Beyond the Broward Part 2...Blue Christmas
The iconic song of Elvis “I’ll have a blue Christmas, without you" rings in my ear, Sorta. It will be a Great Blue one instead. The rising sun is lighting up the sky with a golden yellow glow. Silhouetted by the glow are two Great Blue Herons who greet the morning and each other with the kind of affection we human couples strive for. It looks to me like Gus and Greta, the Great Blue Herons have returned to the wetlands to renew “auld acquaintances” and ensure that next year the gift of life will continue to another generation.
The morning light fills the wetlands. I can see at least a half dozen pair of Great Blue Herons moving about. It is mating season again. From my research and observation, things are in motion for a very productive season. The male Great Blue Heron stakes out a nesting site and will protect it from the other rivals with fierce displays and fights. They will return to the same area and site again and again. Then they wait for some good looking female Great Blue to check it out. In Gus’s old palm tree stump, he waits for Greta to show and approve the site. From the carrying on and embraces exhibited by these it is apparent Greta is pleased with the nesting site. Their displays, and hugs are enough to make a grown man blush. Ole Gus is sure glad to see his mate and gain her affection. I sit down in my folding chair and set up my tripod to capture the moment. Another Great Blue flies in and lands right behind me and walks over to a nearby bush to select a suitable stick for his nest. After carefully examining the bushes he selects a small branch, breaks it off and launches off to the nest to present it to his mate. She is so excited to see him come and with a display of feathers and strutting, accepts the stick and carefully places it in just the right place. She then tells her mate, now go get a bigger one next time. And so he does, again and again until she is pleased. He knows if he doesn’t it will be a blue Christmas indeed. Great Blue Herons are not known to mate for life but do indeed remain monogamous throughout the mating season. And so it begins.
I hope to return to the wetlands soon and see how things are going. In the meantime there are presents to buy and wrap, reservations to be made and plans to be made. The Editor seemed pleased with the huge Christmas tree “stick” I brought her this year too. Yes the tree is finally up and the lights and decorations are too. The Editor and I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas! Blessings. Harry