SOLC Day 16: Appreciating Unexpected Gifts

In this upside down world where nothing feels normal, a walk on the beach feels like a treat. Hearing that others in our state are getting directions to “shelter in place” makes me feel like my open air walks may be a thing of the past very soon. I worry about going stir-crazy with no outlet for exploring the natural world!

I did get my beach walk in today…an extra long one since rain is expected later tonight. But my real treat came later…in the most unexpected way.

If you’ve followed my blog or Instagram (@kd0602) you might know that I’m pretty obsessed with egrets and herons. I’ve written about them here and here and here. Now that both my husband and I are working from home, every invitation to go outside the house is a welcome one. So when he asked if I wanted to walk down the street to check the mail, I jumped at the chance. We headed out–the skies were gray and the wind was kicking up in advance of the storm forecasted for tonight–walking down the hill on the sidewalk in the neighborhood. And we saw it…that distinctive shape, pure white, landing on the deck of a neighbor’s house. A great egret. Perched on the deck wall, we had a perfect view from afar.

I never see egrets in my neighborhood, but like on the beach, I crept closer feeling lucky my phone was in my pocket and not in the house. When photographing birds I know to take many shots, increasing my odds of a good photo. As it took flight, I continued to press the shutter…

and then follow it as it landed across the street near the park and our mailboxes. Unlike the snowy egrets I see on my beach walks, the great egret does not have bright yellow feet. But it does have a yellow beak where the snowy’s beak is black.

It seems a bit strange to have an egret visitor in the neighborhood today, but what an unexpected gift it was! I love getting close enough to see the texture of the feathers, especially as they were ruffled by the wind. On days and weeks like these, I’m learning to appreciate the little things…like a neighborhood visit by an egret.

9 thoughts on “SOLC Day 16: Appreciating Unexpected Gifts

  1. mbhmaine

    I’d have been over the moon to see an egret in our neighborhood. What a wonderful unexpected gift! The egrets still haven’t come back to our neck of the woods, but I imagine it won’t be too long. (Side note–It took me such a long time to learn the difference between great egrets and snowy ones.) Your pictures are fabulous!

    Reply
  2. Suzanne

    I love the way an egret’s whiteness tears the landscape behind it. It makes them so distinctive. Your photos are wonderful and I love how you love the neighborhood visit from this incredible bird. My son and daughter in law live in Santa Clara county. Shelter in place. But I read that hiking alone or a distance from others was ok. You will be ok!

    Reply
  3. Stacey

    So beautiful, Kim! Glad you were given an anchor of beauty and awe in these tops turvy times. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: This Photo Wants to be a Poem | Reflections on the Teche

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