Blue Heron

great-blue-heron_3 (Photo credit: mikebaird)

There is a Great Blue Heron nesting in the scrub across the channel opposite our dock. I know this without looking because each morning at dawn it lets forth with a single Jurassic squawk.

This is not a pleasant, calming sound, even for a budding ornithologist. Doves, ducks, seagulls and owls make calming sounds. Heron-song is a primordial screech that reaches deep into the lizard brain and pumps a shot of adrenaline through the recumbent human body. Worse, our neighborhood is so quiet in the wee small hours of the morning that the surfline on the far side of the dunes is comfortably audible.

A single prehistoric bleat at 4am sound like the the hunting cry of a pterodactyl. This is not a sound that endears. It is a sound that can almost tempt a man to defy wildlife protection laws and his very nature, especially after the thirtieth night in a row that his sleep has been so interrupted.

I’ll learn to live with it, I’m sure, but I have a new-found sympathy for those who make sacrifices on behalf of our collective accommodation with nature.

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