Saturday, 1 August 2015

What does it all mean?

Waking later than usual, I hurried to the kitchen for a strong cup of coffee. I threw open the curtains to check on today's weather and was met by  'a shower of white fire' which made me jump back in astonishment!  What was a single cattle egret doing sitting on my garden wall?

I dared not open the sliding door onto the verandah but instead took this photo through the glass. This one is the best of the three I managed to click off in quick succession before this stunning creature flew off to a tree quite some distance away, and then was nowhere to be seen.

'A shower of white fire' is a phrase from this lovely poem Egrets by Mary Oliver.




There is much symbolism attached to herons and egrets
 from ancient cultures such as Greece, Egypt, China, Native America. 
Grace, patience, balance, tranquility, good luck, 
or determination, intelligence, independence, resourcefulness....the list goes on.  
To be honest, I could do with more than a sprinkling of each one of those attributes!

I searched in vain for the solitary egret.
I looked in the places egrets go, those transitional places between water, earth and air.
No sign of it on a cow's back either, which is where they are often seen plucking ticks etc.






Looking up into the sky as afternoon was closing in.....could it be....is it my egret?



That cloud really was in the sky that day, and I haven't seen the egret any more since then.  
I do like to think that we notice things for a reason.
What do you think?
I'm planning on grounding myself firmly on my own two feet,
 occasionally treading fearlessly into deeper waters, and delighting in gracefully taking flight.
But I draw the line at picking ticks from a cow's back!

Bye for now
PS.  If you'd like to know more about egrets in Australia this post " Egrets-I've had a few" 
from Paula Peeters at Paperbark Writer is informative and fun!


14 comments:

  1. This is stunning.......great picture of the cattle egret on the wall.......

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    1. Thank you so much Janneke, I'm glad you like it.

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  2. Jane I love this and how you tell the story. We have Little Egrets here and lots of herons. I feel also your kind creative soul taking flight......

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    1. Oh what a lovely thing to say Catherine! You are giving me wings.

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  3. I love the picture of the egret. They are a beautiful bird. We have egret in Minnesota where I live too, or I should say in the summer during the winter months they go south. I always love your pictures!

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    1. Yes it's interesting to follow the seasonal comings and goings of the birds isn't it Dawn. I guess Minnesota would be pretty chilly for an egret in winter!

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  4. HI Jane, thanks for visiting my blog. Your blog is great and I shall visit each week (because of course you have a new habit of posting weekly). The egret poems were beautiful to reread (being a fan of both of those poets it was not a first time), I notice both speak of the white against black water then looking at your lovely photo the water is black too.

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    1. Welcome Joan Elizabeth, and thank you for reminding me of my weekly habit! You are very observant and I'm so glad you're a fan of these poets. I admit to being a latecomer to poetry but am really enjoying delving.

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  5. Hello Jane,
    So happy you got that picture for us. What a beautiful and wonderful omen. The continuation of the egret theme to the clouds is enchanting.
    I join in wishing you the blessings of this day
    Helen xx

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    1. Beautifully put Helen, kind wishes back and thank you for everything xx

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  6. What a fabulous post about one of my favourite birds. The description a “shower of white fire” is so evocative.

    I too am “planning on grounding myself firmly on my own two feet,” this year. And very “occasionally treading fearlessly into deeper waters, and delighting in gracefully taking flight.”

    I really like your abstract images representing your search for an egret; and also your final picture: what a find!

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    1. Well thank you so much Sophia, and I'm so glad to hear that you and I will be travelling similar paths along with our egret!

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  7. Oh my goodness, I feel so excited about this all the way from over here! What an amazing gift you were given. I love the picture of the egret, but I think even more I love the blurry shots of you looking for another sighting... Thanks for sharing such a precious moment

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    1. Well I can feel those vibes from so many miles away Joanna! It was something special and while searching I was reminded of your liminal places. Thank you so much for your kind words.

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