My wife and I are really enjoying the Florida warmth as the rest of the country deals with winter. We went to Turtle Beach the other day just because we hadn’t been there. It was later in the day and we decided to stay until sunset. The sunsets on the west coast of Florida are really great.
We were sitting in our beach chairs watching the ocean and enjoying the late afternoon sun when an unusual visitor joined us. This Great Blue Heron just trotted up the beach to within a few feet of where we were sitting and it was such a pleasant surprise.
Once he got in front of us on the beach he stopped and just watched the ocean. Now the three of us were sharing a little section of the beach but the heron wanted to be neighborly so he went to say hello to the two men fishing next to us. I’ve seen herons in the wild before and watched them stand for long periods of time waiting for a fish to swim by. This one was waiting for the fisherman to share their bait. The bird stood perfectly still for almost half an hour before one of the fishermen gave him a piece of bait. Then he resumed his vigil.
The sunsets on the west coast of Florida rival the sunsets on the beaches of California. We look out into the Gulf of Mexico where the water is often calm and the sun just sinks into the shimmering water. So I really get why this bird would be so patient waiting for the sunset.
I have never seen a bird act so much like one of the locals. After finishing up with the fishermen, the heron went back to waiting and gazing out to sea. Finally, an hour and a half later, the sun finally set and the heron just flew away. It was well worth the wait for all of us.