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a fisher                                            fathoms                                       the creek’s promise

 

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The Great Blue Heron resides year-round in Pennsylvania.

But, here on Little Crum Creek, it most visibly strides upstream at the start of spring.
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By mid-May, the flowering boxelder in this video is full of leaves, and nearby knotweed reaches six feet.

Then it’s easier to spot the large heron in more open waters.

Just downstream, one fishes from the dam beneath the bridge at Ridley Park Lake. 

Still others cast their patient eyes nearby at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, a freshwater tidal marsh where the Muckinipattis, Darby, and Hermesprota Creeks meet the Delaware River:

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Surely our visiting heron is familiar with Tinicum.  Perhaps some of the heron’s fellow wetland denizens also make their way to Little Crum Creek.

The refuge posts a list of recent bird sightings to give us an idea of who those visitors could be.

 

The Great Blue Heron steps gingerly through the shallow current, as nearly approaching stillness in movement as I have seen.  The surrounding stream seems to slow under his gaze.100_3797crop

He is fishing, steadily lowering his head to the catch.  In a moment, he is tall again, the fish hanging limply, crossways in his bill.

In a motion, the fish is sliding down his throat.

The heron’s stillness in water makes him easy to miss. He is, however, as palpable in air as imperceptible in water. All will be ruffled by his sudden clap of effort to lift from the stream. Other times, one can somehow sense the charge of his soaring arrival even before the darkening sweep of his huge shadow whispers over the brush.

Look, then, above the water’s corridor and enjoy his sailing on a current of air.

This picture was taken at the end of March before the knotweed began to obstruct a clear view of his frequented spot.