Tag Archives: snowy egret

Snowy Egret Questions: NPM #15

Today was my first day back with my full class, full day, now on a 5-day a week schedule. I’ve challenged them (and myself) to writing a poem-a-day during the month of April. Today I started by reading them Little Black Crow by Chris Rascka–a picture book written entirely of questions. And we revisited the poem Yellow Weed by Lilian Moore–a question poem. Then we set off to write our own question poems.

I love writing with my students–and I love when they make no hesitation before beginning to write. And better yet, when after 7 minutes, I asked who would like to share their question poem–more than half the class shot their hands into the air! What fun to hear their question poems and the variety of topics they picked to write about. And they were not surprised at all to hear than I chose to write my question poem about snowy egrets.

So here is my poem:

Snowy Egret

Feathery friend, what brings you to the beach today?

Is it the tasty orange shrimp in the low tide soup?

Feathery friend, do those bright yellow feet

bring critters near as you stomp and stir?

Are they a beacon shining bright in the salty sea grass?

When you spread your delicate white wings

do you feel like a plane

or a kite lofted into the gentle sea breeze?

Feathery friend, what do you think when you see

my eye pressed to my camera lens?

Am I intruder or a familiar-faced friend?

Feathery friend, where do you go when you leave the beach?

Do you fly away home? Do you live alone?

I look for you on all my beachside walks

my lucky charm

a sign of good fortune.

Good bye snowy egret,

will I see you soon?

®Douillard

An Egret Dance: SOLC #2

I might be obsessed with photographing egrets.

On my regular beach walks it makes my day when I spot a sleek, white bird in the distance. Even from afar, I recognize their distinctive silhouette and their mostly solitary nature.

Lately I’ve walked the beach with my zoom lens in place. I love the ability to get close to these birds, even if I can’t quick get as physically near as I’d like.

But like anything I take photos of on a regular basis, if I’m not careful, I end up taking the same photo over and over again. So I’ve been trying a variety of angles, different lighting, straight on, head shot only… I’ve taken photos of reflections, of water drops creating concentric circles of movement, of bright yellow feet in isolation.

Over the weekend I caught three egrets hanging out together. They were searching the tide pools for tasty morsels, using their feet to stir up the sea life below the surface. The weather was beautiful, so lots of people were exploring the tidepools. As people got close, the birds would take flight, spreading their wings and lifting off for a short trip to the north.

I followed, creeping closer while trying not to soak my sneakers in the tidepool puddles. I snapped, and snapped, in search of an image different from the usual.

And this time, it seems like I caught a bit of an egret dance.