Opposite this property is marshland and wild grasses that stretch for a good distance before they disappear into the tree lined northern bank. The creek runs parallel with the property line of the backyard and is saltwater, as it comes up from the James River which would eventually join other waterways to the Chesapeake Bay, if one chose to follow them.
Yesterday morning, very early before anyone else was up, I walked to the dock and watched as the the sun came up. I saw nettle fish (like jellies) floating in the water, looking lacy and so pretty, headed west as the current moved with the tidal surge.
Tiny silver fish schooled at the top of the water and a king fisher was diving from the moorings, on the sailboat, for his breakfast. I sat in silence as the trees came alive with a mated pair of cardinals, several robins, thrushes, a woodpecker, (pecking the tree above me), and a beautiful yellow goldfinch. Mourning doves were cooing in the background as my eye picked up the most beautiful thing, coming straight down the creek from the east, in my direction....
...in stunned silence I saw the large winged creature gliding along the edge of the creek, just above the marsh, across from where I was sitting. As it was moving toward me, I knew the bird was something special, but could not make out what it was. Then as it flew past me, I realized it was a great blue heron. At just that instant he spied me, turned his head and yelled directly at me, as if giving my hiding place away. It was amazing. My eyes followed him as he made his way west. I sat there in awe, and then..
Before I recovered from my wonder, I saw the wings of a beautiful white egret as it flew past me; the colors in the marsh contrasting the stark brilliance of his wings. He was heading in the opposite direction from the great blue heron. I had all I could do to keep from jumping up and clapping my hands, at the complete joy I felt, as nature put on her morning show.
What a fairy tale kind of place. I stood up to walk to the house and the tree tops came alive with the sounds of blue jays bickering, and I started to laugh.
What a beautiful way to start the day. Thank you God!