the trail.

Great Blue Heron espied way up there in the tree.
Great Blue Heron espied way up there in the tree a couple weeks ago.

We crept stealthily toward the bird. Ah hah!

The following pictures compliments of Bill Wagenblatt.

Great Blue Heron at the Columbia Slough
Great Blue Heron at the Columbia Slough

Feeling as if we’d already had the best of luck, we hopped in the car and turned toward home, again. And THEN we saw a big white bird, the Great Egret, sitting in another tree, close to where we’d managed to scare away the first one.

The photographer with the big lens over yonder. (Bill usually photographs vintage race cars, but he’s ever the good sport.)

Intrepid photographer Bill Wagenblatt stalking an Egret.
Intrepid photographer Bill Wagenblatt stalking an Egret.

And then, grumpy Egret. I think he saw us and did not find us amusing.

Great Egret near PDX
Great Egret near PDX

A little bit closer. Such stealth we employed to sneak up on this one, to his ever-growing chagrin.

Great Egret near PDX
A closer view of Great Egret near PDX

I gather when they shift from standing on one foot to standing on both, viewing time is becoming limited.

Whoops, Great Egret startled again.

But lucky us. Captured in flight. Coooool.

Great Egret
Great Egret taking flight, complaining all the while. They’re noisier than I realized.

Wishing you a wonderful new year, full of high flying adventure–and with any luck, just minutes from your front door.