The early bird gets the worm...

     “The early bird catcheth the worm." This 17th century phrase is credited to John Ray’s A collection of English Proverbs 1670, 1678.  It means success comes to those who prepare well and put forth the effort. I wonder if it would be considered politically incorrect in today’s climate. I decided to see if it still was valid on the Broward. On my first post surgery foray to the dock I noticed a variety of birds waiting for the tide to ebb in the early morning summer dawn. There were Black  and Yellow Crowned Night Herons, Wood Storks, a pair of Tricolored Herons, Clapper rails, a few mottled ducks and do my eyes deceive me or are those two Little Green Herons?

     As I walk slowly down the dock the night herons take wing or jump down into the muddy flats. Below me in the mud flat of the channel are the two Little Green Herons, a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron, George the Yellow Crowned Night Heron and the Clapper Rail family. I just stand there while they adjust to my presence and soon they are busy hunting for food, barely aware of me clicking the doohickey. Inching my way slowly down to the floating dock, I gingerly lie down to get at a birds eye level. The Little Green Herons are less than 10 feet from me. They are staring at the mud. Wonder what they are looking for. In an instant the heron darts its head forward, its beak going into the muck. It begins to pull out a long worm-like morsel covered in muck. A quick flick of the beak and the worm is now less muddy (not so for the heron though). A few of the worms wrap themselves around the heron’s beak in a last act of defiance before becoming breakfast. I watch them pull one after the other out for nearly an hour. These birds certainly prepared for the hunt, put forth the effort and were duly rewarded. 

     How about you? Are you an early riser? Do you plan and prepare and put forth the effort or wait for someone else to do the hard work for you? Seems we are becoming a nation divided into two camps. There are those who get up early, prepare and put forth the effort and those who don’t. The trouble is those who put forth the effort are finding their hard earned worms are going to someone who didn’t bother to get out of bed today. Fear not. No wonder the good book tells us “I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me.” (Pro 8:17). That is a prize even better than worms...Be blessed..Harry

A juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron is up early as dawn breaks on the Broward, patiently waiting for the tide to turn.

The young heron jumps down on the dock as I approach and watches me with a wary eye..

The young night heron begins to search for food in the muddy flats exposed by the ebbing tide.

The young Clapper Rails are up early looking for food that a Little Green Heron I see too?

I spot two Little Green Herons up early searching for spots me and flies to the other side of the channel while the other searches the mud..What is that the little heron is eating I wonder..

One Little Green Heron searches for minnows as the sun reflects on the muddy Broward

The Little Green Heron watches the sky for danger from have to be wary on the Broward..

All is clear...time to hunt..

I think I see something..

Breakfast favorite!

Just shake the mud off a little like this...then they are ready to eat..

Hey Mr Doohickey, you want one too?

The worm's last act of defiance before becoming breakfast on the Broward..

What was that? Oh, just a pesky blackbird..

It is true...the early bird does get the worm...and then another and another..

I think I see another one..

Here's looking at you Mr Doohickey..Oh..that's me there...


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