In between sessions at workshop yesterday, I was walking by a wall of windows and saw this guy staring at me through from the other side of the window, just foot away. I stood really still and he stood really still until I got a few nice pictures and he slowly wandered off.
He looked a bit different than the usual herons I’ve seen in the area. Today I went to allaboutbirds.org and used their handy identification guide. With just a few clicks indicating location, size and color, “Sand Hill Crane” popped up. Bingo! He (assuming this was a “he”) was probably wintering in Volusia County. His slow, graceful gait was mesmerizing. I wish I could have seen him fly. His wingspan would have been magnificent. I loved watching his backward-bending knees and the way his toes splayed out each time he took a step.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he was surprised to find a church and parking lot in the place that was remote and wooded the last time he was here. He may have been thinking the same thing about me. A year ago this church wasn’t here, either. Natural wetlands are succumbing to relentless development in this part of Florida.
I think we were both a little sad.