Monday Evening Vigil

As the twilight closed in,ย  a familiar head was visible above the weeds at the water’s edge.


Mr. GBH had returned to keep vigil over his departed friend. He looked so sad and solemn.


I rest my case about birds mourning their dead.



80 comments on “Monday Evening Vigil

  1. Such a beautiful reminder that all things must pass. I was a bit worried myself with the nastiest cold I can ever remember. First time in 10 days I’ve managed to sit up and I’m fading fast already.

  2. These are not “dumb animals.” Man loves to denigrate animals — they lack feeling memory, self-awareness — in order to feel better about ourselves. This heron is mourning, pure and simple.

  3. Oh Sylvia, this is quite extraordinary…I’ll say it again, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it with birds. Your photos are so beautiful, capturing this incredibly touching scene… โค xx

    • Thanks so much, dear Sherri. I found the scene profoundly moving. As you probably realise by now, I’m very fond of Great Blue Herons………. as well as Alligators. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy weekend to you. xx

      • Yes…your fondness for them shines through your photos and narrative, and profound is the word….
        Thank you dear Sylvia, you too! I hope you get the opportunity to take a breather from all the sawdust. I’ve got my boys home this weekend, arriving this evening, for a belated Mother’s Day, hubby’s birthday on Wednesday and our 10th wedding anniversary next Friday! It’s all happening ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll see you on Monday! Big hugs until then… โค xo

  4. anche io sono certa che molti animali hanno storie e sentimenti da esprimere e raccontare, solo gli animi sensibili perรฒ possono raccoglierli, nel tuo giardino incantato la vita scorre emozionalmente fra temi di vita e di morte
    un tenero abbraccio

  5. I think that animals have emotions; maybe not lifelong attachments. Who am I to judge? 3 husbands. . . ๐Ÿ™‚ but really Swans mate for life and many other animals seem to mourn. There was my cardinal who I wrote (post) story about, arriving in Ohio to send me a message from my deceased grandpa within an hour of his passing. When I submitted it to Guideposts, they sent me an article about birds being like angels, “winged messengers from heaven.” I won’t go on, but the article comforted me, Sylvia. โค

  6. Great capture Sylvia. It’s so sad to see birds mourn their partners – we had a pair of cardinals the made our yard their home, the male cardinal died and the female mourning went on for a while.

    • Probably not. I just did some quick reading because Sylvia’s pics piqued my curiosity.

      GBH’s don’t mate for life. Males choose different mates (and nests) each year. But they are very territorial and protective, especially about their feeding grounds. And they are fierce in battle. GBH’s have been known to mortally wound golden eagles who venture too close.

  7. Unlike egrets, spoonbills, pelicans, etc., I rarely see GBH’s in groups. Or even in pairs. They are loners that often chase other birds away . . . just because.

    So I wonder whether it’s mourning a mate . . . or standing guard over its kill to send a message to other residents of the lake?

    • You might enjoy this article, Sylvia:

      From the section on Behavior:

      Great Blue Herons forage, usually alone, across much of the U.S.

      Breeding birds nest in colonies that can number several hundred pairs, where they build stick nests in trees, on bushes, or on the ground. If you visit a colony, look for elaborate courtship and pair-bonding displays that include a ritualized greeting, stick transfers, and nest relief ceremony in which the birds erect their plumes and โ€œclapperโ€ their bill tips.

      Pairs are mostly monogamous during a season, but they choose new partners each year.

      Away from the colony, Great Blue Herons defend feeding territories from other herons with dramatic displays in which the birds approach intruders with their head thrown back, wings outstretched, and bill pointing skyward. Gulls and even humans may also be a target of this defensive maneuver.

      • Oh, you’ve really rained on my parade, Nancy. I’ve become so fond of the Great Blue Herons, and don’t want to believe that they can be so mean. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I think I prefer my version of the story even if it’s not so. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Your response has me grinning, Sylvia . . . and I apologize if I’d rained on your parade but your pics piqued my curiosity.

        On the bright side, GBH’s (“bad boys” in the ‘hood) give us a chance to practice unconditional love ~> accepting them as they are. Plus we can picture them as kin to James Dean or the Fonz . . . minus the black leather.

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