Late afternoon, coming back from the store and planting three-dollar solar lights along the walk, we hear the night heron again from its nest in the tree: harsh, high-pitched squawks, yips almost like a feisty puppy’s at the end. We’ve seen four of them: skulking around our trash bin, or hanging around the fish pond in the neighbor’s yard. They bend their heads to the water, fluff out their wings, ripple them. And the river’s close— so we know they must forage for snails, small fish, fiddler crabs, along the shallows. Directly underneath where they roost, the pavement’s splattered grey and white like a Jackson Pollock. One of them comes so close, so suddenly, to the fence by the kitchen window— You look up and at first, there’s nothing there but the overgrown ivy; then one dark eye, glittering like a thieved ruby.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.