On a lucky day in the spring I got this photo of a green heron beside one of a network of small quarries. It whetted my hope for further sightings, maybe even a rookery, but no luck until last week when we surprised each other at his fishing post on a pond near the tip of Halibut Point. He dashed into the woods and flew off a bit later with a companion (the missus?), in the direction of the first quarry, silhouetted like a pair of short-tailed crows against the sky.
The next morning I tiptoed back to the pond at dawn thinking to be ahead of the herons. It seemed a more reasonable plan than spending the night. Unfortunately my portable hunting blind malfunctioned. Any possibility of staying invisible was lost, but I lingered quietly for a while in Little Eden.
Now I had a double incentive to infiltrate that charmed terrain for photographic trophies. Early the next morning I threaded down a 'game trail' to the rear side of the quarry and set up station beneath an oak tree. The solitude nurtured reflections on strategy, and on obsession.
Obsession? How else do you stretch experience? I was mobilized, yes. I wanted those photographs, but not necessarily at all costs. Hmmm. I could admit to being fairly far to the right on the interest - passion - obsession spectrum. Those words slide into one another.
Something moved off to the left of my lair. This little fellow peered back at me from within the canopy, then flitted to a spot that revealed a bit more of its identity to my Mass Audubon consultant: female common yellowthroat. I have a new acquaintance.
The last couple of outings to Halibut Point I've heard the cuckoo again, sotto voce and alluring beyond the catbrier tangles. Oh, what a coup that photo would be! Let's see...cut a trail...build a tree blind...play a recording to bring him closer...
Christopher L. Wood photo
Courtesy of Cornell Ornithology Lab