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September 2013



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Great Blue Heron, October 2nd

October 2nd Heron, originally uploaded by Cathy (Kate) Johnson.

Yesterday was an absolutely glorious fall day--sunny, crisp, clear, perfect weather. A gift in and of itself!

We took J. for his annual physical--waiting for blood test results, but so far everything looks good. He's still hacking some, and has a bit of sore throat, but then the doctor did, too--I think half the town has had it! It's sounded like a TB ward here for weeks...

kateslover read and slept in the truck while I took my annual birthday walk and compass readings--this time I was delighted, almost first thing, to find a great blue heron near the path. I'd worried about them, this summer--weeks went by without seeing a single heron in any of their usual haunts. But the great heron drought broke a few weeks ago, and now they're everywhere.

Yesterday, this one stayed still and posed for me, preening, fishing, posing and generally keeping an eye on me. Finally, he flew up the cove, and I followed--had to! He was joined by another heron, and finally they both flew, virtually in front of me, huge wingspan of up to 54 inches! They looked immense, like a pair of pterodactyls in their slow, majestic flight.

As if this weren't enough to make a glorious day, my husband cleaned the bedroom closet for me in the morning, right down to the walls and bare floor, then took me out to dinner--what a birthday! White zinfandel, lobster bisque to start, and fresh NY-style cheesecake to top it off. We ran into dear friends at the restaurant, and J. got to meet one of my oldest buddies--literally, he told us he was 88 now, and still looks great! He still goes to work a couple of days a week...amazing...

Afterward, we went on home and curled up and read--I can't imagine a better way to celebrate a birthday...



Happy day to you!!!

That does sound like a wonderful day, Ms. Kate, and happy, happy belated birthday!!!


Re: Happy day to you!!!

Thank you! It was glorious! And his blood tests came back today, he's doing great!
Oh, no!!! I missed your birthday!!! I'd better write it down (ya think?) ---I'm glad it was glorious! October is the perfect month for a birthday and I'm glad it's yours.
Big, belated birthday hugs,
That is SO OK, girlfriend. I'm not one of those who gets all bent out of shape over stuff like that (I don't have a clue when yours is!)

Hugs are good ANY time though...


HAPPY Birthday

What a special time--herons and an autumn day on the lake and A CLEANED CLOSET and a birthday dinner, and then to curl up and read, together...you both must have been purrrrring like the cats.

Re: HAPPY Birthday

That's just about right, Annie, we were!
Happy Birthday!

Sounds wonderful. I am Beryl, who was whipporwill on lj, but I started a new journal, and would like to invite you to friend me as copperwaterfall. It's been two and a half years since I've posted on lj, but I remember your beautiful artwork and your poetic posts.
Welcome back to LJ, Beryl! I'll add you to my friends list, and thank you!
I didn't know it was your birthday, but I am glad it was happy! The heron painting is sublime. Happy belated... :-)
Thank you, Muriel! I really love herons...delighted to spend some time with this one!
I participate in the annual Breeding Bird Survey, and read in the newsletter to volunteers last year that Great Blue Herons were the only species (in 2007) that showed significant signs of decline. I haven't see anything else about it, so can't tell you the cause, whether it is a trend or part of a cycle. But there's scientific evidence to corroborate your observation.

I was fortunate to stumble upon one of these fine creatures last month, and it was not too shy...

2008 09 17

Happy birthday!
Wow, Van, did you take the photo? That's just beautiful.

I'm sorry to hear that my observations were accurate--there are times I'd SO much rather be wrong! I should check with the Missouri Department of Conservation or our local Audubon Society to see what their observations are...I was going to, till I finally started seeing them again with regularity!
Yes, I was surprised to encounter this bird on my daily walk a couple weeks ago, at sunrise in a city park a few hundred yards from my apartment. You might enjoy a look at the daily photo journal I've been keeping since April:


Sorry to be the bringer of bad news about the heron, although I believe it's better for us to know about these things and discuss them. I wonder whether their troubles might be tied to the global decline in amphibians, which are probably an important food source. I don't know, it's just a thought that came to me now as I was thinking about it. I prefer to hope it was just a temporary phenomenon appearing in last year's data.
LOVELY stuff, Van.

I wonder about the amphibians, too--the heron I watched was catching small fish...


Happy Belated Birthday!

I hope that you are still celebrating and rejoicing for a nother year!

Re: Happy Belated Birthday!

Thank you! We DO tend to try to celebrate every day.