Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snow of the Lower Mainland

The snow quieted the city. Every sound was muffled by the layers of snow and it continued to fall all day long.

The commute to work caused me to be an hour and a half late. The showroom never had more than seven people and a dog in it at any one time. On the way home I took a different route since I thought the regular small bus wouldn't show. I stood at the front of the bus since it filled up at the sky train station before picking me up en route on the highway. We were low to the ground and the snow was still falling, the traffic still crawling along the icy road. In one particular spot, I looked out the door at the creek between two highways with just a patch of dark water showing between snow covered shallow banks. A blue heron completely still in the water, it's neck jutted forward, stood without moving while snow collected on its feathers. It seemed frozen in the creek, unable to continue any further. I wanted to look away, but couldn't because by then I was uncertain of what I was seeing. It was so close, so still, and so alone. The bus inched foward. I had to crane my neck back to see the bird. It's head pulled back, went forward and pulled back again. The movement startled me. I looked around at the other passengers, but no one noticed the heron. Then it stepped back slowly and extended it's long neck upward as if trying to make itself look bigger to us. The bus driver pulled forward and we were moving again.

Thirty minutes late, but at least I made it to the bus depot.


red jane said...

Wow, what a sight to behold. I have a long running love affair with the blue heron- I played one in college, in The Conference of the Birds, by Farid Udi Attar- a Sufi poem about a group of birds searching for their god or Simorgh- it was the most thrilling piece of theatre I've ever been a part of and we studied all of our individual birds, their movement and flying patterns. There were a lot out east too so I do see them when visiting the family.

Wandering Coyote said...

Nice post. I love herons, too. I camped at Galiano Island once and literally sat for nearly an hour watching a blue heron stand on a nearby rock. I was amazed by his absolute stillness and patience. I think he even outlasted me. I've seen them out this way, too, because we have a lot of lakes and rivers.

sp said...

They seem to be everywhere here. Yesterday I saw one flying overhead and quite low. It was obviously just departing the creek at the bottom of my street. They are very beautiful and graceful.