Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

While you might not expect Westmont to be prime habitat for herons, they are here!  You are most likely to spot them hunting gophers in faculty housing, or flying high over campus.

Photo Credit: Amanda Sparkman

PAUL WILLIS

Looking at Us

 (Ardea herodias)

 

There is a great blue heron, we said.

In the backyard.  Just standing there.

Looking at us.  And it was, in its tallness,

standing there.  Looking at us. 

The nearest water a goldfish pond,

almost half a mile away.  But here

it was, on an August morning. 

Patient, wings folded, its implacable eye

atop its impossible neck.  We found

the binoculars, crept out onto the porch.

We approached—too far—and the heron

loosed its broad gray wings and climbed

the air and was gone, over a sycamore tree.

There was a great blue heron, we said.

And we looked at each other as if we were,

each one of us, some kind of wonder.

 

—published in Sehnsucht