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The Bird and the Birdwatcher Regarded Each Other

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Anyone with kids of the right age have seen the movie Babe. In the early county fair scene, Farmer Hoggett picks the piglet up from a box and makes eye contact. The narrator says something like the ‘the pig and the farmer regarded each other’…

One winter day, I decided to head down to the town park near the river with my camera. I quietly made my way out the bank to see if any critters were on the river. It is hard to be quiet when the snow is extra crunchy. Much to my surprise I spotted a Great blue heron just across the river. I quickly sat down as to not startle it. It slowly turned its head and looked at me looking at it. A slight variation of that Babe quote floated thru my head. ‘The bird and the birdwatcher regarded each other.’

This heron seemed unperturbed by my presence so I slowly slipped ever closer. I watched the heron to ensure I was not disturbing him. I made it to river’s edge as the heron and I continued to quietly regard each other. As I sat in the snow, the heron stayed perched on a rock occasionally looking up and down river, glancing over at me or closing its eyes apparently enjoying the fading sunlight. 

We sat across from each other for over an hour. I was enjoying this quiet, and what felt like rather intimate, time with one of God’s amazing creatures. At one point a merganser paddled up and down our little stretch of river and we both watched it swim past. Then I started watching the heron watch the merganser. So, the birdwatcher was watching a bird watch another bird. I found it a rather amusing thought.

Eventually the heron tired of watching me, slowly went thru a range stretches (or maybe avian yoga) and lazily took off heading upstream. I watched him go and thanked God for another amazing and somewhat humorous encounter.