I flushed a bittern in the meadow by the pond this morning. It is a lovely, large bird in the heron family with a long, sharp beak and bright yellow legs. First there were ruffles of moving air, then a close-up view of those gangly legs gathering up against the bird’s body as it rose from the grass.
Close encounters with wild creatures fill me with awe, a lovely stirring in the belly. This time it was also mixed with concern. The last time we had a bittern guest at the pond, I found its mangled body at the back of the field, victim of a hungry fox, we supposed.
The other thing I found out back today was animal dung up on a stone bench. A fox was probably enjoying the elevated view. Those sleek, sly canines are also a favorite sighting. However, the juxtaposition of fox and bird evoked pangs of bittern regret.
Nature is not for the faint of heart.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 43: 163 words, TOTAL = 6507; 53,493 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.