And a Little Child Shall Lead Them

baby great blue heron

Yesterday, on our way home from my grandson’s afternoon Sports Camp, we made a stop for a much needed haircut. As we were sitting in a line of cars trying to leave the parking lot onto a busy street, Kevin exclaimed there was a large blue, black, and white bird in a tree between our car and a pond. He insisted I must stop to see it. When I was finally able to leave the lot, I drove around the corner and returned via another entrance to the parking lot. Once we left the car, there was no bird in sight. Kevin was devastated. He insisted it was an amazing, huge bird. With a pond right there, I realized there was a possibility it was a Great Blue Heron.

To cheer him up, on the way home, I pulled into Bear Creek Park to see what ducks and geese were there. Kevin was the first to see a bird with a long slender body and tall yellow wading legs standing on a post beside the road. He insisted THAT was the bird he saw. Though we were a few miles from where he saw the wonderful bird, I do believe him.  It was not the exact same bird, but it probably was the same species.

The bird did not move as we drove slowly by, then parked and walked towards him. As I did not have my camera with me, I tried to memorize his markings and shape.  He certainly had a blue hue on his back with  brown and white speckles on his throat and chest, long yellow legs, yellow eye, and long yellow, narrow bill. With the definite blue hue and the body shape, he had to be a baby Great Blue Heron!

He hopped off the post, and walked ahead of us along the stream. We followed him cautiously.  It seemed like he was showing off for us! We saw him raise the feathers on the top of his head.

As we followed him, we saw other intriguing sights such as a mother Mallard with nine tiny babies. It is amazing how fast they can scurry in the water when mama and siblings are leaving them behind!! There was a large white goose with them seemingly being a protective guard as he hissed at us. He actually looked like a swan until he got out of the water. On weeds along the shore we saw several dragonflies with wing bands of purple, black, and opaque. A pair of dark brown ducks with deep green heads sailed by while two black ducks paraded on the other side of the stream.

We slowly moved forward following our gorgeous baby. As we walked, we began hearing a very loud animal sound.  Two large white geese were headed our way honking their heads off!  They did not bother the baby, but I was worried a bit until they turned away from us.

Eventually, our baby flew away. As he rose into the sky, his parents joined him from hidden locations! Then we noted another baby Great Blue Heron farther down the stream standing on a rock. We cautiously crept closer. He allowed us to approach within a yard or two. We did not encroach any farther and he stayed right there.

On our way back across the lawn, Kevin discovered a miniature claw which he stuck on the end of a piece of straw to take home.

Today, Kevin asked where we can buy sand and in what quantity is it sold. Then he wondered if I had a small bottle. I placed one in the recycle bin a few days ago, but it must have gone with the truck on Monday. I finally pulled out of him why he needed it. He wanted to place his small shells from California beaches and the claw in a bottle with sand. I suggested we could stop at Michael’s after Sports Camp to see if they have a little bottle and small amount of sand.

As we drove along, he asked where I had placed his M&M box in which his claw was protected, he hoped, from Guinness. I told him I had left it in the middle of the kitchen island. He asked if Guinness might get it. I had to admit that was certainly possible. He was concerned that Guinness might eat his claw. I was also.

When I arrived home, the box was on the floor as well as some tiny Lego pieces which were in a dish on the island. I shook out the M&M box. The claw was not eaten, but was crushed to bits.

When I picked him up, I said, “I have something to tell you, but please promise to not cry.”  He cried.  He hates Guinness.  I reminded him it was as much my fault as Guinness’s and I was very sorry.  After he chastised Guinness, I saw him lovingly petting the bad dog.  Forgiveness is a good thing.


About 9awalsh

A genealogist and writer who has uncovered legacy stories which must be told. I also write a blog, Deciphering Life, trying to figure out why life becomes so tangled --
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