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Sat Aug 30, 2014, 12:52 PM

 

I had a pretty remarkable experience this morning.

Last edited Sat Aug 30, 2014, 05:11 PM - Edit history (1)

Went out around 10am to get coffee and breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts, which is actually a treat now; back in Boston, one could not swing a cat by the tail without hitting three Dunks, while up here in the woods, it's a 45-minute drive to get to one and back again. It was worth it, however, because Cailen slept like crap last night, has to work today, and definitely had her GODDAM I NEED DUNKS IN MY FACE look on her face, so I went.

We live on a dirt road, and at the bottom of the driveway on the other side of the road is our cabin on the lake. For years now, the lake has enjoyed the presence of a huge heron. When it spreads its wings and flies, it looks like a 747. As I was coming down the road, maybe a mile from home, what was standing there at the side of the road but the heron. I slowed down as I approached it, lest it make a sudden move and hit the car. It looked right at me as I came up to it, turned, took flight...and flew down the center of the road, maybe eight feet off the ground.

...so I accelerated and got in right behind and under it. For about a half-mile, the heron flew right above my bumper as we both cruised down the middle of the road. I had never been that close to it before, and its wing span was easily wider than the hood of the car. It flew effortlessly, not spooked in the least by my presence behind it. Finally, just before the big hill that leads to the lake, it gently veered to the left and disappeared into the forest.

So, yeah, getting to Dunks may be a pain in the ass, but I got to fly with a heron. Boston it ain't, and that's just fine.

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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply I had a pretty remarkable experience this morning. (Original post)
WilliamPitt Aug 2014 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Aug 2014 #1
NYC_SKP Aug 2014 #2
mnhtnbb Aug 2014 #3
XemaSab Aug 2014 #5
mnhtnbb Aug 2014 #16
elleng Aug 2014 #4
Baitball Blogger Aug 2014 #6
cilla4progress Aug 2014 #7
3catwoman3 Aug 2014 #8
Tikki Aug 2014 #9
LiberalEsto Aug 2014 #10
Oilwellian Aug 2014 #11
The_Commonist Aug 2014 #12
WilliamPitt Aug 2014 #15
The_Commonist Aug 2014 #17
MH1 Aug 2014 #18
The_Commonist Aug 2014 #22
alphafemale Aug 2014 #23
WilliamPitt Aug 2014 #24
The_Commonist Aug 2014 #33
libodem Aug 2014 #13
DesertFaux Aug 2014 #14
lunatica Aug 2014 #19
NJCher Aug 2014 #20
orleans Aug 2014 #21
TuxedoKat Aug 2014 #25
RoccoR5955 Aug 2014 #26
raven mad Aug 2014 #27
panader0 Aug 2014 #31
raven mad Aug 2014 #34
barbtries Aug 2014 #28
Enthusiast Aug 2014 #29
freebrew Aug 2014 #30
panader0 Aug 2014 #32
LWolf Sep 2014 #35

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:01 PM

1. Wow, what a cool story, my dear Will!

You get to fly with herons. Amazing.

Thanks for the lift...

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:06 PM

2. I love the bird life, am particularly fond of Black Crowned Night Herons.

 

My primary home is in the San Joaquin Sacramento Delta area, a little place but the house is right on the levee and the birds are abundant.

The Black Crowned Night Heron is a smaller bird, smaller than the Blue Herons and the Egrets and other daily visitors.

I like that this species is solitary and unassuming, and a mating pair was present for a while, and I could almost set my watch to their morning and evening departures from a tree across the river.

My favorite thing is their coloring and an elegant slender feather feature not found on the other marine birds in these parts:



I'll be selling this place soon to a smaller place on the coast with different animal life. Pelicans and Gulls are common, I need to learn the different species. The best, however, are the marine mammals. Dolphins are here daily, on Thursday I went for a swim and was met by two seals, literally withing 20 feet of me (they are cute, like dogs).

And possibly the best, last week, also on Thursday, I was cruising the DU and checking the email and looked up from my computer to see a humpback whale surface. With binoculars, I found that at least three of them were out them.

Humans, we're so boring compared to our earthly neighbors.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:07 PM

3. Great story and experience!

My last sighting of a great blue heron was in Copenhagen in June.
I was walking from our hotel--through a park--to go see The Little Mermaid
statue.

As I entered the park--there was the heron.

Here he is: [URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]


And this was his environment in the park on that back shore in the middle of the photo:




And what I went to see:

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:27 PM

5. Different species

That's a Grey Heron.

Great Blues have rusty tones.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 05:05 PM

16. Wow. You're right! I didn't realize there were greys and blues.

They look a lot alike, especially from a distance. I wasn't focused
on identification, but on trying to get a good shot before he flew off...which
he did.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 01:44 PM

4. Fabulous,

and great description!

My cottage is at the end of a dirt road/path, along a river, and there are osprey here, and lots of crows these days. I have difficulty getting pictures of the big birds in flight, tho have some in their nearby nests.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:30 PM

6. Great experience.

Riding in the wake of a heron.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:31 PM

7. Interactions with nature

always lift my heart and inspire me. Its beauty and its integrity.

Lucky you!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 02:33 PM

8. Heron sightings are always...

...a thing of joy. I think they look like mini-pterodactyls when in flight.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 03:30 PM

9. When we drive up the Coast from Ventura County (N of Los Angeles) to before we get to Santa Barbara

we often see a boil of juvenile Hawks gliding on the air currents. It is an amazing site to see, but what is even
more amazing is they are often doing their maneuvers adjacent (but not too close) to the hang gliders who depart
off the Pacific Coastal cliffs on that section of Highway 101.

To see these Hawks and humans flying together is awesome.
Some day, I promise, I'll get a photo...


Tikki

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 03:33 PM

10. Now you have to train it to fetch you donuts

 

Problem solved.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 03:36 PM

11. An interesting thing to do

Years ago I was fascinated with the Native American beliefs in animal medicine and symbology. Generally, when an animal crosses your path, it's bringing you a message to ponder. I always found it interesting and helpful for my own personal growth. Here is some info I found on Heron medicine:



You are being called to take courage and follow your true path, which will be discovered through exploring your inner self. Find what draws you to action.
-Heron



More





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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 03:40 PM

12. Dunkin' Donuts is owned by the Carlyle Group...

...the company that brought you George W Bush, 9/11 and the Iraq War.
I hope you enjoyed your coffee!

Bain Capital also owns a chunk of the company.
Thanks for helped to make Mitt Romney even richer!

Nice bird, by the way.

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Response to The_Commonist (Reply #12)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 04:08 PM

15. Feel better?

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #15)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 05:27 PM

17. For what? Pointing out your hypocrisy?

No, actually, I don't. I really really don't.
You're one of the good guys.
And yet, you enthusiastically throw your money into the belly of the beast.
Disappointed is more like it.
But then, we're all hypocrites at some point, for some things, so I'm not terribly surprised.

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Response to The_Commonist (Reply #17)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 05:41 PM

18. GMAFB ... no actually, could you give me a link? Or an app?

You see I keep forgetting which stuff I can buy and which stuff makes me a "hypocrite".

Seriously, I would love a link or an app I could call up when I'm grocery shopping and trying to remember which brand of TP is ok to buy and which one to avoid like the plague. On top of the myriad other factors that go into deciding which pack of TP to put in the cart.

You seem to be the kind of person who would definitely have such a resource ready to hand.

(I don't do Dunkin very often and when I do, the alternative is generally McDonald's. So pretty much a wash, I think.)

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Response to MH1 (Reply #18)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 07:26 PM

22. Well, since BuyBlue is no longer around...

...I usually just go to Wikipedia to see who owns what.
As far as apps go, there's Buycott.

CharityNavigator is good for seeing how good or bad non-profits are.
corporate-citizenship.com is a good resource.
And then, of course, there's just the Google machine, which can pretty much tell you anything you want to know.

So there ya go. There's your fucking break.

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Response to The_Commonist (Reply #17)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 08:26 PM

23. And you just made it obvious what you are

no need for me or anyone else to point it out.

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Response to The_Commonist (Reply #17)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 08:40 PM

24. Hm.

 

You drive a gas-fueled machine, use tapwater rampantly, throw away perfectly good food, heat your home with fossil fuel, wear clothes made by slave labor, etc.

Yes, yes, yes, you do, and you know it, hero.

In short, shut the fuck up.

P.S. This is the Lounge. Save the holier-than-thou rampant douchebaggery for the proper forums. There are plenty of them.

Ass.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #24)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 12:08 PM

33. Actually, I don't drive...

...and haven't in 25 years now. I walk (a lot) or take the subway.
I ONLY use tap water, no bottled water. Ever.
I can't afford to throw away perfectly good food, and know my way around the kitchen, so that's not really a problem around here.

But yes, I use natural gas to keep my apartment heated to 65 in the winter. And I use AC to cool it to 78 in the summer. Luckily, this summer, that hasn't been much of an issue. And yes, I do wear clothing and use other items made by slave labor. Like this old Macbook I'm typing this on.

Because I'm a hypocrite. I know that full well, and can easily admit it. I'm a few other things as well, like a curmudgeon, and a party-pooper. It's not holier-than-thou douchebaggery. It's we're all in this together douchebaggery.

C'mon, Will, you wrote the frikkin' book about the lies of the warmongers, and then you gleefully patronize their retail arm? Maybe you didn't know who owns Dunkin' Brands? You can come out and say that if you didn't know, but I think you did, or you would've said so. Frankly, I think I struck a nerve here, based on your reaction. I was expecting a "yeah, I"m no angel," and got called an ass instead. That's fine, I'm just a collection of electrons somewhere on the internet.

See, this is the flip-side of that "pretty remarkable experience" you had. For every positive, there's a corresponding negative. Make the most of it, friend... and have a Happy Sunday!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 03:43 PM

13. A good omen

Must be one of your Power animals. Very cool.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 03:45 PM

14. Thanks for Sharing

 

life, Karma and human investment do have its rewards.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 05:48 PM

19. I love your story!

It's pure magic. An experience you will never forget.

Your description made me think you and the heron were dancing a quiet and elegant dance. How inspiring!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 05:52 PM

20. that wasn't a heron

It was Mothman.

Classic Mothman behavior.


Cher

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 06:04 PM

21. a neighbor across the street told me she saw a blue heron standing on my roof one morning

and we live in the chicago burbs
the closest ponds are about a mile away.
wish i could have seen it.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 08:57 PM

25. Thanks for sharing your story

I saw a Green Heron this week for the first time while kayaking.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sat Aug 30, 2014, 10:02 PM

26. Here in the Hudson Valley,

 

We see these Blue Herons all the time. What never ceases to amaze me is the way that they fly. When they take off, they start their wings flapping, and do what looks like a water walk. Once they have made about four or five steps out of the water, wings full spread, they sort of walk off the water, and get into the air, with those long legs trailing behind them.
There have been times when I see this strange bird shadow on the ground, then look up, and sure enough, it's a heron.
They are truly amazing birds!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 02:16 AM

27. You just made me break out in a HUGE smile, Mr. Pitt!

Closest Dunkin' to us is 375 miles on 2-lane (10 hour) drive (Anchorage).

So I sneak out to The Donut Shoppe (yes, that's it's real name) on Gaffney here in Fairbanks.....

Your experience with, and photo of, the heron is quite remarkable and just so beautiful. I had a bald eagle pace me once on the highway between the town of Glennallen and the intersection at the Richardson Highway. I was on a motorcycle - no way to get a photo!

Thanks for this post. I have it bookmarked to let spouse enjoy, as well. Naysayers can just go suck moose poop. Fresh moose poop.

This is the Glennallen area; a good friend was born and raised there. http://www.city-data.com/city/Glennallen-Alaska.html

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Response to raven mad (Reply #27)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 11:59 AM

31. I heard you guys in Fairbanks had a quake--

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Response to panader0 (Reply #31)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 05:45 PM

34. Yeah, it was a waker-upper for sure.

Haven't had one quite that strong since 2002. Several aftershocks; last one we felt was about 4:00 a.m. No damage to anything, really, except stuff falling off shelves. Lack of population and buildings is definitely a factor in a quake zone!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 09:33 AM

28. my brother and his wife had that happen with an osprey

they said it was a spiritual experience, and i believe it.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 11:31 AM

29. Cool story, bro. The Blue Herons are decidedly pterodactyl—like.

Undoubtedly an example of convergent evolution.

Since DDT was banned the Heron population around here has positively exploded.

I once watched a Blue Heron stalk some baby ducks. I guess they are not a fish exclusive predator.

I have often observed them close up when operating the fishing boat on the electric motor.

They make an ugly raspy honk when disturbed. They would never be mistaken for a song bird.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 11:51 AM

30. They used to visit my dock...

Lake of the Ozarks. They collapse when they find a fish, then come up with it.

You should see the piles they leave, though.

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Response to freebrew (Reply #30)

Sun Aug 31, 2014, 11:59 AM

32. Herons have piles too?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Mon Sep 1, 2014, 02:49 PM

35. Cool.

There are no Dunkin Donuts in my state, as far as I know, although I can buy coffee for my coffee maker at the grocery store.

The nearest town is 9 miles away, but there's no donut shop of any kind there; for donuts, the closest location is about 20 miles away; a 40 mile round trip, so it doesn't happen.

I get donuts a couple of times a year when I make the big trip to the big city; Voo Doo is worth the wait.

Herons ARE abundant here, but not in my region, so I don't see them very often. I get plenty of ducks, geese, some golden and bald eagles, and plenty more, but no herons.

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