Community in Action March 10, 2021

I remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13

    They are back. Sunday when I was out for a walk by the canal I saw the return of the Black-crowned Night Heron. It has been a good couple of months since I had seen these former frequent visitors to the canal.

    Joan and I had seen a Green Heron a couple of days before, but this was the first time in a slew of weeks that I had seen the Night Heron. The Egrets continue to be plentiful and now and then I had seen a Great Blue Heron on the bank or wading in the shallows, but no Night Heron.

    This one I saw was a male of the species and he was sitting on a rock in the middle of the flowing water, hunched over like the main character in “Despicable Me.” His long white feather laying markedly down his back. His gaze maintained in one direction the entire time while I watched him, from a distance until I was within twenty feet of him, never moving.

    This summer and fall I saw a regular mixture of both male and female Night Herons. Always they were like statues placed there by some sculptor, no visible movement, even while breathing. The female is of course better camouflaged, but once I had seen one I was pretty good at distinguishing them from the surrounding foliage.

    The females seemed to be a bit more skittish for when I came abreast to them they were soon aflight. Rarely did they land within eyesight after they took off, while many of the birds which seem startled by my appearance would just fly about twenty yards further along the canal and then alight on the bank, not these.

    There were days when I would see up to four, but almost every day through the summer and fall I would see at least one. There were a couple of specific places they would sit, staring off down the canal. I never saw them fish or peck at the ground like I had seen the Egrets do.

    As I said their stiff stalwart presence seemed to be a painters dream, posing for long periods of time. Sometimes when I saw them close to the beginning of my walk, there would still be in the same position an hour later.

    It some ways they were like those “air” plants, of which I have one, which need only a slight misting weekly to maintain their subsistence. There was no indication they were interested in whatever grasses or small fish may be traveling along the canal.

    This Night Heron was almost like a sign that we will soon be turning back to a sense of normalcy. It will be one full year this Sunday since we first attempted virtual worship Facebook Live and we will continue even beyond the time when in-person worship begins again.

    Just as we have changed the way we are doing church, by adding another medium to broadcasting the good news so my view of the canal has changed dramatically with the introduction last year of the Black-crowned Night Heron.

    So as we move into Spring I expect to see more and more of my Night Heron friends and as we remain confident in seeing the goodness of our God in the land of the living so we continue to wait for the full coming of the Lord.

Wait for the LORD;

be strong and take heart

and wait for the LORD.

    Psalm 27:14


Pastor Randy

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