Text and photos by Mary Walton
Coated with scum and a sprinkling of debris, the western end of Fletcher Lake does not invite fishing. Unless, it seems, you’re the lake’s resident Great Blue Heron. For it was there I spied him one morning last week and stopped for a closer look. Mr. Blue stood motionless, a pose he can hold for many minutes.
Then suddenly he wheeled, turned and strode resolutely eastward, his long neck stretched out, his sharp beak aimed at an underwater prey.
He struck! And came up with a plump, red-headed fish. (By the way, anyone recognize this fish?)
The heron did not immediately swallow the creature, perhaps waiting for its death throes to end. After all, who wants a live fish thrashing about in your gullet? For perhaps 10 minutes Mr. Blue held the fish in his beak. Occasionally he dunked it.
Then he began to swallow. And then it was gone. Mr. Blue’s neck became engorged, like a boa swallowing a mouse. Breakfast!
SOUNDTRACK by The Fleetwoods: