The Great Blue Heron in my yard (briefly)

When we landscaped our back yard a few years back, we put in a little pond (I think I measured it at 8 feet wide by 13 feet long, and maybe 18-24 inches deep.  It’s not really deep enough for fish; mostly it’s there for the sound of the waterfall.  (We do have a few ceramic fish on the bottom–when we saw them in the Butchart Gardens gift shop, we got three to put in the pond to point out to people who ask where the fish are. )  But that doesn’t keep the fish-seeking wildlife from trying, apparently. 

We’ve seen a raccoon walk up to the pond in the middle of the day and get into it, presumably looking for fish.  And now this morning, as I opened the shades from a large window nearby, the movement flushed a great blue heron from the pond.  I don’t know how long it had stayed there, patiently waiting for a fish to swim by for its breakfast.  And I wish I had come upon it in such a way that it would not have been scared off, because the presence of such a large wild bird in a suburban backyard charms and awes me, and also because I would have loved to get a picture of it.  But if it was truly hungry, I surely did it a favor, since it was going to wait a long time for its breakfast here.

So I’ll have to settle for posting a picture of the pond with some mallard ducks that show up from time to time to swim and mate in the pond, to sleep at its edge, and then to waddle over to the area under the birdfeeder, vaccuuming up the spilled seed from the ground with their great bills, and drinking from the birdbath. (The picture gives a good idea of just how small this pond is, and why it’s so incongruous for either ducks or herons to take it seriously).