All in the Wings

Summer in North Carolina, though hot and sticky, presents a rich wildlife experience.  My mother took us on adventures that year, but the marshes and swamps presented the best photo ops.

There’s something amazing about seeing specific animals in the wild, ones you only read about before, that’s downright exciting.  While most of my family went canoeing through the swamp, I stayed behind with my sister and the kids, who all freaked upon getting in the canoes.

I admit to being amped with anxiety when we first pushed off, but I didn’t want to miss the adventure over a little fear.  Well, when my sister freaked and the kids all freaked, we ended up with an odd number of people for rowing.  I bowed out, mostly interested in photographing wildlife.

My sister and the kids all trekked up to the ranger station.  I stayed behind and met this cool guy:

I fully admit, he might be a she.  I felt sure he was a Great Blue Heron, What Bird indicates he is.  When he landed in the middle of the swampy clearing, my heart fluttered with his great wings.  Maybe I’m alone in the giddy amazement of such sightings (but I doubt it).  I grew up in an area where most creatures are common to all the states.  Herons never graced our plains and woods.  I got downright excited, snapped a picture as quickly as possible, and crept to the dock for a closer look.

Beautiful!  I felt fortunate for the visit and just watched him (her?) for several minutes.  Heron stood sentinel atop the swampy waters, slowly surveying the area.

I saw him land, wings spread out so much farther than imagination permitted a passing mention in books.  Majestic.  I marveled and waited for his take off.  I wanted so badly to catch him in flight.  Alas, my camera proved itself a failure.  He coiled back and I held my breath, snapped a picture, but cannot show you the smooth, artful take off before he soared over trees and out of sight.  Stupid slow camera.  I caught the coil start, at least.  So much power in that take off and yet he never sunk into the swampy water.

All in the wings?

I’d love to hear about the wild animal sightings that caught your breath?  Which do you treasure most in memory?  Any close encounters of a more dangerous nature?  I hear birds can get pretty temperamental, so take care on your adventures.

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About Saronai

I'm an eclectic amalgam of confusingly combined oddities. PS If I liked your post it means I really liked your post. You don't have to visit back, but it would be nice. Either way, I read it because I wanted to and liked it because I did. I don't do the fake like for returns thing :)
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4 Responses to All in the Wings

  1. Zephyr says:

    Seeing unexpected wild animals in the wild always catches my breath. I used to live in a coastal town with an estuary where birds, including herons, would stop off on their flights to somewhere else. Some of my most emotional experiences have been spotting dolphins and whales. The time dolphins swam alongside the boat I was on moved me so much that I cried. And I know what you mean about slow cameras. Once on a ferry in the Strait of San Juan de Fuca we were only about a quarter mile from a pod of Orca whales. Every time I snapped the shutter to catch one or more bounding above the water, the result was…a stretch of flat water, or the vague shadow of a tail. I never got the hang of catching the arc of the whales’ leap from the water, so I came home without any whale image except the ones that I keep in my head.

    • Saronai says:

      Aw 😦 I keep wanting to spot dolphins or whales whenever I’ve taken a trip near the ocean. Only place I’ve ever seen dolphins is the zoo and I’ve never seen an orca with my own eyes. Both experiences must have been breathtaking. I think I would have cried too. Shame about the photos, it seems you have to get those sorts of photos by accident. My mom snapped photos on our ferry ride and the camera caught a dolphin jumping out of the water (no one saw it). Still, camera or not, such experiences always feel magical to me 😀

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. Elvenspider says:

    Such pretty pictures. Thank you for sharing them and the accompanying story. I’ve had a few close encounters with nature, but nothing really noteworthy.

    I think I’m more a plant person than an animal one. If given the choice between visiting a zoo or hanging at a greenhouse, I’d pick the latter for sure. But then again you can’t exactly hope to get a tail-cutting to grow your own wild animal. 🙂

    • Saronai says:

      Hah! I laughed out loud, thanks! No, you cannot expect to get a wild animal tail-cutting. I have to say I feel the same elation spotting unusual plants in the wild, like jack-in-the-pulpits back in Illinois. You know, I think I specified the feeling too much in my post. I get that way about any animal I don’t see every time I go outside. Plants, even when they aren’t unusual, always make me feel warm, especially trees. Yes, I’m most definitely a tree hugger. And a tree mourner. I’ve cried on more than one occasion passing loggers or when someone cuts a tree down that I knew. I also use to visit my community college’s greenhouse frequently nearly every day.

      I rolled down a gorgeous country hillside with my cousin Nicki once when we were little. Made me realize I do not like sticker bushes, nor wild grains with tons of pokey little seeds. Regardless, I still wouldn’t trade in that memory for a wiser course of action. We spent hours picking burrs and pokey seeds out of each others’ hair and clothes.

      You’re definitely not alone with the plant-love.

      Thanks for the comment!

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