Tuesday 1 September 2020

A Heron and a Bountiful Beginning

 September 1st. Unbelievable. Today was a P.D. day devoted mostly to health and safety. There are two more P.D. days which is unusual for a school year, as we usually just start the day after labour day with students and classes, but of course, this is a year unlike any other. 

But I much prefer blogging about the little things that bring me such contentment. Sometimes my daughter and I will go out for a walk after supper and we often end up walking down the road toward the Community Centre. There is a pond beside the centre and there was large equipment parked, shut down for the day, and a big generator was keeping a pump going, pumping the water into some kind of holding area. I have no idea what the reason for the draining was, it just looked like they dragged back the banks all around, but perhaps they were also clearing out a line or something. There was still a bit of water in the bottom and there was a group of a few killdeers, running back and forth, calling and twittering nonstop, leaving little criss-cross bird footprints in the mud. After watching those little birds for a while, we realized that there was also another, much quieter, calmer, slower bird. She was so much the same colour as the soil and the dark water that we hadn't even noticed her: a female Great Blue Heron (or perhaps an immature male, I'm not certain).





She slowly bent forward and then shot forward, grasping what I imagine was a little minnow, a number of times while we stood watching her. 


As you can see from the diminished light in this last picture, we watched for quite a while. I love seeing birds, especially large ones, or birds of prey. When we spent a week in Prince Edward Island several years ago, we saw many Great Blue Herons in the lakes and rivers on the island. 

On a walk a couple of days later, we saw that the water was back in the pond, and the equipment was gone. The noisy killdeers were on the bank, but the heron was not there. As we turned to make our way home, a motion caught my eye between the trees, and it was the heron flying in to land beside the pond. I'm so glad we saw that. A heron in the water is nice, but a heron in the air is fantastic! (I hope you read this Jeanie. My photos were just taken with my phone, as I had it in my pocket at the time, and don't come close to your amazing photos of your resident heron. I thought you might like to see a Canadian version ­čśâ).

When I got home from work, later than I had intended, I quick opened the freezer to see what was a possibility for supper. I'm still cooking for four of us, as son isn't returning to his college town until the weekend. A bag of honey garlic sausages seemed just the thing, and then I went out to the garden. A meal (with the exception of the meat) from my own garden just makes my heart sing. It's the little things.


Perfect red potatoes, gorgeous purple beans that turn green when cooked, the beginnings of ripe tomatoes, and a few, albeit small, carrots. We like our new potatoes boiled, so you can crush them with a fork, with butter or maybe sour cream, salt and pepper, and son and I like some diced raw onion on top. 

Now it is evening and the thunder is gently rumbling away in the distance. The rain is light - perfect.

29 comments:

  1. This would be a wonderful meal! I had to read to the end to know what those purple beans were. I didn't recognize them.
    On my deck I grew two Anaheim peppers this year which I got to eat. A third on is still on the plant but something ate all the leaves (though not the pepper) so I don't have high hopes. And the three Amish paste tomatoes which were ripening were each half eaten...Gurrrh. Groundhogs? Chipmunks? I see both on the deck. At least my herbs don't seem to attract them....
    I live very very close to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and there is a heron rookery (or heronry?) I pass often and see people with cameras watching them, mostly in the spring.This year has been so strange that I have not gone this way often, alas.

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    1. How wonderful to be able to see many herons at once! Too bad about your vegetables getting eaten. I had problems with my green beans getting "topped".

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  2. Red potatoes and purple beans. How exotic it all sounds. And it's all from your garden.
    How wonderful to see the heron.

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    1. I randomly planted my red potatoes and white potatoes. Now when I dig some up, it's a surpise as to what I'll find.

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  3. My daughter accompanied me on Rick's afternoon walk yesterday. "Look Mum!" she said and pointed upwards. A heron flew across the field in front of us. Parallel lives!

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  4. Herons are just about my favourite bird. Your vegs look good, it's a shame that the purple turns to green; it does with lots of other purple vegs too.

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    1. Apart from eggplant, I can't think of any other purple vegetable. Oh, maybe cabbage.

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    2. Beetroot, some peppers, some carrots, purple sprouting broccoli

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  5. That digger seems to have destroyed the poor heron's cover. I hope it grows back.

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    1. Actually, it was always just grass around the edge of the pond. There is quite a marshy spot across the road, however.

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  6. Herons fishing in shallow are just mesmerizing aren't they? They take such slow careful steps. They used to appear in our marina at a certain time of the year and (somewhat to our distress) catch tiny ducklings.

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    1. Oh. That's a bit disturbing. I thought they caught mostly fish and frogs.

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  7. Your veg looks lovely. We too only add the meat at the moment and it is such a good feeling.

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  8. I like watching Blue Herons - such an interesting bird & thankfully we also have in this area. I wonder if the pond work is to remove the build up of those invasive grasses that are taking over our ponds - I think they are called something like stagmites or something similar, but very invasive & only can be destroyed by deep digging to the roots. ... Mary-Lou =^[..]^=

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  9. Purple veggies? Don't forget purple carrots! I grew them a couple of years ago, but wasn't impressed. They emit a lot of "dye" when cooked and I ruined a pot of soup by using them in it. Ever enjoy a bowl of dark gray soup?

    A couple of weeks ago we were eating a meal at the kitchen table when a huge bird flew low over our deck (kinda scared me for a second) headed for the poultry yard. We ran out thinking it was a big hawk looking for a meal. Turned out to be a Great Blue Heron that landed on the edge of the pond. We see them there (never more than one at a time) infrequently. Such a treat. The poultry still all ran for cover thinking it might have been a hawk, too!

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  10. What a lovely photo op for you. I love watching the birds, big and small. I've never seen purple beans. Fresh from the garden makes a delicious meal. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

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  11. One of Harry's Canadian Cousins! I love it that you saw the heron -- and twice. Doesn't it feels special to see one? I don't know why more than other birds but it does. They are so graceful and so big! I love that you and your daughter could experience that together.

    Your garden bounty looks wonderful. I'm resigned to the farm market produce -- all good. In fact, today I am making tomato sauce to freeze. If all goes well, I'll get more tomatoes at Friday's market. Love your potatoes!

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  12. I'm making the, sort of, 100 Foot Lunch today. Tomatoes, zucchini from our own garden, stir fried with a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash. Top with beaten egg from the neighbours flock and topped with some cheese from Prince Edward County. Fritata I think? We got a good dump of rain overnight, but the severe thunder storms they were warning us about didn't materialize.

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  13. Oh to have home grown veggies that are fresh to add to your dinner is fabulous. While the virus has us all trapped in limbo it I think it is nice to read blogs like yours that show us we can find joy in the little things around us during this pandemic. Have a great rest of the week. xoxo

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  14. the best meals are made out of the garden - yours looks perfect.

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  15. I love to see the water birds too. I've never seen a blue heron here in Saskatchewan though. Beautiful bird!

    Your fresh veg all look so delicious! There is nothing better than new potatoes.

    Take care and stay well!

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  16. I also love to see heron flying. They look so prehistoric to me. There is a large nesting area in the National Park near us.

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  17. I saw my heron again today, and pulled off the road for a picture, and once again a speeding car came between me and the heron. I'll be so pleased when the tourists are gone. Thanks for the picture of yours. They are the most elegant creatures.
    And hurrah for your garden.

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  18. Wow what a wonderful post. Your dinner was amazing and I like my new potatoes the same smooshed with lots of real butter.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  19. Great that you were able to see the heron. It is an opportunistic feeder and will snatch up just about anything that moves. It is incredible the size of prey a heron can swallow. We have a fairly large heronry near here and the young birds are now starting their journey into full independence.

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  20. Good for you to focus on the matters that bring contentment. You are a wise woman.

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