One of my favorite birds is the Great blue heron. For one thing, it’s an animal that does not seem to be in any way under threat from pressure from humans. I see them all over the place. From wild open lakes in swamps and bayous when I’m kayaking, to rivers, to creeks in suburban neighborhoods, to Mountain Island Lake where I take my kayak (and camera).
One year one of my close friends (who is also, like me, a dinosaur buff) insisted that he had spotted a pterodactyl. No, he was not kidding. He was completely convinced that he had spotted one in the sky above his house. I tried to tell him that he had likely seen a Great blue heron, but he was having none of that. It was a pterodactyl, by God! Finally, a few days later he saw the same bird land in a neighborhood pond and called to tell me that I’d been right.
Still, they sort of are theropod dinosaurs (even if pterosaurs were not dinosaurs).
I was digging through old photos from a kayak trip I took on the lake last summer and enhanced some photos I took of what I think is the heaviest Great blue heron I have ever encountered. He did not like me one little bit because I interrupted his fishing trip and he had to fly across the lake to get away from me, croaking loudly about the inconvenience as he passed in front of my kayak. Screw you, human!
So here are the photos that I fiddled with to darken because it was a terribly bright, hot day and the raw photos are frankly not that impressive.
|This was shot soon after I accidentally disturbed him. Initially he moved into the brush from the lake shore hoping I’d paddle on by.|
|Finally he got angry and took wing.|
|And he let me know what an asshole I was. “GRAK!” They sound about like you’d think a giant predator bird would sound.|
|He headed away.|
|Just before he got too far away for me to effectively photograph.|
|You can kind of understand why my old pal could think it was a pterosaur.|