Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Herons and such...

It's pushing 110 degrees with the heat index here in Maryland. Summer has come with a vengeance just as it usually does. There's very little springtime middle road in these parts.

So, let's talk herons. This blog domain name and my freelance pen name too are named after the illustrious and majestic Great Blue Heron. I think they are a lovely bird. However, the true reason for stealing the "heron" name is a little bit funnier.

My dad has a beautiful landscaped back yard with 3 fish ponds. A few years ago, there were some 1-foot long gorgeous koi in his pond. One day, he happened upon a great blue heron having breakfast, using Dad's fish pond as his meal ticket. Said blue heron wiped out half the pond over the next few weeks.

Needless to say, a good deal of venting occurred. The dogs patrolled the back yard, but usually were napping when the heron came for a meal. Dad's pond took a decided hit that year--he probably lost half of his fish (the ponds are prolific breeding ponds with upwards of 200 fish).

The most annoying part of the blue heron visits was the bird's pure cockiness. That thing would sit on the stockade fence, eyeballing us while he licked his birdie chops after his meal. Then the worst part was that he invited his friends. My pen name comes from some unmentionable cuss words uttered by my parents over that bird (s_____ f______ heron) - you get the picture.

Herons are territorial so he kept coming back until he obviously found a better fishing hole. Obviously, he told his friends. The birds show up without fail every year. Some stay longer than others and many times, my Dad is forced to cover all the ponds with nets to protect the fish. The heron is a pain.

BTW, the heron is a protected species in Maryland so pump action bb guns aren't an option. At most, we were allowed to direct a water gun at the arrogant bird. Of course, he laughed.

Today my darling Dad woke me at 7:30 with the announcement on the phone that he doesn't have a great blue heron visiting him anymore. He now has a green heron. He can't catch a birdie break.

Here's a picture of a green heron:


Pretty isn't he? Remember that my Dad can't claim him as a tax write off!

I'm wondering if there will be an all out birdie war in my Dad's backyard when the blue heron meets the green heron. I'll keep you posted.