Seeing despite the fog


 “Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.”

Wayne Dyer


Friday’s drive in the fog reminded me of the scripture verse, “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face.”* Nothing was clear as fog muted everything in a blanket of grey.


I almost missed it!


And then… ah, then, moments later, not “through a glass darkly”, but in a “face to face” reality… there on the grass right beside us at the edge of the road, a second Great Blue Heron, hunched and still, hoping for lunch to appear in the murky waters of the rural waterway.


Herons are non-migratory here in the Pacific Northwest, and are classified as a species at risk in BC. There are large heronries in the University of British Columbia and Stanley Park areas of the Lower Mainland. A few visit our marsh from time to time, but I’ve never managed to get a good shot of one. This time we pulled to a stop and sat quietly in the van while I snapped several through the open window. I won’t bore you with all of them, but surely I can be excused for a few more…




Herons will stand motionless in icy water or overgrown fields for long periods, waiting, watching, prepared to strike when the opportunity finally comes. The long neck unfolds with lightening speed at precisely the right moment to snatch up an unsuspecting meal.

I was prepared, too. I wasn’t watching for anything specific, but I was watching. Certainly, I didn’t anticipate seeing a heron. But my camera was on the seat beside me, ready for a quick grab to capture anything of interest.

One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.

Benjamin Disraeli

Of course there’s a writing application here, too, but I don’t think I have to spell it out, do I? 🙂

Have you encountered any surprises lately that have found their way into your writing?

*  I Corinthians 13:12

~  ~  ~

13 thoughts on “Seeing despite the fog

  1. Judith Robl says:

    Love the shot of the herons. Beautiful! I’ll have to follow your example of camera on the seat beside me from here on. I’ve taken to carrying it in my purse, but by the time I get it out… The moment is gone. I missed a shot of a beautiful sunset last night. I’m simply going to have to learn to paint.

  2. Judith Robl says:

    Edit, edit! “Shots of the heron” — my fingers weren’t keep up with my thoughts – again.

  3. Carol, I truly love Wayne Dyer and as always love your photography. I’ve watched the herons standing in water, endlessly still and waiting. They are majestic birds and when occassionally the great whites come in flocks to our waters, I am nailed down on the spot just watching them. I was standing on my niece’s patio one afternoon and a pair of the grays walked by me. I was so taken by how tall they were. I am tall and one of the pair came up to my torso.

    The heron can teach us the patience we need … and they are absolutely wonderful to watch 🙂 Thanks !!

  4. S. Etole says:

    So glad you were prepared. Such great shots.

  5. pastordt says:

    LOVE these photos and love these birds. We have them in Santa Barbara, too, and very occasionally one will fly over our house. I drive north about 20 minutes to a slough where one or two hang out and I love to sit and watch and snap. Kudos for each one of these, Carol. Truly lovely.

  6. cluculzwriter says:

    Wow. Honestly, Carol, you capture the most beautiful photos. I love this one. He/she looks a bit shy. How close were you able to get?

    • Carol says:

      Joylene, I was about ten feet away. I think we could have gone even closer, because it didn’t seem to pay any attention to us in the car, but we didn’t want to chance disturbing its meal hunting.

  7. Shari Green says:

    I love watching herons. Very cool birds! And you’ve got some terrific photos — how great to be so close to that one.

    That quote suits the heron (and the writer) so well: be ready for opportunity when it comes. Thanks for that! 🙂

  8. Carol says:

    I love getting all your responses! I felt incredibly blessed to have ‘happened’ onto the herons, especially getting so close to the one. I’m not an experienced wildlife photographer and seldom get any closer than a long telephoto shot, so it was quite an experience.

  9. Great photos. We are fortunate here in Tsawwassen as we see many herons in Boundary Bay. They are so amazing to watch and they don’t pay any attention at all to the people watching and photographing them.

  10. Great analogy, Carol! The heron has a lot of patience. I often wonder how many great opportunities I let slide by.

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