The Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron is very close to my heart. She is the watch-bird of the river. She knows everything that goes on. When we’re running the river, she laughs when we point and call out “GBH!” because she has been quietly watching us for at least 20 minutes before we even saw her. She leads us down the river, scrutinizing our lines through rapids, and takes flight just before we get too close. I couldn’t count the times I’ve spotted a heron just before dropping into a big rapid. Somehow it always calms my nerves, just knowing that they are there watching as I descend into churning whitewater. As if they could help if something went wrong!? …Confidence is everything!

The Great Blue Heron, as it’s name suggests, emits a stoic presence; in its beautiful, confident pose it radiates greatness. Perched high above the river, or right on the water’s edge gazing out along the glassy water, you can just tell that it is an intelligent bird. I like to think that it is such a smart bird because it spends so much time observing. If we could only communicate, what could this bird teach us about the river?

Harriet the Great Blue is the first of my upcoming bird series. She’ll be watching as I dive into ink, screens, feathers. Stay tuned!

Watch the heron get her wings!