On a Beach Walk: No. 11

I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Ahead of me stands a Great Blue Heron – standing still and staring out to sea. Sometimes on the dry sand away from the constant waves. Other times at the water’s edge as water laps over the talons.

No matter where, the heron stares. Not pondering the meaning of life. Not reflecting on life, friends, or children. Undoubtedly working to find the next meal – so the heron patiently stands and stares.

The heron is watching for a struggling fish or crustacean in the shallow water. Standing with its neck coiled and a sharp beak – and together they serve as a sharp dagger action of a harpoon. When the heron walks, it does so slow as it doesn’t want to alarm its prey. But the heron is most commonly seen standing and staring – and all alone.

Some days the heron allows me to walk relatively close, while slowing stepping away. Other times as I approach, the heron flies ahead to a new spot – only to be disrupted as I again approach his new domain. The pattern repeats before the heron flies away to find a new spot to stand and stare all alone.

Some days I see the heron from afar – standing and staring all alone – and no humans nearby. Other times the heron patiently stands and stares at the sea, but with a fisherman – for the heron knows the likely source of the next meal and a possible feast for the day. Now that’s one smart bird.

The fisherman stands to tend the pole that appears to have a fish on the line – this heightens the heron’s attention. The fisherman walks away with his catch – but the heron follows. After freeing the fish from the hook, the fisherman tosses his unwanted fish toward the heron – who slowly approaches, then quickly uncoils its adaptive neck and beak to spear its prey – then swallows it whole.

The heron using its adaptations to survive and eventually produce other Great Blue Herons so the tradition continues over time. After all, the heron is design for a specific role in nature – just like all other living things in the nature that surrounds us.

We live in a self-maintaining wonderful creation that is a mere speck in the grand universe. There is so much to ponder as I walk the beach – a walk that is good for the mind and soul as water refreshes my feet.

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On a Beach Walk: No. 3

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I like walking the beach. Walking is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Pelicans are on the water and in the sky searching food. – but all the pelicans are oblivious to my presence. Sanderlings are ahead of me using their fast-moving feet in what appears to be a frantic search for food – but they are very aware of my presence. I can see a Great Blue Heron ahead staring across the water – and no doubt oblivious to me. These are a few of the things happening as the persistent waves wash across my feet as I walk.

Some of the pelicans fly amazingly close to the surface while others soar above then suddenly turning their glide into a dive. I wonder about the pelican’s design – its adaptations allowing it do so – its adaptive features for its necessity – including diving without breaking its neck. I wonder about the success rate of their dives.

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I glance ahead to the sanderlings with their beaks in the sand and moving quickly where the water just passed. I know they are searching for food as small crustaceans, crabs, crab eggs, aquatic insects, and worms. I wonder if they have a way of separating water, sand, and food. That I do not know, but they are like the pelican because they are adapted for what they do. The next wave comes, but they quickly move as if saying “You aren’t going to get me”, then the search for their necessity resumes as the water retreats. Meanwhile, the Great Blue Heron stands and stares.

sanderlings

Sanderlings and pelicans in their daily routine. Each doing something that the other cannot. Each doing what they need to do, but in their own way. Each searching for food – food to survive so they can survive to reproduce so their next generation continues tradition. And the Great Blue Heron doing the same – but doing so by patiently standing and staring.

Isn’t creation grand! All this as I walk and the water refreshes my feet.