116 images Created 19 Nov 2015
When my father first showed me the salt marsh to which he'd retired, I was drawn immediately to the stark white of the tall egrets quietly waiting for lunch to flow by on a dropping or rising tide. They flashed and preened their white feathers against dark oak leaves while roosting during the high tide. For spring mating season, I learned, they grow wonderfully elaborate tail feathers that almost led to their extinction more than a century back, when fashionable women coveted those feathers for hats and boas. My father taught me to quickly distinguish young little blue herons from smaller snowy egrets by the egrets' yellow "boots." Young little blue herons, which begin their lives as white, do not have the boots. Egrets may have been my most common photographic subject for two decades. And I must admit I miss them (aside from an occasional sighting of a common egret) here in the High Country.