Tuesday, June 29, 2010

No Regrets - Great Egret

POW! A Great egret hits the water for a fish or frog strike.


A member of the heron family, the Great egret or Common egret, is about three feet tall, slightly shorter than its cousin, the Great Blue Heron. It is easily distinguished from the Snowy egret by its black feet. Snowies have yellow feet. Like all herons, Great egrets fly with their necks retracted. Ibis and storks fly with their necks extended. We have ibises in Maine, but not storks. Great egrets are common along the southeastern seaboard of the United States, but are migratory in Maine.
This Great egret was fishing on the north end of Center Pond in Phippsburg today. The first time I ever saw one of these was in North Bath on the upper reaches of the New Meadows River. The New Meadows is actually a tidal inlet and not a river at all. I had a house there which is where I raised my children. I was, in fact, about thirteen months pregnant with my daughter when I saw my first Great egret. My parents were visiting and we were all having lunch out on the deck. Someone shouted, "Look! What's that huge white bird over there?" I didn't know what it was, but I responded "Well, look at me! Obviously, it's The Stork!" That was twenty-four years ago, almost to the day. My mother gave me a gift of my first birding field guide. I still have The Audubon Society Field Guide To North American Birds, Eastern Region with my mother's inscription in the front. My mother hasn't spoken to me since 1993, but I've still got the field guide and every time I see a Great egret, I think of my mother and that day. It was probably one of the last times that we had lunch together. It's a long story why we don't talk anymore. Every family has something. That's what people say to me. I don't have any guilt about why we don't speak, but I do have regrets. I regret that my mother doesn't know me as an accomplished photographer and a reasonably good birder, thanks in part to her field guide gift. I regret that one day, someone of us will die before this is all set right. I regret that for now, and perhaps forever, the words "every family has something," are the best that we can do. That's not really good enough, but it has to do, and that, I regret.

12 comments:

  1. Great photos.
    Nice egret...sad story.
    (I was the one who honked)
    Cheers

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  2. Thank you. I thought the honking was perhaps rare geese. My heart thrilled at the sound!

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  3. I honked, too (and almost drove into Center Pond because of the excitement of seeing La Grande Photographer at work). Suggest you print this column entry to your Mother and send it on to her.

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  4. I'm happy you're telling me which end of the pond to be looking at! Great shots,love the eagle.
    Ron

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  5. I just got a phone call from yet a third party who had seen me "deep in concentration in the weeds." How funny is this? I think it's fabulous that you all have seen me doing 'my thing' in the bushes. Oh, listen! Don't be childish! Ha ha!

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  6. I sure am learning a lot from your blogs and getting lots of chuckles. You must spend hours and hours out there! Thanks.

    Now…about that family thing. I say suck up and go talk to your mom. Nothing has to be said about the past. My family has always had someone not talking to someone, often for years. What a waste of time. My son has not spoken to my mom for a year now. They are both missing out. I have gone a week, just to cool off and I even spouted off to her, calling her the b word…didn’t that feel good…at the time. We all do what we can with what we know…my mom never had it so good growing up and that is what I attribute to her sometimes awful ways. Come to think of it, I have a few faults too!

    Good luck…don’t have regrets when it comes to family. You don’t have to be their best friend, just reach out.

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  7. Oh, if only it were that simple. But then, perhaps it is.

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  8. Hi Robin...thank you for adding me to your mailing list...enjoy your blog and photos.

    Best,

    Paula Harvard

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  9. YOu know I love your blog, and all of the fantastic, nay, glorious pictures, which I treasure foreveer. You must put thm together in a book! XOXOXOXOXO r

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  10. YOu know I love your blog, and all of the fantastic, nay, glorious pictures, which I treasure foreveer. You must put thm together in a book! XOXOXOXOXO r

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  11. Hi Robin, I have really enjoyed looking through your blog. You have some lovely photos and you write with great energy and humour! I was sad though to read of the rift between you and your mother, there is 'something' in my family too, I can only stand and watch helplessly...it is so painful. I have tried and tried to bring them together but grown weary of being 'the meat in the sandwich' and can only hope one or other will see sense before it is too late and both parties are left with only regrets, life is too short...

    On a much happier note :) I loved seeing your Great Egret. Egrets are becoming more common here in recent years although I have yet to see one.

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  12. AS ALWAYS I LOVE YOUR BLOGS....MARTHA

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