Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Grey Heron

The Grey Heron

The grey heron for hours on end is standing
In the quiet pool with water to his knees
With head cocked to strike he scans the moonlit waters
For small trout who might swim out from shade of trees.

Till eventually his great patience is rewarded
A troutling unconcerned swims his way
A quick dart of his head there's little struggle
And in one gulp he swallows down his prey.

The quick snatched meal does little for his hunger
There's many more fish there for him to eat
In shallows of river pool he stands silent
The cold waters lapping around his feet.

The grey herons in flight seem slow and awkard
But as fisher birds with patience they have skill
They wait for hours in the slow shallow waters
And they won't miss their opportunity to kill.

In moonlit stream at border of quiet meadow
In shallows of pool partly shaded by trees
The patient heron waits for his next victim
With water lapping around his spindly knees.

Francis Duggan 

The above verse seems to describe the heron and it's ways perfectly, it's just a shame I couldn't catch it in the moonlight as the poem depicts. 

These two photos were taken at the Strid in Wharfedale; the heron being spotted by the ever eagle-eyed Sal. I pretty sure I would have have missed it!

Sal has a great affinity with herons which can be best illustrated by quoting one of her recent Flickr comments -

       "Herons have a very special meaning to me. Sometimes they seem to appear when I feel sad and they always lift my spirits. I'm not superstitious so know it's just a coincidence, but they make me feel happy so who cares? In Greek mythology they were the messengers of the Gods to show you were being watched over and in Egyptian mythology they were linked to the sun god, Ra. Maybe someone up there is looking out for me?"


A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...